It's one of the most commonly asked questions we receive from new patients seeking orthodontic treatment:
"What is the difference between braces and clear aligners (like Invisalign)? Can they achieve the same results? Am I a candidate for Invisalign?"
What is different?
One of the most obvious differences between traditional metal braces and clear aligners like Invisalign is the way that they look. Traditional metal braces are quite obvious and while it's fun to play around with different rubber band colors, this might not be the best for some people, especially adults seeking orthodontic treatment that do not want the appearance of braces. Invisalign are, as the name implies, virtually invisible. The clear plastic trays are made just for you to fit snugly across your teeth, making them almost entirely unnoticeable.
How They Are Attached
Braces are glued onto your teeth and once the metal wires are attached they cannot be removed. Invisalign, on the other hand, are clear aligner trays that are fitted perfectly to your teeth and can be removed easily at any time. Because of this, there is a possibility of emergencies with braces if something breaks or gets damaged.
What You Can/Can't Eat
With traditional metal braces, there are some well-known limitations in what you can't eat, especially sticky and crunchy things that can get stuck or damage the braces' hardware. With Invisalign, there are no such limitations because the trays are removable. So long as you don't try to eat or drink with the trays in your mouth and you follow the care instructions for your trays, you will not have to alter your diet whatsoever.
How You Can Clean Your Teeth
Because braces are not removable, they can also present some difficulties in the ways you clean your teeth and maintain your dental health during treatment. You must be especially vigilant to brush food particles, bacteria, plaque, etc. out of the crevices between and around your braces. And since you cannot floss the traditional way, you should have a water floss system to keep the spaces between teeth clean. With Invisalign, though, there are no such limitations and you can brush and floss as normal.
What is the same?
THE SAME! Contrary to popular myth, the costs of braces and Invisalign are comparable and often wind up about the same. We are happy to offer various payment plan options and work with you to find the best option to support your unique situation.