Braces vs. Invisalign

Which one is better?

People who are considering orthodontic treatment to improve their smile are often wondering what type of appliance to use to correct their teeth – would braces or Invisalign clear aligners be better? The purpose of this blog is to shed some light on the differences between these two orthodontic tools.

A Customized Treatment

First, keep in mind that there is not a single “right way” for orthodontic treatment to be done. An accurate diagnosis is the most important factor, and that’s something that orthodontists are especially well-trained to do. After obtaining orthodontic records (x-rays, photos and models), the orthodontist identifies the problems and then creates a customized treatment plan to address the concerns of each patient.

Braces and Invisalign clear aligners are both “tools” that the orthodontist uses to move teeth. The doctor may prefer one tool over another in an individual case due to the specific tooth movements that are required. However, very often both tools will work equally well and then it comes down to which appliance better fits the patient’s lifestyle. Let’s consider some common treatment factors.

Visibility:

Braces have been the traditional form of treatment used by orthodontists for decades. Today’s streamlined braces are smaller and are made of either metal or tooth-colored ceramic. However, here at Travers Orthodontics we also offer Invisalign for the Irving Texas area.  Invisalign or clear aligners are plastic trays that fit over your teeth. Wearing them puts gentle pressure on the teeth to reposition them. Aligners are one of many technological advancements that have made orthodontic treatment less conspicuous.

Removability:

For a stable and functional result, braces remain attached to the teeth throughout treatment. On the bright side, you can’t lose them, unless you eat hard and sticky foods. Many patients appreciate that aligners are removable. Take them out to eat, to brush and floss, or for short periods for work or social occasions. The key responsibility is wearing them as prescribed. That typically means 22 hours a day and in the correct sequence. Because they are removable, aligners can be easily lost or damaged.

Comfort:

There may be some initial discomfort when braces are placed or adjusted, and brackets and wires can temporarily irritate the cheeks. Overall, the discomfort is short-lived and manageable. Once patients become accustomed to their braces, they may even forget they have them on. With aligners there may be some initial discomfort and when changing to the next aligner, but this discomfort can also be easily managed. Removing aligners because they are uncomfortable defeats their purpose. Aligners can’t work unless they are in the mouth.

Hygiene:

Patients with braces will need to keep teeth, gums and braces free of plaque and food debris so bacteria can’t attack tooth enamel or cause inflamed gums. This means frequent brushing and flossing with special attention given to cleaning under wires and around brackets. With aligners, it is critical to avoid drinking soft drinks, flavored waters or sports drinks with aligners in. We advise that patients remove aligners when eating or drinking anything other than water. Also, the teeth need to be clean when aligners are placed in the mouth.

Diet:

Those with braces must steer clear of foods that are hard, sticky, crunchy and chewy to avoid breaking a bracket or popping a wire out of the bracket. Generally, there are no food restrictions for people wearing aligners; however, the aligners should always be removed when eating or drinking.

The type of appliance used in orthodontic treatment is far less important than the skill in the hands of the person who is providing the treatment. Rely on the skills of an AAO orthodontist, like Dr. Travers, who has the education, experience and expertise to evaluate diagnostic findings, and translate those into a treatment plan that will help you or your child achieve a healthy and beautiful smile!

Braces have been the traditional form of treatment used by orthodontists for decades. Today’s streamlined braces are smaller and are made of either metal or tooth-colored ceramic. Clear aligners are plastic trays that fit over your teeth. Wearing them puts gentle pressure on the teeth to reposition them. Aligners are one of many technological advancements that have made orthodontic treatment less conspicuous.

Removability:

For a stable and functional result, braces remain attached to the teeth throughout treatment. On the bright side, you can’t lose them, unless you eat hard and sticky foods. Many patients appreciate that aligners are removable. Take them out to eat, to brush and floss, or for short periods for work or social occasions. The key responsibility is wearing them as prescribed. That typically means 22 hours a day and in the correct sequence. Because they are removable, aligners can be easily lost or damaged.

Comfort:

There may be some initial discomfort when braces are placed or adjusted, and brackets and wires can temporarily irritate the cheeks. Overall, the discomfort is short-lived and manageable. Once patients become accustomed to their braces, they may even forget they have them on. With aligners there may be some initial discomfort and when changing to the next aligner, but this discomfort can also be easily managed. Removing aligners because they are uncomfortable defeats their purpose. Aligners can’t work unless they are in the mouth.

Hygiene:

Patients with braces will need to keep teeth, gums and braces free of plaque and food debris so bacteria can’t attack tooth enamel or cause inflamed gums. This means frequent brushing and flossing with special attention given to cleaning under wires and around brackets. With aligners, it is critical to avoid drinking soft drinks, flavored waters or sports drinks with aligners in. We advise that patients remove aligners when eating or drinking anything other than water. Also, the teeth need to be clean when aligners are placed in the mouth.

Diet:

Those with braces must steer clear of foods that are hard, sticky, crunchy and chewy to avoid breaking a bracket or popping a wire out of the bracket. Generally, there are no food restrictions for people wearing aligners; however, the aligners should always be removed when eating or drinking.

The type of appliance used in orthodontic treatment is far less important than the skill in the hands of the person who is providing the treatment. Rely on the skills of an AAO orthodontist, like Dr. Travers, who has the education, experience and expertise to evaluate diagnostic findings, and translate those into a treatment plan that will help you or your child achieve a healthy and beautiful smile!  Check out our office today for braces and clear aligners in Irving TX!