Invisalign vs. Braces: Pros and Cons

Posted by On 26-04-2021

When you make the decision to improve your smile, you might be looking for treatments to straighten your teeth. While traditional wire braces are the most common solution, the introduction of Invisalign provides an alternative. Invisalign uses the same approach as braces, gradually easing your teeth into the ideal position.

However, that’s where the similarities end. It has become the preferred choice for most adults and teens because they provide a practically invisible treatment that is just as effective as braces. Here we look at the pros and cons of Invisalign to help you make the choice that’s best for you.

Pros of Invisalign

Invisalign has become popular for the following reasons:

  • More Comfortable than Braces: Invisalign does not use wires or brackets that require ongoing painful adjustments. Not only are the adjustments painful but the wires themselves can actually cause irritation, cuts, and nicks in your mouth. Invisalign aligners are smooth and comfortable and also don’t need painful adjustments.

  • Invisible: The clear plastic trays for Invisalign are practically invisible when you smile. This is far more appealing when compared to the wire “train tracks” of traditional braces.

  • Low Maintenance: As mentioned above, Invisalign treatment is low maintenance. You don’t have to worry about scheduling appointments to have your braces adjusted at your orthodontist’s office. Instead, you simply switch your trays every few weeks at home.

  • Removable: Although you should wear your aligners 22 hours a day, they are removable. This makes it easier to eat, drink and brush your teeth compared to traditional braces. You never have to worry about getting food caught in your braces and you can also avoid dental issues related to poor dental hygiene due to braces. You carry on with your usual dental hygiene unhindered by the wires.

  • Easy Care: Your aligners require minimal care with a quick rinse and brushing to remove debris and keep them fresh.

  • Safe for Sports: If you lead an active life or participate in team sports, your Invisalign aligners are much safer than braces. A blow to the face, even without much force can cause severe cuts and lacerations of the lips, cheeks or tongue with braces. This is not as risky with aligners. You can even decide to take your aligners out during the game, although this isn’t recommended.

  • Enjoy Your Food: Because you can take your aligners out to eat, you can enjoy all the foods you like without the restrictions of braces. For example, with aligners, you can eat popcorn, hard or sticky foods without worry. However, the hard and sticky foods aren’t the healthiest choices!

Cons of Invisalign

There are some cons to Invisalign, including:

  • Cost: Because of their convenience, comfort and appearance, you definitely are looking at a higher cost for your Invisalign treatment. On top of this, because they are more of a “luxury” treatment, they are rarely if ever covered by dental insurance, whereas braces often are covered at least in part. You could end up paying upwards of $5000 for Invisalign.

  • Easier to Lose: Because you are constantly taking your aligners out to eat and brush your teeth, it is easy to lose them. Not only is this inconvenient but there’s the increased cost of having to pay for replacements.

  • Possible Attachments: In an effort to improve performance Invisalign has introduced attachments that stick to your teeth more like standard braces. While this improves fit and effectiveness, it takes away from the aligners’ appeal of being practically invisible.

  • 22 Hours: While being able to take the aligners out is a pro, it can also be a con. If you fail to stick to the recommended 22 hours for wear time, it can slow down or even reverse the process. This is easy to do since it can be tempting to take them out more often for first dates, selfies, job interviews etc.

  • Discomfort: While most people find the aligners more comfortable than traditional braces, you can expect to experience discomfort with every switch of the trays. This increases pressure which can be quite painful, although the pressure does ease up after a day or so. Most people find if they switch the trays at bedtime, they can take a pain reliever, sleep it off and then wake up with reduced discomfort.

  • Annoying: Some people find having to take the aligners off for every meal and snack to be an annoyance. While it can help avoid getting food caught in your teeth like braces, you have to find a place to store them safely and also rinse them before putting them back in your mouth. Since you eat about three times a day and also might take them out to enjoy a coffee, this can quickly become a nuisance.

As you can see, Invisalign offers many pros, but it’s also important to be aware of the negative possibilities. If you have a reasonable budget and are a responsible person who will be less likely to take your aligners out too often, Invisalign could be ideal. However, if you have dental benefits to cover your braces or don’t have benefits at all, and also tend to be a little less disciplined, then traditional braces might prove to be the better option for your lifestyle.

If you would like more information about Invisalign, call Milltown Dental at 905-878-8528 or contact us here.

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