When it comes to choosing an orthodontic treatment, it can be difficult to know where to begin, particularly as treatments are becoming more successful and affordable than ever before. Invisalign and braces are two of the most popular methods of creating the perfect smile – but what are the benefits of each type of treatment? And which one will work best for you?
Both traditional braces and Invisalign braces were designed to straighten your teeth whilst improving your smile and general oral health. The key difference, however, is that whilst braces consist of metal brackets glued to the teeth and tied together with wires and rubber bands, Invisalign consists of invisible aligner trays, which are worn over your teeth to gently move them into place.
Whilst both treatment methods can have impressive results, they also have their own pros and cons. When deciding which option is best for you, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the pros, cons, and capabilities of each method…
Invisalign vs Braces – Pros & Cons of Traditional Braces
- More effective at treating complex issues – As a general rule, braces are more effective when it comes to treating more complex cases.
- They can’t be removed – Braces can’t be removed, meaning that it’s impossible to take them out and forget about them, or lose them. This can often be a problem for Invisalign users and, if the aligner trays are removed or not worn for the correct amount of time each day, then the overall results of the treatment can be affected.
- No extra steps in your cleaning regime – Aside from regular brushing and flossing, and regular check ups and adjustment appointments, braces do not require any additional maintenance or cleaning.
- Pain – When you first have your braces fitted, you may experience some pain, discomfort, and rubbing of your gums and lips. This can also occur each time you have your braces adjusted. Any discomfort can be managed and once your mouth has adjusted and got used to the braces there, the pain should subside, however.
- Difficulty eating – You might find that you have difficulty eating, particularly when your braces have just been fitted. For the duration of your treatment, you should try to avoid any hard, sticky, or chewy foods, such as chewing gum, caramels, and sweets.
- Less discreet treatment – Although braces have come along way over recent years and there are now white and ceramic versions available, they are still not as discreet as Invisalign and are noticeable when worn. Lingual braces are the most discreet type of brace as they are worn on the inside of the teeth rather than the outside like traditional braces.
Invisalign vs Braces – Pros & Cons of Invisalign
- Invisible – Treatment consists of a series of clear aligner trays, which are almost invisible when worn. So you won’t need to feel self-conscious about your smile whilst you are undergoing your treatment.
- Removable – The aligner trays are removable, making them easy to clean and maintain. This also makes eating a lot easier than with traditional braces as you can simply remove your aligners and eat as normal – just make sure you remember to put them back in!
- No difficulties eating – Aligners are removable, you shouldn’t encounter any problems when eating and won’t need to adjust your diet. You also shouldn’t have any issues with food getting caught in your aligners, as can often happen with traditional braces.
- No wires, no discomfort – With braces, the wires and brackets can rub against the teeth, gums, and lips, causing pain and discomfort. As Invisalign braces are aligners that do not call upon wires or brackets, the level of discomfort is minimised and tends to disappear once your mouth has adjusted to each set of aligners.
- Discomfort – Although you will not experience discomfort as a result of wires, you may still feel some discomfort as your teeth begin to move. This is a natural part of the process, however, and can usually be managed with over the counter painkillers.
- Remove before eating or drinking – It’s important to remember to remove your aligners before eating or drinking anything except water. This can prove difficult when you’re eating or drinking on the move!
- Brush after each and every meal – Whilst the aligners are clear, they can become stained. In order to avoid staining, you need to remember to brush your teeth thoroughly after each meal before reinserting your trays.