Bronx, NY – Making the decision to visit an orthodontist to straighten your smile is a big decision all on its own. But once you see the orthodontist, you’ll realize that’s not where the decisions stop. Orthodontic treatment has come a long way, and there are now more treatment options available than ever before. Which one is right for you? Dr. Catherine Woo explains the pros and cons of two of the top choices, braces and Invisalign.
Braces are typically made of metal or ceramic and utilize brackets and wires to straighten the teeth. Braces are affixed to the teeth and a metal wire is attached to the braces to gently guide the teeth into place. Invisalign, on the other hand, uses a series of clear, plastic aligners to guide your teeth to their new places treatment planned by your doctor.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each options.
Braces are still used for a reason – they are incredibly effective and efficient. They are also the most cost-effective orthodontic solutions. Braces can be used no matter how difficult your orthodontic issue is because they have a more continuous force to move the teeth into their proper positions. Many patients can enjoy faster treatment times than they would with other treatment options.
They are highly visible. You won’t be able to hide the fact that you are straightening your teeth. Brushing and flossing is a bit more tedious because you have to be sure to clean around the brackets and under the wires. However, with masks nowadays, it may be the best time!
Patients who use traditional braces must also alter their diet during treatment because certain foods can damage the brackets and wires. Patients must take care to avoid anything too sticky, crunchy, hard or chewy as these can pull the brackets off or damage the wire.
Invisalign is designed to be virtually invisible in the mouth because the aligners are made from a smooth, clear plastic. This means it is a much more cosmetically pleasing option than traditional braces. Patients also love Invisalign because the aligners are removable. That means you don’t have to change your diet during treatment because you simply remove the aligners before eating or drinking. It’s also easier to brush and floss your teeth, keeping your smile healthy during treatment.
Because the aligners are made of a smooth plastic, they won’t irritate the inside of your mouth because there are no brackets or wires.
Patients who opt for Invisalign must be very disciplined. Because the aligners are removable, it can be tempting to take them out more often than one should. The aligners should be worn a minimum of 20-22 hours a day, taking them out only to eat, drink, brush and floss. Each aligner set is worn for approximately 7-14 days before moving to the next in the series depending on the type of movement to accomplish. Switching too soon or going out of order can alter the end result.
Aligners must be removed every time you eat or drink anything but plain water. It is important to brush your teeth after snacks and meals before placing the aligners back in. Failing to do so can trap food particles against your teeth, increasing your chance for cavities and gum disease.
The cost of Invisalign today is much closer to the cost of traditional metal braces, however, it is important to remember that Invisalign may not be the best treatment option for every patient. Invisalign may not be effective on more complicated cases, so it’s important to discuss with your orthodontist whether you may be an ideal candidate for Invisalign.
Orthodontic treatment has come a long way, and there are so many more treatment options than ever before. From traditional metal braces to Invisalign, and everything in between including lingual braces (braces on the inside of the teeth). Riverdale Family Orthodontics offers it all. If you would like to schedule a consultation to learn more about the treatment options that may be available to you, call us today at 718-884-7700.