A beautiful smile makes a great first impression, but many people with crooked or crowded teeth feel self-conscious about their smiles. Fortunately, feeling self-conscious about your smile doesn’t need to be a constant thing with orthodontic treatments like Invisalign or braces. At Parkwood Dental in Bradenton, FL, we know that each of these treatments has its own strengths. So, which treatment is right for you?
Which Is Better: Invisalign or Braces?
Choosing between Invisalign or braces ultimately comes down to a variety of factors and your preferences. We will always recommend the orthodontic treatment that will most effectively straighten your teeth, but certain factors may influence the decision of which treatment you should use. Some of these factors include:
The condition of your teeth, such as how crooked or crowded your teeth are, is the most important consideration. While Invisalign can easily correct mild to moderate misalignment, it’s generally not an appropriate treatment for dental concerns that require additional steps.
For example, some people need to realign their jaws to correct overbites and crossbites. The most common technique for this is installing a widener on the pallet with braces so that your jaw alignment can be corrected while your teeth are being straightened. If you have alignment challenges like this, then braces are generally your best option.
One of the biggest advantages of Invisalign is the fact that it can straighten your teeth in about six to 12 months in most cases. Braces, on the other hand, may take a couple of years to straighten your teeth. People who have mild concerns may opt for Invisalign clear aligners because of the shorter treatment time.
Your age may also be an important factor to consider. While invisible aligners can be used by people of any age, it may not be an ideal treatment plan for younger teens because of how often aligners need to be removed for eating and cleaning the teeth. Invisalign clear aligners must be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day to effectively straighten the teeth. Younger patients may not be able to keep up with this treatment plan, which can delay how quickly their teeth are straightened.
For that reason, braces may be a better choice for younger people or people who may not be able to keep up with the management of clear aligners. Braces are worn constantly and only managed by an orthodontist, which takes a lot of the operational responsibility out of the patient’s hands. Younger people may do better with this approach, even if they only have mild dental conditions.
All orthodontic treatments have certain restrictions that must be observed to get the best results from the treatment. The most obvious restriction for each of these treatments is focused on eating habits. With Invisalign, you can eat whatever you want as long as you take the invisible aligners beforehand and clean your teeth before replacing the aligners. With braces, your food restrictions will limit you from eating anything like popcorn, taffy, or bubblegum.
Based on your age and preferences, you may be more comfortable with the restrictions for braces or Invisalign. If you think you may not be able to remember taking out your invisible aligners before eating or drinking non-water beverages, then braces may be a better option for you. But, on the other hand, if you think you can keep up with these restrictions, then Invisalign may be ideal.
If you lead an active lifestyle, then you may want to consider the impact sports and other activities may have on your dental health. For example, if you play high-impact sports, then braces pose the possibility of cutting into your lips and cheeks during sporting events. With invisible aligners, you won’t have to worry about this. In fact, because invisible aligners essentially double as a mouth guard, people who grind their teeth at night may also benefit from Invisalign.
Cleaning and Care
It’s important to take care of your orthodontic gear to avoid cavities and other dental issues. Both Invisalign and braces have specific cleaning requirements that may be more or less manageable for different people.
With Invisalign, you will be able to keep up with your oral hygiene as usual, including flossing, when you remove the aligners. With braces, you may struggle with oral hygiene since the brackets and wires will block your teeth. That said, taking care of braces and your dental hygiene correctly is easy when you maintain a routine and use the right tools.
The last consideration people make for the choice between Invisalign or braces is the way each of these corrective treatments will feel in your mouth. People who have had braces before may prefer the smooth feeling of invisible aligners. But to be sure, traditional braces are much more comfortable and refined these days, and once you are used to the brackets, you won’t even think twice about your braces.
Talk to Us About Your Choices
The choice between Invisalign and braces may be determined by the condition of your teeth. But the choice may also come down to your own preferences. Your age, your preferred timespan for your treatment, and food restrictions are all important factors to consider when choosing between these two treatments. Please contact Parkwood Dental in Bradenton, FL today to learn more about these orthodontic treatments.