January 29, 2021

Are Braces or Invisalign Better For My Smile?

Brace vs Invisalign - Orthodontist in Salt Lake City, Utah

Once you learn your or your child could benefit from orthodontic treatment, you may find yourself with more questions than answers in the beginning. At Foothill Orthodontics, we believe that you should have as much information as possible when straightening your smile. “Are braces or Invisalign better for my smile?” Choosing between braces and Invisalign is a big decision and our team is here to help!

Dr. Jeff Chandler and Dr. Brian Anderson are committed to helping you explore all the options available to you and creating a personalized plan based on your specific needs and goals! The first step is scheduling an initial consultation with one of our offices in Foothill or Holladay. During this visit, you’ll have the chance to discuss your concerns with our doctors, including: 

  • how orthodontic treatment will change your smile
  • which treatments would be a good fit for your needs
  • what payment options are available to you
  • what differences exist between popular treatments like metal braces and clear aligners

Traditional metal braces and Invisalign clear aligners are the two treatment options we tend to use the most, so we’ll be taking a look at the pros and cons of each! Having this information will help you decide which treatment options would be the best fit for your unique smile. Keep reading below to learn more! 

The Basics of Orthodontic Treatment

Braces and aligners both apply gentle force to your teeth, moving them into more optimal positions over time. This will align the teeth and jaws, improve the appearance of your smile, and improve your oral health. Traditional braces have been used for hundreds of years in various forms. Because of this, they have a well-established reputation for successfully correcting a variety of orthodontic issues. 

Invisalign is a newer treatment method, but over the last twenty years, this innovative system has grown in popularity with teens and adults. Many patients wonder “are braces or Invisalign better for my smile?” Braces and Invisalign are both excellent options for anyone interested in achieving a beautiful smile, but there are some important differences between them.

Traditional Braces 

Over the years, traditional braces have seen a multitude of changes to their size, shape, and even color. That means this effective treatment option is more functional than ever! Traditional metal braces are useful for correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues, especially more complex or severe cases. Every patient will respond to treatment in their own way, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer as to how long treatment will last. However, the average patient can expect to spend anywhere from 18-36 months in braces. 

Braces can come with a bit of a learning curve. There are certain foods that you’ll need to avoid throughout treatment, as crunchy and chewy foods can damage the brackets and wires. You’ll also need to adjust your dental hygiene routine. It can be tricky learning to navigate around braces, particularly where flossing is concerned, but this is an essential element of successful treatment. 

Fortunately, there are a variety of accessories available to make cleaning easier! Water piks help rinse hard to reach places while ortho-picks simplify flossing for you. It may seem a little overwhelming at first, but don’t worry—these precautions will become part of your daily routine before you know it. 

At Foothill Orthodontics, we also offer clear braces to our Foothill and Holladay patients. These work the same way as metal braces but are made of clear, ceramic materials to blend in with your smile. Clear braces are an excellent option if you’re worried about orthodontic treatment making you stand out.  

Since ceramic brackets are about the same size and shape as metal brackets, they’re just as effective to straighten your smile. However, since the material they’re made of can be more prone to chipping, we typically recommend clear braces for older teens and adult patients. 

Invisalign Clear Aligners

There are two major reasons why Invisalign aligners are the most popular alternative to braces, year after year. They’re nearly invisible, giving patients a more subtle way to straighten their smile, and they’re removable. This provides a level of freedom other treatment methods can’t compare to. The smooth SmartTrack material clear aligners are made from is smooth and tends to be more comfortable than traditional braces. When worn as directed, Invisalign aligners can be just as efficient as braces at correcting many of the most common orthodontic issues. 

Just like braces, the total treatment time for Invisalign patients will vary from case to case, but the average is anywhere 9-18 months. The number of aligners needed will depend on your unique needs, how compliant you are with the guidelines, and how your teeth respond to treatment.  

Because Invisalign aligners are removable, they’re extremely easy to maintain. They’re designed to be removed when eating or drinking anything other than water and before brushing and flossing. Since you don’t have your aligners in during mealtimes, there are no food restrictions. You can continue eating all your favorite snacks as long as you’re careful about brushing and flossing afterward. This makes eating and caring for your teeth a much quicker and less frustrating process!  

Follow-up appointments with Dr. Chandler or Dr. Anderson won’t be as frequent as they would be with braces, but they’re just as important! Aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours each day and switched out every 1-2 weeks in order to be successful. Because they’re custom-designed to fit each patient’s unique needs, these frequent changes are necessary in order to keep up with the shifting of the teeth. Skipping appointments or missing scheduled aligner changes can quickly undo any progress you’ve made.

Find the Best Fit For Your Smile with Foothill Orthodontics

“Are braces or Invisalign better for my smile?” When comparing traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners, it’s a pretty close race! The good news is, our expert orthodontists will only recommend the treatment they feel is best for your specific smile. Our customized treatment plans are built around your unique needs, lifestyle, and goals, so you can achieve a smile that looks and feels great in the shortest amount of time possible!

If you’re ready to discover the best treatment for your smile, get in touch today to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Chandler or Dr. Anderson. Our team is committed to keeping your mouth healthy and aligned for a lifetime of beautiful smiles!

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