Braces used to be seen in a pretty negative light, and even today, most people would rather not deal with them. Patient concerns typically center around discomfort, food restrictions, and pain during the initial procedure.
These days, however, pain and unsightliness with braces have become things of the past. Thanks to alternatives like Invisalign, you no longer have to worry about how your braces will look in pictures or how the procedure will be. Our dental team will guide you through the Invisalign process and will also monitor your progress closely to ensure your teeth are moving in place.
You may be wondering: does Invisalign still work as well as traditional braces? In this piece, we’ll examine the drawbacks of traditional braces, the difference between braces and Invisalign, and why Invisalign is a better option depending on your situation.
Drawbacks of Metal and Ceramic Braces
While you might have heard a few horror stories about traditional braces in your lifetime, that doesn’t mean they’re all bad. Braces are a very necessary orthodontic procedure, and traditional braces are especially helpful for those with:
- Severe teeth crookedness
- Large tooth gaps
- A misaligned bite
Your dentist will typically be the one to determine what exactly you need to straighten your teeth or improve the appearance of your smile. In some cases, you may even need the help of other dental services, like dentures or dental implants, if you also have missing teeth.
When it comes to braces vs. Invisalign, though, sometimes it’s ultimately up to you what you want based on your individual needs. Here are a few reasons why patients typically want to avoid traditional braces:
Metal Braces Can Be Uncomfortable
For dentists that offer traditional braces, the wiring and attachments can either be made with metal or ceramic. While this ensures that the braces last a long time and never get bent out of shape, putting them on can make for an uncomfortable experience. Even after wearing them for a few months, patients may still feel discomfort.
If patients need to get traditional braces, they tend to favor ceramic braces over metal braces. Metal braces are known to be a bit harsher on the teeth, especially in the beginning.
However, opting for ceramic braces can sometimes lead to a longer treatment time, which can last up to three years for more severe cases. Ceramic braces also require more visits to the dentist for adjustments.
Traditional Braces Are More Noticeable
In particular, children in grade school dislike the look of traditional braces. However, regardless of how old you are, everyone has a preference for how they want to look in photos.
While the stigma around braces isn’t as bad as it used to be, most people want to have the process done as quickly as possible. Sometimes, braces can come in different colors that the patient can ask for. Regardless of the color, however, traditional braces will always be more noticeable than Invisalign.
Food Gets Stuck in Between Traditional Braces Often
Another reason why you may have heard that people don’t like traditional braces is because of the hassle they cause at the dinner table. There are a variety of foods you’ll need to consume very little of or stop eating altogether when you get metal or ceramic braces. These foods include:
- Chewy candies
- Tough cuts of meat
- Hard chocolate
- Corn chips
Even worse, if you do get food stuck in your teeth, it can take a while to get it out. In some cases, if you’re eating out at a restaurant, you may have to wait until you get home to brush your teeth to remove the food debris.
This is not only annoying to deal with, but it can also cause discomfort and even pain if left untreated. Traditional braces even also lead to teeth discoloration, which is why patients sometimes need a teeth whitening treatment after their teeth have straightened.
Metal Braces Can Increase Your Risk of Demineralization and Tooth Decay
Because traditional braces can cause issues with your eating habits, it makes sense that they can increase the possibility of an additional dental problem. That’s why regular trips to the dentist and preventative dentistry are so essential during the process.
While you can typically feel it when food gets stuck between your teeth or your wiring, sometimes you may not be able to. Without properly cleaning your teeth–which is harder to do with the wire used in traditional braces–acids from food debris will slowly eat away at your enamel.
This can then lead to dental caries and even gum disease over time. If this happens, your dentist will then need to take off your braces to treat the issue before it turns into a cavity or periodontal disease.
Why Invisalign Is the Best Option for Adults in Pineville, NC
While traditional braces do have their drawbacks, they’re typically better for those with severe teeth alignment issues or children who need constant supervision. However, when it comes to adults with minor to moderate teeth crookedness, Invisalign is typically the better option.
There are a variety of benefits with Invisalign compared to traditional braces. These benefits include how the clear aligners get installed, the transparency of the design, the comfort and reliability of the design, and the minimal change to your eating habits.
Benefit #1: How Clear Aligners Work
When you first start the Invisalign process, your dentist will examine your mouth and then create your dental aligners based on the shape of your mouth. This will help them create your first tray. It will also help them determine if you need tooth-colored attachments to secure the clear aligners to your teeth.
After your first appointment, you will then need to wait a couple weeks or so before your dentist will examine your mouth for changes. This will also be the time they give you your next set of trays to place over your teeth. From there, you will continue to get new trays every few weeks or so until your teeth straighten out.
Since there is no wire involved, you can easily remove and place the clear aligners whenever you want. Keep in mind that, in order for the treatment to work, you will have to be diligent in keeping the aligners on for 22 to 24 hours.
Benefit #2: Nearly Invisible Design
If you have a few photo ops coming up, especially for professional photos or weddings, you don’t have to dread how your picture will look with Invisalign. Because both the trays and the attachments are clear, your braces won’t distract from your face, even in closer shots.
This is especially helpful for outside pictures. Clear aligners don’t reflect sunlight like metal does, so you can smile as big as you’d like.
Benefit #3: Comfort and Reliability During Work
When you’re sitting through meeting after meeting, the last thing you want to do is feel discomfort. When it’s time for your lunch break, discomfort can be especially annoying.
With Invisalign, you don’t have to deal with discomfort while you speak. Because the trays are much softer than metal or ceramic, you also have less of a chance of developing sores in your mouth. Putting in and adjusting the trays is also quick and painless.
Benefit #4: No Dietary Restrictions Necessary
Straightening your teeth can take a long time, depending on how crooked your teeth are. During all that time, you don’t want to have to make any huge changes, especially to your diet. That’s why one of the biggest reasons patients prefer Invisalign over traditional braces is that they don’t have to change their diet.
Even with Invisalign, sometimes treatment can take as long as 2 years to complete. Thankfully, because Invisalign can be easily removed, if food gets stuck, you can brush your teeth after you take the trays out. As long as you don’t keep the trays out of your mouth for more than 2 hours a day, you’re in the clear.
Invisalign can even be taken out while you eat certain foods, especially if they’re sticky or extra crunchy. It’s vital to take care of your oral health while you have braces, so you don’t develop any dental health issues down the line. With no wire, you’re much less likely to develop cavities, gum disease, and even tooth discoloration after your treatment is done.
Schedule an Appointment for Invisalign in Pineville, NC
At Radiant Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we want what is best for you long-term. That means providing you with oral health solutions that we know are highly regarded and have a proven track record of positive reviews. Because we know that oral health affects your overall health, we also use high-quality materials for our procedures.
For example, our clear aligners are made only with BPA-free plastic. We also provide other treatments to make your experience in our Pineville dental office an enjoyable one, such as soothing nitrous oxide.