Being confident in your smile can make a big difference in how often you share it with friends and family or the world in general. For those children or adults experiencing less than perfect alignment of teeth and jaw, however, hesitation to smile or even eat in public may be an issue.
Today you have beneficial options when it comes to solutions for straightening your teeth. Choosing between the traditional braces or the newer Invisalign option can be challenging, but knowing the pros and cons of each can make that decision easier. .
Pros and Cons of Invisalign
While Invisalign is a newer option, it has an impressive success rate for correcting the alignment of teeth. The process involves the use of clear, plastic aligner trays customized specifically for your mouth. First, a 3D image of your mouth is created and, from this, trays are designed to wear over your teeth. In small steps, teeth move into their correct position.
Here are the pros for choosing Invisalign for you or your family’s teeth:
For many, the biggest benefit of going with Invisalign over braces is the look. They are less noticeable, some say invisible, and this is especially important to teenagers or pre-teens. It can be important for adults as well, leading to less embarrassment or issues while in the workplace.
You will feel the movement of your teeth whether you choose Invisalign or braces. However, Invisalign trays are designed to fit your mouth specifically, as in more closely molded to your particular teeth, and this leads to a higher level of comfort. Crafted out of a specialized plastic also helps with comfortability.
One of the biggest pros for Invisalign is that they are removable. You don’t have to wear them 24-hours a day, every day. You will take them out to eat, brush and floss, or when playing any type of contact sport. You also don’t have to limit the foods you eat. It is, however, recommended you wear your aligners at least 20 hours a day.
Aids dental hygiene
The ability to remove your aligners allows you to practice good dental hygiene. Since they are not attached to your teeth like braces, you can remove them during your usual brushing and flossing.
Less gum and mouth problems
Since the trays used to align teeth fit your particular mouth, you experience less gum and overall mouth problems with Invisalign. You’ll have fewer cuts to the soft inner tissue of your cheeks as well.
Requires less oversight
With all the pre-fitting measures and creation of customized aligners, less ongoing consultations are needed. You will need to continue going to the minimum appointments for recommendations on when to change out your trays.
Now that you know the pros of choosing Invisalign, let’s look at the cons:
Requires diligent discipline
While one of the pros of Invisalign is their removability, you will have to remain diligent and disciplined about wearing them and taking adequate care when not in your mouth. Keep in mind, by not wearing them at least 20-22 hours per day, your results may be less efficient in the end.
While braces are removed at a set time, results for aligner trays may not be as effective during that same timeframe, and you may need to wear them much longer.
Can be inconvenient
Since Invisalign trays need to be removed to eat and drink anything beyond water, it may become inconvenient, especially when in public. You’ll need to brush your teeth before placing the trays back in your mouth also. The reason for this is that any food particles stuck in your teeth can cease alignment or movement of your teeth while wearing your trays. It can also lead to cavities and bad breath.
While in the past Invisalign cost more due to the lack of providers and options, today, you have easier access. They do still cost more, and you may need additional measures which can add to that cost. However, with fewer office visits required, you’ll save money on appointment fees.
Not suitable for everyone
Invisalign is not suitable for those with more complex issues, such as extremely crooked teeth.
Pros and Cons of Braces
Braces have traditionally been around for a long time, and you may know one or more people who achieved outstanding results. Attaching to the outer parts of your teeth, additional rubber bands and wires are maneuvered in place to connect to the brackets and move your teeth into place.
Suitable for everyone
Braces are suitable for everyone and every type of treatment, regardless of how crooked your teeth are currently. Braces today are adaptable for the type of correction you need, and come with customizable brackets. Even those with a severe underbite or large gaps between teeth will benefit.
Achieve best results
Since braces are stronger and require continuous wear (non-removable), a better outcome is expected and in less time. Being stronger allows them to provide a more constant force to shift your teeth into place.
Multiple types to choose from
If you’re resisting the metal braces most commonly used, you can instead go with ceramic braces or choose the lingual version, which fits on the underside of your teeth.
Without the ability to remove braces like with Invisalign, the constant placement of braces results in quicker results.
Wearing braces is highly visible when you smile or even talk, potentially making you self-conscious to the point of avoiding social situations
Challenging for proper dental hygiene
Wearing braces continually will interrupt your usual brushing and flossing, making it more difficult to maintain proper dental hygiene. Plaque can build up on the brackets of your braces and result in either staining or cavities (tooth decay).
Food and drink limitations
With braces, you will need to restrict what you eat and drink to avoid damaging them. You’ll need to avoid hard, sticky foods and avoid snacks like gum, hard candy, and popcorn.
While neither braces nor Invisalign trays are always comfortable and can both create soreness inside your mouth, braces may be more uncomfortable with their additional brackets and wires.
More scheduled consultations required
With braces, you will need to check in more often to determine the progress your teeth are making. Braces need to be adjusted regularly to continue the work of moving your teeth into place.
Whether you choose Invisalign or braces is a personal decision, unique to your own circumstances and preferences. Knowing these pros and cons of each can help you make the choice that will benefit you and your smile the most.
Contact Us Today to Learn More About Your Options
Whether you are currently considering braces or Invisalign, or need compassionate care for your dental health going forward, we are here for you. Dr. Bateson will help you understand the pros and cons of each option and also guide you through the process. Call today to learn more.