Braces vs. Invisalign

Beautiful teeth make for a beautiful smile. So it only makes sense that people would want their teeth to be as perfect as can be. The problem is, of course, making the decision on how best to handle your teeth: Braces or Invisalign. Both have their benefits, but which one is right for you?

The Basics

Braces are composed of metal brackets glued to your teeth and connected by rubber bands and wire. Modern brackets are smaller and less noticeable than the notorious “metal-mouth” braces than many adults remember. Ceramic brackets are clear so that they blend better with your teeth. Some even use tooth-colored wires to be even less noticeable.

Invisalign are removable aligner trays made of BPA-free plastic that are worn over your teeth. They are formed using X-Rays, impressions, and pictures to fit your teeth and are made clear so as to appear invisible. The aligner trays are replaced approximately every two weeks and the teeth gradually shift into alignment.

The Time?

While braces and Invisalign need to be worn just about 24/7, with braces, they are permanent for the allotted amount of time. Invisalign can be taken off. For this reason, it is best to have a good sense of discipline and self-awareness if you decide to go with Invisalign for best results, while the permanence of braces helps remove the temptation. Invisalign may need to be worn on average 6-18 months if you are proactive in wearing the trays, while braces generally take about two years to orient your teeth. However, both depend on the complexity of your dental issues.

Care and Maintenance

Food can get stuck in your braces, and it can be difficult to eat foods that are sticky or hard but when it comes to cleaning, they are pretty low maintenance. Braces are simply cleaned with your daily brushing.

Invisalign requires a little more work when it comes to keeping your trays clean. Invisalign needs to be taken off whenever you eat or drink something and you need to brush thoroughly after each meal. Food could get caught underneath the trays and cause discoloration of your teeth. You’ll also need to keep your trays clean by brushing and rinsing them in warm water regularly.

When it comes to follow-up appointments with your orthodontist, with braces you will need to visit approximately every month. With Invisalign, you will need to visit the orthodontist to replace your trays every two weeks and go in for a follow-up every 4-6 weeks.


Is one more effective than the other?

It depends on your teeth. If you have more complex issues such as bridgework or a need to move your teeth vertically, then braces will be ideal. However, if your dental work just requires a bit of straightening, Invisalign will work just fine. Invisalign may also be better for someone who plays a lot of sports or any sort of contact activity because the metal in braces could potentially become hazardous in rougher sports.

Are there any downsides?

With any form of dental alignment, you’re likely to experience some discomfort as the teeth are shifting around. With Invisalign, you will not have to deal with any potential discomfort caused by the wiring in braces.

Discoloration can occur with either of these options, whether it is around the brackets of your braces or from food getting stuck under the Invisalign trays. Braces are more prone to tooth breakage when it comes to taking them off but with skilled orthodontists, this is unlikely to be a problem.

And as always, the cost is something to take into account. Depending on the complexity of the work you need to be done, braces can cost anywhere between $1,800 and $5,500 while Invisalign typically costs around $5,000.

Both braces and Invisalign will likely require you to wear some type of retainer long-term following the removal of your preferred treatment. On the bright side, though, with most dental work, wearing the retainer at night will suffice.

Contact Us!

If you want to know more about straightening your teeth, you can reach our Friendly Dental of Worcester office at (508) 340-4611, our Unique Dental of Worcester office at (508) 556-6241, our Taunton Dental Center office at (508) 659-, and our Uxbridge Family Dental office at (508) 714-7046.

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