The primary tools for teeth straightening in modern dentistry are braces and clear aligners. While both are effective, Invisalign® can be ideal for patients looking for fewer dental visits and more comfort. For patients who are diligent and responsible about oral health care, invisible aligners may be the better option.
Braces have existed for almost as long as dentistry, and are the time-tested way to straighten teeth. Invisible aligners, however, have developed into a flexible and capable alternative that can achieve results just as long-lasting. There are multiple reasons many patients choose aligners over braces.
As widely used as traditional braces are, they restrict the foods that patients are allowed to eat and require close monitoring by the dentist. This can cause discomfort and also require the patient to take time out of a busy schedule for dental visits.
Invisalign® addresses both these problems. Patients using aligners are usually required to go in for check-ups once every three months, as opposed to once a month for braces. There are also no food restrictions, as patients take the aligners out to eat, and the trays can even be used to apply whitening gel to teeth. In addition, the aligners are comfortable and easy to clean.
While Invisalign® trays can be regularly taken out and cleaned, braces do not come off until the patient's teeth are straight. This gives bacteria and plaque more opportunity to build up around the contact points, which can lead to tooth decay further down the road. This is one of the reasons why braces require diligent daily cleaning and more frequent dental check-ups. Aligners are easy to clean: Simply take out the trays and scrub with a toothbrush or soak in the cleaning solution. This means that Invisalign® patients need to see the dentist less often than patients with braces.
Whatever the opinion on how attractive traditional braces are, the fact remains that they are very noticeable. Braces can be stylized with different band colors, but they are still visible on the teeth. When aligners are properly cleaned and cared for, however, they are subtle and difficult to notice. In fact, Invisalign® derives the name from being "invisible." For certain patients, especially older teens and working adults, this makes aligners a common choice over braces.
Braces are reliable, but the amount of time required to achieve alignment is variable. While the effectiveness of Invisalign® also depends on each unique case, it is often more immediately effective than braces and can be expedited. Aligners apply pressure all around the tooth, as opposed to exerting pressure across contact points. This makes aligners flexible and effective, and allows dentists to offer patients more options for the treatment's duration.
Braces and Invisalign® are both popular tools for aligning teeth, but aligners offer greater flexibility and convenience to patients, requiring fewer dental visits for effective treatment. Patients should consult with the dentist to determine which option is the appropriate fit for their circumstances.
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