Braces or Invisalign: What is best for you?

braces or invisalign
If you’re in the market for a straighter smile, you may be wondering the differences between traditional braces or Invisalign®. A popular choice in recent years, Invisalign customized aligners might be a good option for you depending on the complexity of your condition. Braces can remedy almost any issue; Invisalign is less flexible in treating complex cases or when baby teeth are still present. Regardless, there are some pros and cons to consider when deciding on braces or Invisalign. 


What’s attractive about Invisalign is that it is practically invisible! No metal brackets clamped to your teeth and no wires to tighten. Instead, you receive custom-made aligners that simply slide over your teeth. As you update the aligners every few weeks, your teeth slowly shift into place. They are easily removable; so for eating, brushing, or participating in some activities, sports games, etc., the aligners are removed and not a potential hazard.
We are all pretty familiar with traditional braces. Patients often feel more “swollen” around the mouth and more conspicuous when they smile with traditional braces.  They also require more care around dental hygiene, since not removable, and you must be more careful when eating, playing sports, etc.
Most agree that the plastic Invisalign aligners are more comfortable than traditional braces with no wires or brackets rubbing against the mouth and gums. However, aligners still develop rough edges that can irritate the gums, often prompting their removal. The shifting of teeth will cause some soreness, and some will immediately remedy that with popping the aligners out.

Hygiene/Daily Routine

More discipline and responsibility is required with traditional braces to ensure proper cleaning and care. Letting oral health slip with braces promotes decay under the brackets or between your teeth where flossing can be tough. The brackets and wires inside the mouth can be somewhat problematic, causing discomfort and mouth sores. Eating habits will also be slightly modified to avoid various foods that might break or damage the wires and brackets.
Since Invisalign aligners are removable, you can remove them for eating as well as clean and floss teeth more easily. This helps to prevent potential tooth decay. Although it doesn’t seem like a big deal, taking out the aligners every time one eats, cleaning the teeth and aligners, and putting the aligners back in does take time.

Cost and Time

As you can imagine, traditional braces are typically less expensive than the newer Invisalign option. Although they require a bit more maintenance and care, braces are there to stay and cannot be removed, which often speeds treatment along.
Success with Invisalign is largely dependent on developing healthy habits and full cooperation. For at least 20-22 hours a day, aligners must be worn and only removed for eating, drinking, or brushing teeth. Removing them increases the risk of them getting lost or forgotten, but more importantly, the effectiveness of the Invisalign system is dependent on excellent aligner wear. Although more expensive than braces in general, Invisalign offers more flexibility on appointments since aligners can be swapped out without visiting the orthodontist as often.

Bottom Line:

At first, most people think Invisalign is a desirable option–it certainly has a lot of benefits! However, the decision on whether braces or Invisalign is best depends on an individual’s personality, dedication and responsibility; as well as cost. Either way, traditional braces or Invisalign will give you a beautiful smile and be well worth any temporary frustration that comes along.
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