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What’s The Difference Between Metal Braces and Invisalign?

We know getting braces for you or your children or for yourself is a big decision. Our patients have all kinds of questions about the process of straightening the teeth with braces. How long will it take? Will it hurt? Which type of braces is better for you?

One of the most common questions we hear is what is the difference between traditional metal braces and the “invisible” braces, called Invisalign? We thought it might be helpful to cover the differences in this blog. Read on to understand the differences and figure out what’s best for you.

Traditional Braces vs. Invisalign

Both types of braces were designed to straighten teeth. The goal of any type of braces is to improve a person’s smile. It can also help improve your oral health, especially if the teeth are very crooked, it can be very hard to keep them clean.

But braces work differently from Invisalign. Specifically:

  • Braces have metal brackets that are glued to the teeth and then wired together with small metal brackets and tiny rubber bands.
  • Invisalign are much harder to see – in fact, they’re supposed to be invisible. Instead of being glued to the teeth, Invisalign are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the top of the teeth. Every few weeks, the trays are changed, gradually pushing the teeth into better and more attractive positions.

What are some of the other differences between these types of braces?

  • First, one of the biggest benefits of Invisalign is that they can be removed for eating. That makes it a lot easier to keep the teeth cleaned.
  • What you may not realize is that there are some customizations available on traditional metal braces to make them look a little less noticeable.
  • Both types of braces may require a retainer as part of the orthodontic treatment plan.
  • Invisalign is quite a bit more expensive than metal braces, but they’re hardly noticeable, which most people believe is worth the cost.
  • Both types of braces may come with some initial discomfort as the teeth are being moved.
  • It is a lot harder to keep teeth clean with the traditional types of braces. Hard or sticky foods should be completely avoided.
  • Traditional metal braces may not be ideal for anyone playing contact sports.
  • Invisalign is not ideal for everyone. If you have bridgework or problems with your back teeth alignment, metal braces would be better.

Generally, Invisalign is for people that feel self-conscious about metal braces. Or, if you’re too impatient to be meticulous about cleaning your teeth around the metal brackets, Invisalign may be a better choice. On the flip side, if you are not diligent about keeping the Invisalign trays on, the entire process could be disrupted.

What’s best for you or your family members is not just up to personal choice, Invisalign won’t work for every type of dental problem. To discuss your options, it’s best to have an appointment with Truman Orthodontics. We can help you make the right decision to fit your individual situation.

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