When our teeth are crooked and the time comes to decide how to get our perfect smile, there are many options to consider. Traditional braces are metal brackets and wires used to straighten teeth over time by adjusting and aligning the teeth. Invisalign is a set of removable, clear teeth aligners that also align your teeth over time as an alternative to traditional braces. But, does Invisalign really work? We’ll break down the differences between the two for you.
- Cleaning: Invisalign retainers are clear and removable; braces are permanent until taken off by your orthodontist after a period of two years or more, typically. This makes cleaning your teeth and retainers easier with Invisalign, and more difficult to maneuver with braces.
- Appeal: Invisalign is as its name suggests- virtually invisible. Instead of metal, possibly annoying brackets on your teeth, Invisalign keeps your mouth adjustments hidden.
- Irritation: Invisalign retainers are typically more comfortable than braces because there’s no wires and brackets, which can easily poke and irritate the mouth and gums.
- Eating: There are certain foods that shouldn’t be eaten with braces (check them out here) because they can break or bend wires and brackets. With Invisalign, however, retainers are removed before eating, so all foods are still allowed to be eaten.
- Trust: Invisalign largely depends on the user being dedicated to the treatment; wearing the retainers 20-22 hours per day, only removing them to eat and clean teeth. Braces, on the other hand, and virtually guaranteed to be successful in aligning teeth because they are permanent.
- Damage: Both Invisalign and braces can be damaged. Braces are affected by eating certain foods or hurting the mouth, whereas Invisalign retainers can be damaged by those who grind their teeth at night.
- Straightening All Teeth: There are certain teeth that are difficult for Invisalign retainers to adjust, and they may need attachments. The retainers use pressure to move and align teeth, so teeth too high up in the gum line, or too low, that may require pushing or pulling may need to otherwise be adjusted.
So, determining whether traditional braces or Invisalign would be a better option really depends on the patient. If you can trust yourself to wear the retainers dutifully and are prepared to make adjustments as needed for certain teeth, then Invisalign may be right for you.