Invisalign vs. Braces: Which is Right for You?

Closeup of Invisalign TraysDid you know that crooked, gapped, or protruding teeth can harm your smile in more ways than one. You already know that crooked teeth can mar the overall look of your smile making it look unhealthy and unattractive. Second, crowded and overlapping teeth create a teeth cleaning nightmare and can increase the risk for gum disease and tooth decay. Traditional metal braces are the most conventional option for straightening a crooked smile, but Invisalign clear aligners, with their shorter average treatment time and discreet appearance might be just the right solution for you.

All About Invisalign

Instead of metal brackets and wire that are attached to the teeth, Invisalign utilizes a series of clear, plastic aligners (similar in shape to whitening trays) to gently move your teeth into alignment. You wear each aligner for at least 22 hours every day and you can even take the aligners off to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Invisalign therapy can often be completed in about 12 months, although failing to wear your aligners correctly can result in a prolonged treatment time.

Advantages of Invisalign

Adults and even teens can feel confident even while undergoing orthodontic treatment with Invisalign, thanks to the nearly invisible design. Other advantages of Invisalign include:

  • When worn correctly, treatment times can be as short as 12 months or less.
  • You can still eat a normal diet and not give up favorites like popcorn, apples, and nuts.
  • Flossing and brushing your teeth continues as normal, so your teeth and gums stay healthier.

Metal Braces: Still the Best Solution for Serious Orthodontic Problems

Although Invisalign is a great solution for some patients, fixed metal braces consisting of a bracket and wires are still the best option for certain patients. Even as the field of orthodontics has grown, traditional braces have the major advantage of being able to correct even severe misalignment and bite issues. A skilled orthodontist can even use clear brackets or tooth-colored brackets to minimize the “metal mouth” appearance of traditional braces. The average treatment time for this type of braces is about 24 months, and you’ll have to visit your dentist about once every month to have the wires tightened.