Traditional braces employ metal wires to move your teeth to an aligned position. Your orthodontist will glue metal anchors to the front of your teeth and attach an arch-wire. Your dental specialists will periodically tighten the wire to force alignment.
Metal braces can not only align your teeth but can also close gaps that could otherwise put you at risk for gum disease or infection. Invisalign can solve many of the same aesthetic issues as braces – including crooked or crowded teeth – but they don’t fix your bite. If your bite is off, your dental specialist likely will recommend traditional braces.
Adults typically opt for Invisalign because they are not as noticeable as metal braces. Teenagers usually wear braces, while older patients tend to prefer more subtle treatment. There are some cases, however, wherein traditional braces may be the only solution, particularly with more complicated dental issues.
Pros and Cons
Invisalign braces do not require the ongoing repairs and updates that traditional braces do. With the metal ones, wires can sometimes pop out, or anchors can detach from your teeth. Traditional braces limit what you can eat, keeping you away from chewing gum and especially hard or sticky foods, which can damage anchors or pull out wires.
Invisalign braces are an excellent teeth-straightening solution for serious athletes because you can remove them while playing sports. Traditional braces can cut the inside of your mouth, so if you play contact sports with metal braces, you will need to use a mouthguard.
Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign treatment does not require you to make regular visits to your orthodontist. You are responsible for changing out your trays at home. All you need with Invisalign is a little self-discipline to keep the aligners in at least 20 hours a day.
Weighing Costs and Benefits
Invisalign is typically more expensive than are traditional braces, averaging about $5,000. The cost of metal braces ranges from $1,800 to $5,000, depending on the complexity of your situation.
Both Invisalign and traditional braces will cause a certain amount of discomfort as they realign your teeth. But if you wear Invisalign trays, you don’t have to worry about cutting your mouth on anchors or wires. With traditional braces, you will sometimes have to use saltwater rinses to avoid infections when you develop cuts or sores.
Traditional braces make it more challenging to clean your teeth. You will need to brush carefully around the anchors and floss using special interdental brushes or threaders.
But Invisalign can put you at a higher risk for cavities because the trays cover your teeth completely. If you are using aligners, specialists recommend that you brush your teeth before reinserting them after eating or drinking anything but water. Otherwise, Invisalign aligners can trap food particles in your teeth, which may lead to staining over time.
While Invisalign does not restrict the foods you can eat, you must take out your aligners when you eat or drink, which some people consider an inconvenience. You must keep the aligners in your mouth for at least 20 hours a day to maximize effectiveness. Work with your dentist or orthodontist to choose the straightening treatment that’s best for you!
Part 2 – How Does Invisalign Work?