At Dakota Dental, our goal is to help patients achieve a healthy, confident smile—no matter what age you are. Aside from missing teeth and tooth discoloration, one of the biggest insecurities that people often struggle with are crooked teeth, gaps, and spacing between teeth.
While it’s true that both traditional braces and Invisalign will straighten teeth and help you achieve a perfect smile, deciding which option is right for your oral care needs and lifestyle requires more consideration and patient education.
Invisalign vs. Braces: What You Need to Know
To help you decide which treatment is right for you, let’s first discuss how these services help straighten teeth:
How to Straighten Teeth using Invisalign
Unlike traditional metal braces that are easy to spot, Invisalign—as the name suggests—is “almost” completely invisible. Made of a clear, lightweight plastic, patients wear their Invisalign braces over their teeth. And unlike metal braces, the aligners are easy to remove before eating and drinking, which prevents food from getting tangled in your braces.
It’s important to note that Invisalign patients will need to wear their aligners for at least 20-22 hours each day, and your aligners will need to be changed every two weeks. To ensure your trays stay securely on your teeth, your dental team will need to bond buttons on your teeth to create a grip. The good news is these buttons are tooth colored, so like the trays, they are difficult to see.
Let’s do a quick review of Invisalign’s pros and cons:
Pros of Invisalign
- Almost invisible to the human eye
- Easy to remove and refit inside your mouth
- Comfortable to wear – no need to worry about metal scraping your mouth
- Effective and fast treatment – depending on your individual progress, average treatment can take as little as 7 to 14 months.
- Convenient and affordable
Cons of Invisalign
- Does require you to visit your dentist more often – to assess and adjust treatment, as needed
- Must be worn for at least 20-22 hours a day
- Must remove before eating and drinking
- Requires changing every two weeks – which can take time to get used to the feel of each new tray.
How to Straighten Teeth using Traditional Braces
Traditional braces use metal brackets and wires that are secured to your teeth during the course of treatment. This means you cannot remove them like Invisalign. However, traditional metal braces are effective in correcting more complex dental issues, and patients typically begin noticing a dramatic change faster than those who are using Invisalign.
Patients with braces will, on average, schedule appointments with their dental care team every 4-6 weeks to adjust the braces and change bands and wires. Using metal braces also means that patients will need to take extra precautions to keep teeth healthy, such as avoiding sticky or crunchy foods that can get caught in the wires or cause discomfort. That’s why it’s essential to carefully brush and floss around braces twice a day to ensure foods are removed properly.
Let’s run through the pros and cons of traditional braces:
Pros of Mental Braces
- Help correct complex dental issues
- Provide dramatic results faster
Cons of Metal Braces
- Can’t be removed
- Requires you to avoid certain foods
- Requires additional cleanings and maintenance
- May cause discomfort from metal sticking out
Invisalign or Braces: Which One is Right for You?
For instance, if you’re a young professional, parent, or older adult, you may prefer Invisalign, as it draws less attention to your teeth and won’t interfere with your confidence. If you’re a parent of a child who requires orthodontic care, you may decide metal braces are a better fit for your child, especially if you’re looking to correct more complex dental issues.
As a certified Invisalign provider, we offer both Invisalign and metal braces and each service is available with flexible payment options, so you can start on the path to a beautiful, healthy smile in no time.