In the past, if you wanted to straighten your teeth you had very limited options. Big metal braces with brackets, wires, and rubber bands are a familiar sight to many of us. If you had braces, everyone knew it. However, a lot of people want the outcome of braces without the obvious appearance or the maintenance that comes with metal braces.
Luckily, these days there are more and more alternative options for braces and straightening teeth. At Rafi Dental Group in Tustin, we offer one of these alternatives — Invisalign® clear aligners. You may find yourself wondering, how well do Invisalign® clear braces really measure up to traditional braces? In a two-part blog series, we will be discussing the most important difference and similarities between Invisalign® and braces.
One of the most obvious differences between Invisalign® clear aligners and traditional metal braces is the appearance. Metal braces have a pretty obvious appearance, with metal brackets and wires attached to your teeth. They can affect how it looks when you smile or have your mouth closed. They can also leave a lasting mark on your teeth, as your teeth may be more prone to staining when you have to brush and floss around the braces.
Alternatively, Invisalign® clear aligners are nearly undetectable when you are wearing them. With Invisalign®, your dentist will have clear aligners made that fit snuggly to your teeth. They avoid the bulky and obvious appearance of metal braces and allow you to straighten your teeth without everyone knowing. This is often ideal for teens or adults who feel uncomfortable with the appearance of traditional braces.
Another component of braces-wearing to consider is comfort. Braces are something that you will have in your mouth most hours of the day for a year or two, so it’s important that they feel comfortable. A common complaint of traditional metal braces is that they can cause oral discomfort. Metal braces will be periodically tightened by the orthodontist, to continue the straightening process, which can cause soreness and sensitivity in your teeth for a few days. Metal braces can also sometimes feel abrasive against your gums and cheeks.
Invisalign® clear aligners offer a more comfortable solution to traditional metal braces. Invisalign® is made of smooth plastic that won’t rub against your gums or cheeks. As your teeth are straightening, you will switch out your aligners gradually. This means that you avoid the braces tightening process, and should experience less soreness and sensitivity throughout the process.
With any braces comes a certain level of maintenance. Your braces are not just put on once and forgotten about. Specifically, with traditional metal braces, you will need to visit the orthodontist every few weeks to check on your progress and tighten your braces. You may also need additional appointments if your braces ever become damaged or broken. This can all feel like a large time commitment, to visit an orthodontist office every few weeks for one to two years.
The teeth straightening process for Invisalign® requires less maintenance and effort. With Invisalign®, you will be supplied with a series of clear aligners that you switch out periodically as your teeth straighten. You may need to check in with the dentist every once in a while, but the progress of your teeth straightening will depend on your use of the aligners, not how many appointments you make.
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We will continue to discuss the differences between Invisalign® clear aligners and traditional metal braces in part two of this blog series. In the meantime, if you have questions about Invisalign® or would like to schedule a consultation, don’t hesitate to contact the expert staff at Rafi Dental Group in Tustin today!