People hear “orthodontics” and think of clunky, traditional metal braces, but orthodontic treatment has come a long way since those days. Today, patients have several options without the mouthful of metal people remember. Braces at Hamilton, Wilson & Hendrickson Orthodontics are small and more efficient, and they even come in a clear option. We also have another option — Invisalign clear aligners!
So which option is best for you, braces or Invisalign? Our job at Hamilton, Wilson & Hendrickson Orthodontics is to help you figure out which treatment is the best option for you or your child.
Knowledge is key, so we’re going to drop some knowledge on the pros and cons of braces and Invisalign.
Pros and Cons of Braces
When you hear “braces,” you might think of a ton of metal hiding your teeth with big wires holding everything together. The good news is: Today’s braces are nothing like that.
We use an advanced Braces system, which takes the self-ligating system a step further. Our braces don’t use rubber bands to hold the archwire in place. Instead, a smaller wire is threaded through the brackets, which have a tiny door closing and holding the wire in place.
The reason we love our advanced system is that they’re both more comfortable and more efficient than traditional braces. That means faster treatment times for you with less discomfort!
The Advantages of Braces
Braces have a lot of advantages. As the oldest method of orthodontic treatment (there are crude versions discovered as far back as ancient Egypt!), they are a tried-and-true method of correcting various dental issues. Some of the pros of braces are:
Suitable for All Cases
Braces can treat even the most severe orthodontic cases and can treat several problems at the same time. This means if you have an overbite and gapped teeth, they can fix both issues simultaneously. Severe open bite? Braces have you covered!
Braces can treat all of these:
- Open bites
- Gapped teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Deep bites
- Rotated teeth
- Teeth erupted above the gumline
Braces aren’t removable, but this has its advantages. Since they’re always in your mouth, they’re always working. You never have to worry about prolonging your treatment time because you didn’t wear them long enough each day.
Suitable for All Ages
They also can be worn by all patients, from adults to young teenagers. We currently don’t offer Invisalign for young children.
Affordable Orthodontic Care
Metal braces also tend to be less expensive than other treatment options. That’s good news for those who are trying to stick to a tight budget.
Multiple Types of Braces Available
Clear braces offer the same efficiency but with less visibility. The clear ceramic braces have the same reliability as stainless steel ones but with clear ceramic brackets that blend better with the teeth. The result is braces that are less visible but just as effective as metal ones.
The Disadvantages of Braces
Braces are an excellent option, but they do have a couple of drawbacks.
Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing and flossing are more complex than with clear aligners. You must use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently, or you could risk damaging the brackets or wires. It’s also slightly more challenging to floss without the assistance of flossing tools designed to go under the wire.
Aesthetics of Braces
The braces we use have smaller brackets than traditional ones, but they’re still fairly visible. Clear braces do reduce this disadvantage, however. The fact is, some people just don’t like the look of braces — they worry they’ll feel self-conscious about their appearance in some settings. If that’s you, that’s okay.
Food Restrictions and Preparation
The biggest disadvantage for most people is the food restrictions. Because you can’t remove braces like you can clear aligners, you have to watch what you eat to avoid damaging your braces. The foods you’ll need to avoid include:
- Hard candy
- Chewy candy such as toffee
- Crunchy raw vegetables, such as carrots
- Hard foods such as hard taco shells and tortilla chips
- Chewy foods such as bagels and pizza crust
- Hard bread and crackers such as melba toast
Such foods can damage wires and brackets and should be avoided until the braces are removed.
Despite the cons, braces are a well-established way to solve most orthodontic issues. Whether you choose metal or clear braces, you will end up with a beautiful smile!
Pros and Cons of Invisalign
Hamilton, Wilson & Hendrickson Orthodontics is a Top 1% Invisalign Provider for the entire country! That means we are among the most experienced orthodontists nationwide in working with Invisalign.
The Advantages of Invisalign
For those hesitant to wear braces, Invisalign clear aligners may be the answer. These clear aligners offer the same correction capabilities without the look of metal or ceramic braces, blatantly visible metal brackets strapped across your teeth. Here are some of the benefits of Invisalign to straighten your smile.
Invisalign Looks Better Than Braces
Invisalign and Invisalign Teen use clear acrylic aligners customized for each patient. Because of the material and the exact fit, they are a nearly invisible way to get the smile you want.
Suitable For Many Cases
Invisalign clear aligners treat several orthodontic issues:
No Food Restrictions
The biggest con for braces is the biggest pro for Invisalign — food restrictions. Here are the food restrictions for Invisalign:
Just kidding! There are no food restrictions! You simply remove your Invisalign aligners to eat or drink (anything but clear water), then clean them off, brush your teeth, and put the aligners back in your mouth when you’re finished.
It’s Easier to Brush and Floss Your Teeth
Speaking of brushing and flossing, those tasks are much easier with Invisalign. Again, you simply remove the trays from your mouth before brushing and flossing normally. Then you clean the aligners and put them back into your mouth. No need for special flossing tools!
Faster Treatment Times
Invisalign also has a slightly shorter treatment time. Where braces average 12-24 months of treatment, Invisalign averages 9-15 months. You can start to see a difference in a matter of weeks, and some patients complete treatment in as little as six months! The best part is people can still see your smile, even as a work in progress!
The Disadvantages of Invisalign
Invisalign has a lot going for it, but there are a few disadvantages to keep in mind.
Invisalign Effectiveness vs. Braces
Invisalign and Invisalign Teen continue to advance as technology improves. They can solve more dental issues than ever. However, for the most severe cases, braces are still the better option. In a few cases, braces might be the only option.
Patients Have to Be Disciplined
Clear aligners also lose their effectiveness if you don’t wear them at least 22 hours a day as prescribed. Unlike braces, which are working 24/7, clear aligners like Invisalign only work as long as you’re wearing them. Missing time with your Invisalign could prolong your treatment time or produce a less-than-perfect result.
You Might Lose Your Clear Aligners
Because they’re removable, Invisalign clear aligners can get lost or damaged. You never want to wrap your aligners in a napkin at a restaurant. It’s far too easy to throw them out. Do you have a pet? Better keep them away from your aligners, or they could end up as chew toys. You never have to worry about that with braces.
Braces vs. Invisalign in Topeka
There are several pros and cons for both braces and Invisalign. That leads to the big question — which one is right for you?
That may be a difficult call without more information, right? That’s where we come in.
If you’re in Topeka, Kansas, you can schedule an appointment for a free, no-obligation consultation. We will examine your case and identify any issues that can and should be treated. Then we’ll talk through all of your options so you can make the most informed decision possible for you and your family.
Whether you choose braces or Invisalign, we will help you create the smile of your dreams!