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Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces: Which Is Right for You?

Straighter Smiles for Brunswick Patients

holding invisible alignerWhether we want to improve our smile or our kids have reached that age, exploring the world of orthodontic methods can spur memories of those “brace face” characters in the movies from the 1980s and ’90s – those quirky teens who had clunky, wire-prominent installations in their mouths and were teased by the other characters in the story.

In fact, for many of us of a certain age, getting your braces removed was a rite of passage and the first version of the now popular social media phenomenon, the “glow up”!

In reality, there are now several more effective, efficient and aesthetically pleasing options to choose from for teeth straightening, from traditional metal braces to several brands of clear aligners. As you decide among the choices we have now for orthodontics, here are some pros and cons of each style and what you can expect during the management of your plan.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Each

Appearance is probably the first thing patients think about when deciding between a clear aligner, like Invisalign or ClearCorrect, and traditional braces. Clear aligners are transparent, removable trays made of a smooth, comfortable plastic material. They are custom-made to gradually shift teeth into the desired position.

Traditional braces, as you likely know, consist of metal brackets bonded to the teeth and connected by wires. They work by applying continuous pressure to gradually move teeth into the correct alignment. Aligners are reported by patients to be more comfortable than braces because braces involve wires and brackets attached to the teeth that can cause discomfort to the surrounding gums.

The complexity of the patient’s case will help determine which path they are better off traveling down. Clear aligners are effective for treating mild to moderate orthodontic issues, such as crowded teeth, gaps, and mild bite problems. Traditional braces can address a wider range of orthodontic issues, including severe misalignment, complex bite problems, and cases requiring significant tooth movement.

Lifestyle, Hygiene and Patient Responsibility Play a Role

Depending on which route you choose to take, or which one is most appropriate for your level of need, your lifestyle may be affected by traditional braces. You will be asked to refrain from eating hard and sticky foods, to avoid breaking off brackets that are attached to the tooth. Additionally, cleaning around the brackets and wires requires extra effort and specialised tools to ensure thorough oral hygiene.

Clear aligners, on the other hand, are removable. They allow patients to eat and drink without restrictions. They can also be easily removed for regular brushing and flossing, promoting better oral hygiene.

child with bracesAnd, though they can be taken out for special occasions or activities, one of the things to remember about clear aligners is that they must be worn for the recommended amount of time each day to achieve optimal results. If you are inconsistent with how often you’re wearing them, this can extend the time, and cost, of your plan. A typical timeframe for aligners is several months to a few years.

If you’re assessing the best fit for your child or teen, traditional braces don’t require you or your child to remember putting them in each day like clear aligners do, and they can’t get lost on restaurant tables, friends’ houses, or at school. Treatment with traditional braces usually takes around 18 to 36 months, although this can also vary based on individual factors and the severity of the orthodontic issues.

Straighter Smiles, Just Ahead!

At Green Apple Dental Clinic, we’ll help you choose the best path for your specific dental needs and your budget. If you have questions about exploring orthodontics for yourself or your children, we’re happy to help. Contact our practice today!

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