brace-or-invisalign

When trying to decide whether braces or Invisalign® are the best choice for you or your child, there are many factors to consider. Both braces and Invisalign® will straighten your teeth and improve your oral health, but there are some major differences between the two.

Braces are metal, or ceramic, brackets that have been bonded to your teeth and are held together with a wire that is attached to the brackets with a rubber (or metal) tie; some even have doors. They are in your mouth until your orthodontist removes them.

Invisalign® is a set of clear trays that are designed to fit your teeth and align them as you progress through your trays. They are removable by you, at any time.

Now that we have established what they are, here are some pros and cons of braces and Invisalign.

Pros of Braces

  • Are not removable so there is less self-discipline required
  • Can have color rings added
  • Brushing and flossing are the only methods of cleaning necessary
  • Works well with surgical cases

Pros of Invisalign®

  • Removable, so food does not get caught while eating
  • Invisible
  • Brushing and flossing are the only methods of cleaning necessary
  • There are no wires to cause any irritation

Cons of Braces

  • Certain foods should be avoided when you have braces
  • Requires brushing your teeth after every meal to reduce tooth discoloration
  • Tooth movement, wires, and brackets may cause discomfort

Cons of Invisalign®

  • Must be removed before eating or drinking anything but water
  • Requires brushing your teeth after every meal so no staining occurs
  • Tooth movement may cause discomfort

Treatment Time: Braces

Average of 2 years, depends on patient cooperation

Treatment Time: Invisalign®

Usually 6-18 m, significantly depends on patient cooperation

Appearance: Braces

Wires and/or brackets may include some metal. Different color rings are also available.

Appearance: Invisalign®

Invisible (clear)

Care: Braces

Brushing and flossing regularly

Care: Invisalign®

Brushing, flossing, and rinsing trays. Invisalign® cleaning system is also available

Follow Up Visits: Braces

Every 8 – 10 weeks

Follow Up Visits: Invisalign®

Every 8-10 weeks

Follow Up Treatment: Braces

Retainer or positioner usually worn for continuing treatment

Follow Up Treatment: Invisalign®

Retainer or positioner usually worn for continuing treatment

As you can see, we can successfully use both methods. For the committed adult or older teen, Invisalign® may be appealing because they are invisible in the mouth and can be removed before eating or drinking, so there are less foods to avoid. However, you must remember to brush your teeth after every meal before putting your Invisalign® in and you must wear them for at least 22 hours every day. Since braces are bonded to your teeth and tied to a wire, there is no way you can forget to wear them for the required amount of time.  With that said, it may take longer to maintain adequate oral health.

After reviewing the facts here, you can ask your orthodontist about any further questions you may have and decide whether braces or Invisalign® are best for you or your child.

At EA Smiles, we are happy to answer these questions for you and guide you on your way to a happy, healthy WOW smile.