What is the Difference Between Invisalign® and Braces?

The main differences between Invisalign® and standard braces are obvious; Invisalign® contains no metal, is removable, and is completely see-through, so no one knows you’re wearing braces. However, there are some essential differences between the two kinds of treatments that are important to keep in mind when evaluating which method is the best one for meeting your goals and fitting into your lifestyle:

Compliance - The great part about Invisalign® is that you can remove the aligners whenever you need to -- whether that’s when you’re brushing your teeth or enjoying a meal. However, this also means the temptation of removing your trays for any number of other reasons. Because braces are bonded to your teeth, they’re always working toward straightening your smile. When patients remove their aligners too often, they risk stalling their progress. Invisalign® is designed to be as discreet as possible, so you feel comfortable wearing them all day, but patient compliance is a key differentiating factor between Invisalign® and metal braces.

Caring for your Appliances - Caring for metal braces and Invisalign® both involves making sure to not damage them or the way they work. With braces, it’s advisable to avoid crunchy, hard foods that can pry brackets off of teeth or dent arch wires. Since Invisalign® is removable for eating, diet changes are less of an issue, but the ways in which patients clean their aligners are important. Trays should be rinsed with water or cleaned very gently with a soft bristled tooth brush. Scrubbing aligners or using toothpaste will scuff the plastic and make appliances look cloudy, which is noticeable on teeth.

Minimal Office Visits - Because the arch wires of braces must be adjusted by a dentist or orthodontist to keep progress moving forward, braces patients must schedule frequent trips to their oral health provider. On the other hand, Invisalign® moves teeth through the use of custom trays which can be popped in and out by a patient. If you are diligent in your treatment plan, Dr. Solomon can provide more than one aligner at a time, so you can cut down on trips to our office and switch to new aligners at home.

Where Braces and Invisalign® Meet

Many dentists believe that Invisalign® can’t treat truly complex problems, like bite alignment and severe overcrowding. While it’s true that braces provide the most predictable treatment by removing the issue of patient compliance, our Phoenix Invisalign® dentist takes on advanced alignment problems with Invisalign® as well.

To learn more about if Invisalign® is a smart choice for you, or to bring us your questions about clear braces, contact Dr. Solomon today for your consultation.

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