Invisalign vs Braces: Which is Right for Me?

The two most popular treatment options for malocclusion are traditional lingual braces and Invisalign® aligners. While the primary goal of both of these treatments is to realign a patient’s smile, they each do it in a slightly different manner. Before making a choice for yourself or your child, you should take some time to learn about the pros and cons of each treatment option. This may help answer the question of which is right for you when it comes to Invisalign® vs braces.

Lingual Braces

There are currently four million people in the United States who are wearing traditional metal braces. For many years, lingual braces were one of the only treatment options for misaligned teeth. While they do come with some drawbacks, they are also very effective. Braces are nothing more than a series of brackets connected with wires and bands. Once the brackets are attached to the patient’s teeth, the wires and bands will apply a gentle amount of pressure. Over time, this pulls the teeth into the correct pattern.

The two most common complaints made by patients with metal braces are their appearance and how they feel in the mouth. While some of the components can be made in different colors, they are still visible at all times.

Invisalign® Aligners

Invisalign® aligners have become very popular in recent years due to their subtlety. Instead of attaching brackets to the teeth, removable clear trays are used. Once in the mouth, these trays are nearly invisible and have very little impact on a patient’s speech. Much like braces, they apply a small amount of pressure to the teeth at all times. Older trays must be replaced with new custom trays every two weeks to continue applying the proper amount of pressure.

The primary drawback of Invisalign® is the fact that these aligners cannot treat all forms of malocclusion. Patients who have alignment issues with their back teeth will most likely need to use braces for at least a few months before Invisalign® becomes practical. These aligners also cannot treat issues with the vertical placement of one’s teeth. Teeth that are protruding too far will not be pulled back into place with Invisalign® trays.

Invisalign® vs Braces

When it comes down to Invisalign® vs braces, each patient will need to speak with our orthodontist at the office of Dr. Brodie Bowman, DMD to see which is the best option for their own situation. For many patients, age will be a major factor in this decision as well. Some younger patients tend to leave their Invisalign® aligners out for too long when eating or brushing their teeth, and this can delay their treatment. Others have severe malocclusion that simply cannot be corrected with Invisalign®.

No matter what treatment style is chosen, it is important that all patients carefully follow the instructions given to them by our orthodontist, including which foods to avoid and how to properly clean their teeth while they are being straightened. To learn more about your options, visit one of our offices in Fort Walton Beach or Niceville. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.