Traditional braces are perhaps the most common choice for straightening your teeth, but lately, Invisalign has grown in popularity. Today, we will look at the differences between Invisalign and traditional braces for both teens and adults.
What are traditional braces?
Traditional braces have been around for decades. They have long been the only choice for straightening teeth. It is most common for braces to be used on children, while their teeth are still shifting naturally. Regular braces are generally made of metal and are affixed to the teeth With a strong adhesive. Regular visits to the orthodontist will provide any necessary adjustments and monitoring.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign entered the mainstream market in 2000 and was advertised as a traditional brace alternative. Unlike the metal brackets glued to the teeth with conventional braces, though, Invisalign includes a transparent, comfortable, BPA-free plastic tray that is molded to your teeth. The aligners, the plastic molds, are comfortable, removable, and straightforward.
How long does it take?
While both regular braces and Invisalign will straighten your teeth, they are used differently and can take different lengths of time to correct the teeth. Because traditional braces are glued to the teeth, they are pretty much permanent and are worn 24/7. Most people with conventional braces need them for around two years, though some patients will have them up to five.
Invisalign, on the other hand, can be removed as needed. However, to get the straightening work done, they need to be worn around 22 hours a day for up to a year and a half, depending on the teeth.
How do I maintain them?
Because braces are affixed to the teeth, brushing and flossing can be difficult. Many patients opt for a Waterpik to get in between all of the wires and around the brackets. This can add some time to the oral hygiene practice period
Invisalign is much easier to take care of. Because they are removable, the patient can easily take out the tray, brush and floss as usual, and use the Invisalign cleaning system to properly clean out the tray. This is a step that cannot be missed, even with proper brushing.
How often do I need to see a professional?
If you have traditional braces, you’ll visit the orthodontist about once a month. This allows the orthodontist to make any adjustments or tighten the wires. The patient will also receive any optional treatment devices, such as rubber bands or protective wax.
The aligner trays I’ve Invisalign also need to be reworked, but patients will receive a pack of trays when they begin. They will change trays every two weeks and visit the orthodontist every six weeks to ensure that everything is going according to plan.
Which is best for adults and children?
The short answer is that traditional braces are best for children, and Invisalign is a better choice for adults.
Braces are much more customizable for trickier issues, like teeth growing at extreme angles. Wires and rubber bands can also correct the person’s “bite,” aligning their jaws as well as their teeth. There isn’t so much of a stigma around children having braces, so there’s not a lot of need for an “invisible” option.
On the other hand, Invisalign is an excellent option for adults who never got the chance to have braces when they were younger. The transparent trays will not alter the appearance too much, and won’t cause a distraction as metal brackets and wires might. The trays themselves need proper cleaning and removal during eating. They require teeth to be brushed after each meal, an activity better suited for adults who have regular access to facilities and can take breaks as needed.
If you’re ready to take the plunge for better teeth and aren’t sure which option is best for you, get in touch with the experts at Newton Dental Associates for guidance.