The word “orthodontics” often conjures up images of a mouthful of metal braces. Today’s braces bear little resemblance to the old braces of the past. Patients now have more options for orthodontics than ever, including clear braces and treatment with clear aligners such as Invisalign, both of which we offer. But which option is best for you? That’s where Smith & Davis Orthodontics comes in!
It’s our job to help you decide which treatment is best for you. We do that by providing you with a thorough, no-obligation evaluation and laying out the best options for your orthodontic needs.
It never hurts to know more about your options beforehand, though. So let’s look at some pros and cons of braces and Invisalign.
Pros and Cons of Braces
When you think of braces, you automatically think of a mouth full of metal, right? Well, the braces offered at Smith & Davis are different. They’re clear!
We use 3M Clarity Advanced braces for our patients because we know you may feel a bit self-conscious with metal braces. Our braces are closer to your natural tooth color, so they’re harder to see from a distance. The archwire that goes through the clear brackets is thinner than older wires, adding to the low profile of the Clarity Advanced braces.
You can keep these braces at a low profile, or you can use them to show off your style and personality. That’s because we have a wide variety of colored elastics available. You can choose one color or mix it up a bit. Show off your school colors, pick colors for a special holiday, whatever you like to do, you can make your smile really shine!
That’s just one advantage of our 3M Clarity Advanced braces, but there are plenty of others.
The Advantages of Choosing Braces
Braces have a lot of advantages when it comes to orthodontic treatment. They’re a tried-and-true method dating back to ancient Egypt! Today’s braces are far more advanced, thankfully, and our clear braces have even more advantages.
Suitable for All Cases
Braces can be used to correct even the most severe orthodontic issues, from deep bites to severe overcrowding to rotated teeth. We can also fix several problems at once with braces.
Braces can be used to treat:
- Open bites
- Gapped teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Deep bites
- Rotated teeth
- High canines and other teeth above or below the gum line
Because braces aren’t removable, they work on straightening your teeth 24 hours a day. You don’t have to worry about whether you’re wearing them long enough or whether not wearing them long enough each day means you’ve prolonged your treatment time.
Suitable for All Ages
Braces can be worn by all patients, from adults to teenagers to children. We currently don’t offer Invisalign for young children.
Clear Braces Available
Clear braces offer the same efficiency but with less visibility. The clear ceramic braces we offer have the same reliability as metal braces but with clear ceramic brackets that blend better with the teeth. Clear braces are less visible but just as effective as metal ones.
The Disadvantages of Braces
Braces are a great option, but there are some minor disadvantages with them, which is why we offer Invisalign and Invisalign Teen as well. Let’s look at a few cons when it comes to braces.
Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing and flossing can be a bit more challenging with braces. You must use a soft-bristled brush, or you can damage the wires and brackets. You’ll also need a special threader to get around the archwires and floss correctly.
Aesthetics of Braces
Clear braces reduce the visibility of your braces, but they are still more visible than clear aligners. Some people prefer not to have braces on their teeth, which is OK. We can work with you to get the best treatment for you.
Food Restrictions and Preparation
The biggest disadvantage of braces is the food restrictions. You can’t remove braces like you can clear aligners, so you have to watch what you eat to avoid damaging your braces. The foods to avoid include:
- Hard candy
- Chewy candy such as toffee
- Crunchy raw vegetables, such as carrots
- Hard foods such as hard taco shells and tortilla chips
- Chewy foods such as bagels and pizza crust
- Hard bread and crackers such as melba toast
These restrictions are only while you are in your braces. Once the braces are off, you can enjoy these foods again.
Braces are a great way to solve your orthodontic issues despite these minor disadvantages. You’ll end up with the smile you’ve always wanted!
Pros and Cons of Invisalign
Smith & Davis Orthodontics offers Invisalign and Invisalign Teen for those who prefer an alternative to braces. Invisalign has come a long way and can treat a vast array of dental issues nowadays. But they do have some disadvantages. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Invisalign treatment.
The Advantages of Invisalign
Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are popular alternatives for those hesitant to wear braces. They are capable of correcting your dental issues while being nearly invisible. Invisalign has some great advantages over braces.
Invisalign Is Nearly Invisible
Invisalign and Invisalign Teen use clear acrylic aligners customized to your mouth. The clear acrylic means they are nearly invisible while in your mouth. That means you can flash your beautiful smile anytime!
Suitable For Many Cases
Invisalign clear aligners treat many orthodontic issues:
- Open bites
- Gapped teeth
- Crowded teeth
They are becoming more advanced over time, which means they can treat more dental issues than ever before! So if you weren’t a good candidate for Invisalign in the past, you might be a good candidate now!
No Food Restrictions!
That big disadvantage for braces — food restrictions — doesn’t exist for Invisalign! When you get ready to eat, you simply remove your clear aligners, store them away, then brush and floss before putting them back in your mouth. Easy peasy!
It’s Easier to Brush and Floss
Because Invisalign is removable, brushing and flossing are just as easy as before. There’s no need to worry about special flossing tools or whether you might accidentally break a wire or loosen a bracket by brushing or flossing!
Faster Treatment Times
Invisalign, on average, has shorter treatment times than braces. Braces generally take 12-24 months for treatment, whereas Invisalign treatment lasts only about 9-15 months on average. You can start to see the difference in your smile in a matter of weeks. In some cases, treatment can take as little as six months.
The Disadvantages of Invisalign
Invisalign has a lot to brag about, but there are a few disadvantages to keep in mind when choosing between clear aligners and braces.
Invisalign Effectiveness Compared to Braces
Invisalign and Invisalign Teen have advanced greatly over the last few years. They can solve more dental issues than ever, but some of the more severe cases still require braces for proper treatment.
Patients Have to Follow Doctor’s Orders
Clear aligners are less effective if they’re not worn 22 hours a day as prescribed by your orthodontist. They only work when they’re in your mouth, so if you leave them out for longer than you should, you could prolong your treatment time. Otherwise, you may not get the perfect smile you want.
It’s Possible to Damage or Lose Invisalign
When out of your mouth, it’s possible to lose or damage your clear aligners. You might wrap them in a napkin at a restaurant and accidentally toss the napkin. Your new puppy may think they’re a great chew toy. Your baby sister may enjoy how well they bend and twist. Once they’re damaged or lost, they have to be replaced. If it happens too many times, it can cost a lot of time and money.
Braces vs. Invisalign: Which Is Best for You?
We’ve seen the pros and cons for both braces and Invisalign, which brings us back to the original question: Which one is right for you?
You still may not have the answer, but that’s OK. That’s where Smith & Davis Orthodontics comes in! If you’re in the Rogers, AR, area, we can provide a thorough consultation and recommend the best treatment for you. We will walk you through all of your options and help you make an informed, solid decision.
So if you’re still trying to decide between braces and Invisalign, give us a call and let us help! We will guide you on the path to the smile of your dreams!