Invisalign vs. Braces: What’s the Difference?

invisalign clear alignersThe two most popular ways to straighten teeth are braces and Invisalign but what’s the difference? Both allow alternations to your teeth to achieve a straight smile but understanding the differences between the two will allow you to make an informed decision on which treatment will work best for you.

How Braces Work

Comprised of metal brackets that are placed on each individual tooth and tired together by wires and rubber bands, braces are a very traditional way to straighten the teeth and are not removable through the straightening process. Braces are extremely beneficial for not only straightening the teeth but also closing gaps and are great for patients with minor to severe orthodontic issues. As the teeth begin to shift, the wires will be tightened to urge further movement.

Since the brackets are attached to the teeth with a glue-like substance, there is more maintenance that comes along with having braces. Not only will the wires need to be tightened, but occasionally these brackets will brake and will need to be replaced.

Due to braces being kept on permanently until they are removed at the end of the treatment, the process of straightening the teeth can be much faster than other option.

How Invisalign Works

Invisalign is quickly gaining in popularity when it comes to modern-day teeth straightening, especially in teens and adults. Two clear trays will be created to fit your teeth and will slowly shift the teeth and can be removed at any time but it’s important to only remove them when one is eating or brushing their teeth. Compared to traditional metal braces, the distinct advantage is that Invisalign is clear, making them practically invisible.

Since Invisalign only moves the teeth in very small incraments, the treatment is ideal for those with very minor orthodontic issues, such as a minor under or overbite.

In order for the Invisalign trays to be made, your orthodontic team will take a series of photos, x-rays, and impressions of your teeth to ensure the trays fit your teeth accurately.  Every two weeks, the trays will be swapped out with new ones to encourage your teeth to move.

Maintenance and Follow-Up Treatment

If you select braces, you will need to ensure that you are brushing and flossing at least twice a day to avoid any food getting stuck in the wires and brackets of your braces and to avoid brackets from breaking. There are also a number of foods that should be avoided in order to reduce damage to the braces.

With Invisalign, the trays will be removed when eating so you don’t have to worry about avoiding certain foods but purchasing an Invisalign cleaning system is suggested to ensure the trays are cleaned properly on a regular basis.

Once you first get your braces on or start your Invisalign treatment, maintenance and follow-up treatment is typically low. With braces, you will need to go into the orthodontic office once per month to have the wires tightened. With Invisalign, appointments are less frequent and are typically 4-6 -weeks between one another.

To schedule your consultation, contact our team at (800) 287-6453.

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