Orthodontic issues like crooked teeth can be fixed at any age. There are now several highly effective treatment methods that help patients to achieve their perfect smile. At Dr. Scott Runnels Orthodontics in Destin, FL, we offer both braces and Invisalign. One of the most common questions we get asked is what the pros and cons of each option are. Invisalign vs braces: which one is better? Read on to find out.
Invisalign vs. Braces: How Can You Decide?
Studies have shown that between 40 and 60 percent of Americans are afraid to smile in public because they don’t like the way their teeth look. If you have this issue, don’t hesitate to come to the clinic because we’ll almost certainly be able to help you. First, we’ll examine your teeth and jaw to find out whether you’re eligible for braces, Invisalign, or both.
Some patients are only able to take part in one of these treatments due to their orthodontic condition. However, many have the choice because both Invisalign and braces can treat a wide variety of issues. When making the decision, you’ll need to consider which option is likely to provide you with the best results, how easy it will be to adjust to the device in your mouth, and whether you’re able to stick to your dentist’s guidelines.
The Patient’s Age
The American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that parents take their children to an orthodontist at age seven because the bite, airway, and oral habits are sufficiently developed at that time. But this doesn’t mean that children need to get braces right away. Most get them between the ages of nine and fourteen because the adult teeth have replaced the baby teeth at that time.
Invisalign isn’t generally considered suitable for patients under the age of twelve, although some younger children can undergo treatment. However, this method is the preferred option for teenagers and adults because it’s not so visible, so it doesn’t interfere with the patient’s social and professional life.
The Orthodontic Issue
Most orthodontic issues can be treated with braces or Invisalign, but there are some exceptions. If you have rotated or very small teeth, Invisalign might not work very well for you. It is also unsuitable for most patients who have two or more orthodontic problems.
These people might need to get braces first and then switch to Invisalign later. Sometimes, the invisible aligners aren’t easy to fit when a person has had previous dental treatment, and they aren’t a suitable option for patients with severe gum disease.
Adjusting to Braces or Invisalign
Both braces and Invisalign require a certain adjustment period. Patients have to get used to their new oral hygiene routine, and there might be some pressure as the teeth are pushed in a certain direction. Usually, the discomfort associated with Invisalign disappears after the first day or two of wearing a new tray. With braces, patients might feel tenderness for up to a week.
It’s also worth considering how speech is affected by orthodontic treatment. Many people take a few days or weeks to get used to speaking with their braces or invisible aligners. Braces might cause spitting, which can be embarrassing. If the patient needs to give speeches, Invisalign might be more suitable because the trays can be removed.
Both braces and Invisalign come with some instructions which you need to follow if you want treatment to be successful. With braces, you’ll have to get used to a new way of brushing and flossing your teeth. This might take more time, but it’s essential because food particles can easily get caught between your braces and your teeth. Patients with braces who don’t practice good oral hygiene are likely to develop excessive plaque and cavities.
Invisalign trays are removable, but they need to be worn for at least 20-22 out of every 24 hours. If you take them out too often, it’s unlikely that your teeth will take on the desired shape, and you’ll have to start all over again. You’ll also have to brush your teeth after every meal and avoid eating or drinking anything except water when your trays are in your mouth. Speak to your dentist about these requirements and how easy it will be for you to stick to them.
Is Invisalign Better?
Invisalign vs braces: which one is better? While braces are necessary for people with severe orthodontic issues, invisible aligners are suitable for almost everyone with a mild to moderate problem. This treatment is often preferred because it doesn’t affect daily life as much. The trays can be removed for eating and exercising, so patients don’t have to stop consuming certain foods or participating in sports.
The aligners are also much easier to clean than metal braces, and patients don’t have to make many changes to their normal oral hygiene routine. Often, fewer appointments are necessary because the trays can be changed at home. As long as the patient is able and willing to stick to the recommended guidelines, they are likely to see excellent results.
The most important reason why so many people choose Invisalign is that the trays are completely see-through. Most people don’t even notice when someone wears invisible aligners, and the trays can be removed for important meetings or sports events. In contrast, braces are very visible, and everyone will immediately know that the patient is undergoing orthodontic treatment.
If you’ve chosen Invisalign, make sure to follow all your dentist’s instructions to fully benefit from the aligners. Drinking tea or coffee without removing the trays first causes staining.
As mentioned, it’s quite difficult to keep braces clean because food can get stuck in the mouth and cause cavities. With Invisalign, this isn’t a problem because the trays are removed whenever the patient eats or drinks.
To prevent oral hygiene issues, brush your teeth every time you eat or drink anything. Never insert your trays when your teeth are still dirty. It’s also important to clean your invisible aligners once or twice a day. Your dentist will recommend a special solution that disinfects the trays without damaging them.
The Treatment Process
When you have braces, you need to see your orthodontist approximately once every four to eight weeks, so they can check that your teeth are assuming the desired shape. The dentist might replace your wires or tighten your braces. Although this treatment schedule is manageable for most people, it’s a lot of effort, especially since braces often have to be worn for two or even three years.
Invisalign appointments are less frequent, and some patients only need to see their dentist every ten to twelve weeks. The initial set of trays is fitted at the clinic, but subsequent aligners are sent directly to the person’s home. Sometimes, Invisalign treatment takes as little as six months, and most patients won’t have to wear their trays for more than eighteen months.
Few Lifestyle Changes Necessary
People with braces have to get used to a completely different oral hygiene routine, and they need to pay attention to the kinds of foods they eat. Crunchy, sticky, and chewy foods might no longer be appropriate because they can get stuck in the braces and increase the risk of cavities and other dental issues.
With Invisalign, patients don’t have to change their diet because the trays are taken out while eating. This is especially important for people who have certain dietary requirements due to allergies or lifestyle choices. It also makes Invisalign suitable for people who are undergoing other medical treatments and need to stick to a certain diet.
Despite the fact that the treatment is much less invasive than braces, 96% of patients experience good results with Invisalign. Some notice the first changes after a few weeks, but others need to wait for up to five months until they start to see a major transformation. If you’d like to know what to expect, speak to your dentist. They’ll be able to show you the way each new tray will change your teeth.
Achieve Your Perfect Smile Now
Invisalign vs braces: which one is better for you? The answer is that many patients prefer Invisalign because the trays are invisible, removable, and hygienic. However, they aren’t suitable for everyone, and braces might be better for those who have severe orthodontic issues or are unlikely to comply with the treatment protocol. Contact us at Dr. Scott Runnels Orthodontics in Destin, FL, and book your assessment to find out which treatment works for you.