St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN – You want straighter teeth for the boost to your self-esteem and all the other perks that come with having a more beautiful smile.
But you’re torn.
Should you choose Invisalign or traditional metal braces?
This is a big decision to make and one you shouldn’t take lightly.
Here are the pros and cons of both, allowing you to make the most informed decision possible.
Why Choose Traditional Braces?
These are the types of braces you typically think of when you think of orthodontic treatment. They involve metal brackets and wires that are pressed against your teeth.
Dental braces are ideal for correcting the most complex issues, including teeth crowding, significant gaps and other severe alignment and bite issues.
Why Choose Invisalign?
Invisalign first began hitting orthodontists’ offices in the year 2000. This revolutionary teeth straightening method was designed for those who want to keep their treatment under wraps.
The aligners that patients wear are mostly invisible. They are comprised of BPA-free clear plastic that is worn over the teeth to move them gently into position.
Which Work More Effectively?
Both dental braces and Invisalign work to move your teeth into position. The question is, which method of teeth straightening is right for you?
Here are some factors you may want to think about as you choose one method over the other.
The Pain Factor
Dental braces require a significant adjustment period. When the metal brackets and wires are glued to the teeth, they are intended to repair your alignment gradually. This may require frequent adjustments as well as assistance from little helpers like rubber bands.
The thing is, while your teeth are moving, and as you’re adjusting to your new metal teeth companions, you may experience mouth pain and/or headaches. This discomfort is normal.
In fact, it’s commonplace for your orthodontist to give you ibuprofen as part of your treatment for any pain you may be experiencing as you get used to wearing braces.
While Invisalign is also intended to move your teeth gradually into place, the discomfort you may feel is significantly less than that of traditional metal braces.
Furthermore, unlike braces – which are fused to your teeth and cannot be removed except by a qualified professional – your Invisalign aligner trays can be taken out at will.
So if you feel any discomfort, you can pull them out until the feeling subsides. Although, you will want to keep them in as long as possible so that you can get used to wearing them. The soreness, as with braces, will soon subside.
So if discomfort is an issue, as in you have a very low threshold for pain, you may opt for Invisalign instead of dental braces as your orthodontic treatment of choice.
Constant Vs. Intermittent Treatment
As we have already covered, metal braces cannot be removed. If they hurt, you are just going to have to adjust to the pain until your mouth gets used to the constant pressure the wires and brackets are putting on your teeth, gums, and jawbones.
Invisalign aligners can be removed whenever you want, such as when you’re eating or going out on a first date.
While you can remove your aligner trays, your orthodontist will suggest that you keep them in for at least 20-22 hours per day. That will ensure that you get the most from your Invisalign treatment.
With braces, you will have brackets and wires on your teeth for at least two years. This is bad news if you have things like senior or wedding photos to participate in, or if you are going out on a first date or attending a job interview.
Invisalign aligners can be taken out for photos and other important events. Plus, even when you have them in, they are largely invisible. Take this into account when deciding between braces and Invisalign to straighten your teeth.
Keeping Your Teeth Clean
While dental braces are a perfectly good way to straighten your teeth, they don’t necessarily do a good job of keeping your teeth clean.
The wires and brackets essentially act as a net, capturing every bit of food that you may have eaten that day. Want to keep your teeth clean while wearing braces? You might find yourself brushing several times a day.
With Invisalign, you can take your aligner trays out to eat. You may still have to brush after every meal, but at least you won’t get food caught in your aligners if you happen to take them out before eating, then rinse before putting them back in.
You can also eat anything you want with Invisalign retainers, especially if you take them out to eat.
With braces, eating hard foods like carrots or apples may damage your dental braces, which can send you back to your orthodontist’s office for a pesky readjustment.
Which Treatment Option Will You Choose?
Based on the information above, you might choose dental braces if:
- You don’t care about others knowing that you’re straightening your teeth
- Pain doesn’t bother you
- And if you don’t want to worry about taking your aligners out every few hours to eat, drink or kiss someone
On the other hand, Invisalign might be for you if:
- You want to keep your orthodontic treatment incognito
- You’re keen to forgo the pain that comes with traditional metal braces
- And want to eat what you want, while straightening your teeth on your own schedule
The fact is, more orthodontic patients are choosing Invisalign because they don’t want to be characterized as a “metal mouth” and they want the freedom to choose when they wear their aligners and when they want to be free for memorable occasions, like first dates.
Which will you choose?
If Invisalign sounds like the option for you, schedule a free consultation with an ORTHODONTIST and see why so many people are choosing this powerful treatment option to straighten their teeth for a more improved life.
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