If you’re considering orthodontic treatment as an adult, you’re likely weighing your options between Invisalign and traditional braces. Many patients wonder if Invisalign is really as effective as braces or if the trade-off for a more discreet orthodontic treatment is one that doesn’t work as well. Ultimately, the decision is up to you—you’ll have to take your lifestyle and personal preferences into account to decide which option is best. Here are some things to consider.
Most adult patients who opt for Invisalign do so because it allows them to undergo the orthodontic treatment they need without having to flash a mouthful of metal every time they smile. Invisalign aligners are made with thin, clear plastic that fits flush against your teeth. Even when you’re having a conversation with someone sitting or standing a few feet away, they’re unlikely to notice that you’re wearing aligners.
Ceramic braces are certainly less noticeable than traditional metal braces, but the wire is still visible when you smile. Lingual braces, which are applied to the backs of the teeth, are another more discreet orthodontic treatment, but they’re much more costly than Invisalign aligners. When it comes to appearance, Invisalign is superior to the alternatives.
Comfort is another advantage of Invisalign. Braces can feel bulky on your teeth; you have to go to the orthodontist every month to get them adjusted and tightened, which can be painful. Invisalign aligners are made with a comfortable, unobtrusive plastic material that feels more natural than braces. While you’re likely to feel some tightness and discomfort when you switch from one set of aligners to the next, the process is much less uncomfortable than that of having the wires on braces tightened.
Invisalign aligners have less of an impact on your daily routines and habits than traditional braces. With Invisalign, you can continue to eat all of your favorite foods because you’ll remove your aligners before meals and snacks. This means that no foods are off limits. With braces, you can’t have popcorn, gum, or chewy candies. Even a surprising number of healthy foods can cause damage to your braces, including nuts, apples, carrots, and steak.
You can also maintain your regular oral hygiene routine with Invisalign. Remove your aligners and brush and floss like normal. Having braces means adding time to your oral hygiene routine because brushing and flossing both take longer and require extra care.
Invisalign and traditional metal braces both do an excellent job correcting bite issues and straightening teeth. There are very few cases in which Invisalign isn’t an option. For most patients, braces and Invisalign work equally well and the decision comes down to what you’re looking for in an orthodontic treatment.