Crooked, unattractive teeth can really tank your confidence and self-esteem. If you’re looking to restore your smile and improve your oral hygiene, chances are your dentist will suggest considering alignment solutions. The most popular solutions for realigning your teeth include Invisalign, or similar clear aligners, and traditional braces.
When choosing between Invisalign and braces, factors such as the level of correction needed, your age and your lifestyle can come into play. In order to form a better understanding of the two, let us look at both solutions in detail.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign, or ‘invisible aligners’ are custom-made aligner trays which help with the straightening of teeth. Each clear aligner is made out of smooth, medical-grade plastic, which is designed based on moulds of your teeth. These clear aligners gradually and gently shift your teeth into place and your dentist will provide you with a new set of aligners every two weeks till your treatment is completed.
What Are Braces?
Braces are dental devices used to straighten and position your teeth in order to improve their appearance and functioning. They are usually made from metal and are adhered to every tooth and connected to one another using a wire. Braces apply pressure on your teeth, which changes your jaw bones and allows the teeth and their roots to move into the correct position.
Advantages of Invisalign Over Traditional Braces
There are several factors that make Invisalign a great choice for correcting your teeth. These include:
1. Better Appearance
The best part about clear aligners is that they are essentially invisible. Metal braces are very easily seen by others and can often make the wearer conscious about their appearance. Though there are lingual (inner) and ceramic options for braces, these can still be seen very easily. By comparison, Invisalign are far more discreet and can actually boost one’s self-confidence.
2. Comfortable to Wear
Invisalign sits flush against your teeth and does not cut into your cheeks and gums like braces may. True, there will be slight discomfort while your teeth get repositioned. However, as Invisalign is usually used for cosmetic dentistry and straightening, the ache or mild pain is likely to be less than with braces.
3. Easy Maintenance
With traditional braces, there are lengthy and complex cleaning routines that need to be followed in order to maintain oral hygiene. Furthermore, a major downside of metal braces is that tooth discolouration can occur since the brackets stay in place for roughly 2 years.
However, since Invisalign is a mouthpiece that just pops on and off your teeth, it is easy for you to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would. As a result, oral hygiene is easier to maintain with clear aligns, and the likelihood of discolouration is reduced.
4. Free to Eat Whatever You Want
Braces can limit the kind of food you eat since certain hard, sticky or chewy foods can get stuck in the brackets or wires, and possibly even damage them. However, since Invisalign is easily removed, you are free to eat anything you want to. Just remember to stay on top of your oral hygiene!
5. Fewer Orthodontist or Dentist Visits
Invisalign users will usually be required to drop in for a dental visit every 4–6 weeks, or even less frequently for some users. The frequency usually depends upon every individual’s specific dental case. However, you generally will not need to visit the dentist as often as you would if you were wearing braces.
Disadvantages of Invisalign Over Traditional Braces
While Invisalign is one of the most desirable teeth alignment solutions today, there are some particular instances where they might be less advantages than braces. These include:
1. Can’t Be Used For Complex Corrections
Invisalign is usually best suited for people with minor straightening issues and can do a great job of improving the overall look of your teeth in these cases. However, in complex situations, such as an overbite or an underbite, Invisalign will not be the most effective at correcting the problem.
Furthermore, some people may require small tooth attachments connecting to the clear aligners like buttons. These control tooth movements and have to be attached and taken off by a dentist. As a result, you may need to have more dentist visits and this can sometimes be costlier than just getting traditional braces.
2. Must Remove Before Eating or Drinking
Patients will need to remove their Invisalign whenever eating or drinking any beverage that isn’t water. Unlike metal braces which are more robust, the plastic used for clear aligners is very soft and can easily be damaged by food. Furthermore, hot drinks, like coffee and tea, can distort the shape of the plastic and also cause stains.
3. Requires Strict Discipline
For Invisalign to work effectively, you are required to wear them for at least 20–22 hours daily. If the aligners are worn less often, it can really slow progress or possibly even damage the final results. It requires a certain amount of discipline to be able to use clear aligners and get the best possible result out of them.
Furthermore, since they can be taken out, users are more prone to losing them easily. You may forget to put them back in after eating or brushing your teeth. Some people even find they take them out in their sleep!
4. More Tooth Brushing
Wearing Invisalign means you need to regularly brush your teeth, sometimes more than 3 times a day and especially if you snack often. Poor dental hygiene and irregularity with brushing can cause bad breath and cavities since you will be wearing the aligners over your teeth. This can trap bacteria on your teeth and limit how much saliva can pass over them and help remove the bacteria.
Where to Go From Here?
If you suffer from severe and complex dental conditions, your dentist might recommend traditional braces. However, in terms of aesthetics, efficiency and overall oral and dental hygiene, the advantages of Invisalign make it a great option for orthodontic alignment.
If you are looking to get yourself a set of Invisalign aligners, we have a great team of professionals who provide the best cosmetic dentistry and dental services in Abbotsford. We can also help you decide if braces are a better option for you. So don’t wait any longer. Contact our Abbotsford Dental staff on (03) 9410 1077 today!