How is Invisalign Different from Traditional Braces?

GIF courtesy of giphy.com

GIF courtesy of giphy.com

Moms, have you made the decision to get you or your son or daughter’s teeth straightened? Have you typed “Dentists Near Me” into your favorite search engine, attended an appointment and gotten a recommendation for orthodontics? Have you erased that “Dentists Near Me” search and entered “Orthodontists Near Me,” and found Invisalign Teen Stafford or Invisalign King George? If so, you probably have many questions about what to expect from your consultation. Undoubtedly, two of those questions in the back of your mind are these: should I get Invisalign aligners, and how is Invisalign different from traditional braces?

What Are Traditional Braces?

  • Regular braces are made of metal (usually silver) brackets and wires. They are glued directly onto the patient’s teeth and tightened using wires and small rubber bands.
  • The default color of the wires is silver, but enamel color is available at an additional cost.
  • Once the braces are installed they can only be removed by an orthodontist, and only at the end of the treatment.
  • Treatment time is an average of two to three years, depending on a number of factors determined by the orthodontist.
  • Daily maintenance is required. The brackets and wires that make up traditional braces can be brushed along with your teeth, but additional tools like floss and a water pick are helpful to dislodge stray food particles from the metal.
  • Follow-up visits are required monthly. Every four to five weeks you will have to go back to the orthodontist for cleaning, inspection, and to have the brackets adjusted.
  • Follow-up: Individuals who use traditional braces have to continue to use a removable retainer, but hopefully only at night or on an as needed basis.

What are Invisalign Aligners?

  • The Invisalign system uses advanced 3D computer imagining technology and X-rays to identify the ideal position of the aligner in the patient’s mouth. Each aligner is built custom made for your teeth!
  • Invisalign aligners are not semi-permanently attached to the teeth. They are made of smooth, comfortable, BPA-free clear plastic that will not irritate the patient’s tongue, cheeks, or gums. The person wearing them can remove them at any time!
  • The treatment time period is less. Some patients only need to use them for twenty-two to twenty-four hours a day for six months, while others require closer to eighteen months.
  • Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners are completely transparent. As the name implies, they are invisible!
  • Maintenance is simple. The aligners come with the Invisalign Cleaning system and can also be cleaned using brushing and rinsing trays with lukewarm water.
  • Follow-ups with your orthodontist are on a similar time schedule with traditional braces: every four to six weeks. In addition, aligner trays must be changed every two weeks.
  • After the treatment is complete, a positioner or retainer will likely be required. The patient may only be required to wear one while they are asleep.

FAQ: An Orthodontic Specialist | Beecroft Orthodontics | An Orthodontist in Fredericksburg, VA

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How is Invisalign Different from Traditional Braces?

Both traditional braces and Invisalign aligners achieve the same goals: bite issues are resolved, and teeth are straightened and aligned to ideal positions for both proper use and the best look. They differ in their means – in how they achieve that goal. The patient’s task is to determine if the advantages of Invisalign outweigh the disadvantages of traditional braces. Invisalign differs from traditional braces in the following ways:

The Pros

  • Aligners are not permanent! They can be removed as needed by the patient. This is an important benefit because it means that the patient is not restricted by their orthodontics. Brushing their teeth is as easy as ever. Teenagers playing contact sports do not have to worry about forgetting their mouth guard and causing damage, or about eating incorrect food. Prom and yearbook photos are not ruined by metal wires. You can eat anything you want when you remove the Invisalign aligners, including licorice, popcorn, ice, caramel, gum, nuts, carrots, apples, and corn on the cob.
  • Invisalign is invisible! Invisalign is superior over traditional braces for the anxious teenager and the self-conscious adult. You are smiling before and after the treatment, so you should get to smile at it as well!
  • Invisalign is comfortable! Traditional braces can sometimes cause sores on the insides of the cheeks and, in extreme cases, even a small abrasion to the tongue or inside of the lips. The teeth are sore, especially after the orthodontist tightens the brackets that move them. Although saltwater, pain relievers, and wax over any sharp parts can help, with Invisalign the mouth is not irritated by the metal or adhesives, and speech is not impaired.
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Cons

  • Braces are better for more complex issues. Adjusting someone’s bridgework, back teeth, rotating canines or bite is more difficult with Invisalign.
  • Self-discipline is critical! When braces are glued to the teeth there is no chance that they will be lost. You or your child may forget to put them back in after eating or brushing.
  • Insurance issues. Most dental plans cover orthodontic treatment, but because Invisalign is new compared to traditional braces, it is possible that your insurance may not cover it yet.
  • Additional maintenance. If you have traditional braces you can brush your teeth twice a day as normal. Invisalign users must clean their teeth after every meal to avoid staining.
  • Traditional braces are still cheaper then Invisalign aligners.

Are you ready to get the smile you or your teenager have always wanted without having to hide the one you have now? Join the other one million patients who have enjoyed Invisalign since 2000. The Beecroft Orthodontics teams of Invisalign Teen Stafford and Invisalign King George will give you the best Invisalign treatment around! Call for a consultation today!

Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr. Fredericksburg, Virginia

Phone: 540-898-2200

How is Invisalign Different from Traditional Braces?

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