Tooth Tips for Later Life

Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces: Consider the Strengths of Each Option

If you'd like to realign your teeth, you'll often be faced with the decision between traditional metal braces and Invisalign aligners. Invisalign is certainly gaining ground, with the company themselves boasting that over 4 million patients have benefited from their technology, but that isn't to say there aren't more than one or two reasons to consider traditional metal braces instead.

There's no right answer when it comes to traditional braces vs Invisalign, but you can consider the following strengths of either method and make the best choice to fit around your needs.

Why Should You Go for Invisalign Trays?

Invisalign treatments use removeable, transparent aligners that are specially moulded from your teeth. They can be slipped in and out at will, although they will need to be worn for most of the day — dental professionals recommend around 20–22 hours. Those aligners are changed every few weeks, and they exert enough pressure to move your teeth gradually without causing too much discomfort.

Probably the most compelling reason to go for Invisalign aligners is that they are very inconspicuous. You can be talking to someone without them noticing that you're wearing any kind of orthodontic device. This is one of the main reasons why Invisalign treatments tend to be so popular with adults; it can feel more than a little awkward to present work in an important meeting or head out on a first date while wearing traditional metal braces, which are always going to be very noticeable.    

Invisalign aligners also benefit from being removeable. Even though you'll need to wear them for most of the day, you can slip them out when you need to eat or if you simply want to feel free of them for an hour or so. This also means that it's much easier to clean your teeth, which is a task that people often struggle with when they have to negotiate the fixed rubber bands and supports of traditional metal braces.

Treatment time is generally reduced since the aligners can be changed so often, meaning you may just find yourself shaving a few months off your wear-time. As an added plus, there isn't any wire or protruding metal to deal with, so you're not going to puncture or scratch the inside of your mouth.

Why Should You Go for Traditional Metal Braces?

Invisalign aligners are undeniably tempting, with many people convinced solely by their transparency. However, there are a few reasons why you'll want to consider using traditional braces instead.

First and foremost, the fact that Invisalign aligners can be removed is a bit of a double-edged sword. In fact, you'll have to remove your aligners whenever you eat and then clean your teeth before reinserting them. That's fine for your three main meals of the day, but it can become trying when you can't simply grab a quick snack without removing your aligners and cleaning your teeth. And you'll have to follow that same procedure if you want to drink any beverage aside from water, so a quick coffee or a glass of wine are going to become problematic little luxuries.

You'll also have to deal with the fact that you need to be quite dedicated to use Invisalign aligners. There's always the temptation to leave them out longer than you should, especially when you're first getting used to them, and that can significantly stall progress. Metal braces are fixed, so you won't have to bother removing them whenever you want to eat, and you won't be tempted to take them out all the time.

Finally, Invisalign aligners aren't effective in all cases. They are often poor when it comes to moving teeth vertically or rotating them. This will largely depend on your own situation, but your dentist or orthodontist may recommend traditional braces while letting you know that Invisalign is still possible. In general, it pays to go with their recommendation — you don't want to spend years on a treatment method that isn't going to do the best job possible.