Are Braces or Invisalign Better for My Smile?

Dr. Glass February 19, 2021

Are braces or Invisalign better for my smile? When you begin exploring the idea of orthodontic treatment, it’s not unusual to end up with an entire laundry list of questions about the process. Choosing to straighten your smile is a big decision, and you should have as much information as possible about everything treatment involves. 

Here at Glass Orthodontics, we’re committed to helping you explore every option available to you and creating a personalized plan based on your specific needs and goals! The first step is scheduling an initial consultation with one of our four offices, all of which are conveniently located in Atmore, Daphne, Bay Minette, and Brewton. During this visit, you’ll have the chance to talk to Dr. Glass about everything related to treatment, including: 

  • How orthodontic treatment will change your smile
  • Which treatments would be a good fit for your needs
  • What payment options are available to you
  • What differences exist between popular treatments like metal braces and clear aligners

We’ll be focusing on that last point in this blog. Traditional metal braces and Invisalign clear aligners are the two treatment options we tend to use the most, so we’ll be taking a look at the pros and cons of each! Having this information will help you decide which treatment options would be the best fit for your unique smile. Keep reading below to learn more.

The basics of both treatment options

Braces and aligners both work by applying gentle force to the teeth, moving them into straighter positions over time. This aligns the teeth and jaws, improves the appearance of your smile, and increases your oral health. Traditional braces have been used for hundreds of years in various forms! As such, they have a long-standing history of successfully correcting a variety of orthodontic issues. 

Invisalign is a newer addition to the world of orthodontics, but over the last twenty years, this innovative system has gained enormous popularity with teens and adults. Braces and Invisalign are both excellent options for anyone interested in achieving a beautiful smile, but there are some important differences between them to consider before choosing which option would be the best for your smile.

Are Brace or Invisalign Better for My Smile?

Metal braces 

You could say that traditional metal braces put a bit more emphasis on function over style, but they’re still an incredibly effective option for correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues. They’re especially useful for more severe or complex cases. Every case is different and each patient responds to braces in their own way, so treatment time will vary. However, the average patient can expect to spend anywhere from 15-24 months in braces. 

Braces can come with a bit of a learning curve. There are certain foods that need to be avoided throughout treatment since crunchy and chewy foods can wreak havoc on the brackets and wires. You’ll also need to make some slight adjustments to your dental hygiene routine. It can be tricky learning to navigate around braces, particularly where flossing is concerned, but this is an essential part of treatment. 

Fortunately, there are a variety of accessories available to make cleaning easier! Water piks help rinse hard-to-reach places while ortho-picks simplify flossing for you. It may seem a little overwhelming at first, but don’t worry—these precautions will become part of your daily routine before you know it. 

At Glass Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer patients traditional and self-ligating braces. Traditional metal braces are made up of brackets and wires that work together to move the teeth. The braces we use are smaller and more lightweight than past versions, making them more comfortable during your treatment.

Traditional metal braces are extremely efficient at fixing oral issues that range from simple to complex. In fact, they often work faster at closing gaps and aligning teeth than other treatments might. Noticeable signs of progress are often seen in a relatively short amount of time, which can give patients boosts of encouragement throughout their orthodontic journey!

Invisalign clear aligners

There are two major reasons why Invisalign aligners have become the most popular alternative to braces, year after year. They’re nearly invisible, giving patients a truly discreet way to straighten their smile, and they’re removable, too! The smooth SmartTrack material is smooth and tends to be more comfortable than traditional braces. When worn as directed, Invisalign aligners can be just as efficient as braces at correcting many of the most common orthodontic issues. 

Just like braces, the total treatment time for Invisalign patients will vary from case to case, but the average is usually anywhere 9-18 months. The number of aligners needed will depend on your needs, how compliant you are with the guidelines, and how your teeth respond to treatment.  

Because Invisalign aligners are removable, they’re extremely easy to maintain. They’re designed to be taken out before eating or drinking anything other than water and should also be removed before brushing and flossing. Since you don’t have your aligners in during mealtimes, there are no food restrictions. You can continue eating all your favorite snacks as long as you’re careful about brushing and flossing afterward. This makes eating and caring for your teeth a much quicker and less frustrating process!  

You’ll be expected to attend follow-up visits with Dr. Glass, just like a patient in braces. Aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours each day and switched out every 1-2 weeks in order to be successful. Because they’re custom-designed to fit each patient’s unique needs, these frequent changes are necessary in order to keep up with the shifting of the teeth. Skipping appointments or missing scheduled aligner changes can quickly undo any progress you’ve made.

Are Brace or Invisalign Better for My Smile?

Find the best fit for your smile with Glass Orthodontics

When comparing traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners, it’s a pretty close race! The good news is, Dr. Glass will only recommend the treatment he feels is best for your specific smile. Our customized treatment plans are built around your unique needs, lifestyle, and goals, so you can achieve a smile that looks and feels great in the shortest amount of time possible!

If you’re ready to find the best treatment for your smile, get in touch today to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Glass. Our team is dedicated to keeping your mouth healthy and aligned for a lifetime of beautiful smiles!