Sam* is a high school student with crooked teeth. He has been talking to his parents about getting braces, but he recently learned about Invisalign.
Some of Sam’s friends (and even one of his teachers) are using Invisalign. So far, they seem to be having an easier time than his friends who are wearing braces.
He has asked his parents if he can visit Antoine Dental Center in Houston. The dentists there offer Invisalign along with traditional braces, and they can examine Sam’s teeth and let him know if Invisalign could give him straight teeth, too.
* Sam isn’t a real student, but you may know someone in a comparable situation.
How Is Invisalign Similar To Braces?
Braces use brackets and wires to move your teeth. Invisalign uses clear, plastic aligners.
We’ll explain more about how these systems are different in a moment, but for now, let’s focus on what both of them can do.
Braces and Invisalign can straighten teeth that are crooked.
Braces and Invisalign can push together teeth with gaps between them.
Braces and Invisalign can realign teeth that are crowded together.
And both will work on crossbites, overbites, and underbites.
How Is Invisalign Different?
For many teenagers, orthodontics have become a rite of passage. Decades ago, their options were limited, but now they have a choice of treatments to consider, thanks to Invisalign.
Here are some reasons you or someone you love may want to try Invisalign instead of traditional braces:
As we already noted, braces work with brackets and wires.
Unfortunately, some people find the brackets scratchy on the insides of their mouths. The wires can come loose or break. When this happens, that wire can poke you in the gums, lips, or cheeks.
You can completely avoid these potential problems because of Invisalign’s clear plastic aligners. Each aligner is made of a single piece of smooth plastic. There are no edges to scratch you, and there are no parts that can come loose and poke you.
Invisalign could be considered more convenient than braces for a couple reasons.
The first is the difference in how each system moves your teeth.
The brackets and wires on braces have to be adjusted from time, and each time you will need to return to the dentist or orthodontist’s office. Each time they are adjusted, your braces can hurt for a few days until you get used to the changes.
With Invisalign, you will receive a set of plastic aligners. You will wear each aligner for a few weeks. To “adjust” them, you simply remove the old aligner and replace it with the next one.
Your dentist will want to check on you occasionally to make sure your teeth are moving like they should, but you won’t need to make special visits to do anything to your aligners.
The second difference is how long you have to wear braces compared to Invisalign.
On average, you will wear braces for about two years. In that time, you will not be able to remove the braces from your teeth.
Because of that, you will have give up eating some of the foods that you enjoy — crunchy foods (like nuts and chips) and sticky foods, just to give a few examples.
You’ll need to be more diligent about brushing and flossing your teeth, too. You might have to use some extra tools to make sure you don’t have any pieces of food stuck between your teeth, brackets, and wires.
With Invisalign, your treatment will last about one year, and during that time, you will need to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours per day. In other words, you can take them out for two hours per day.
You can take them out while you are eating, so you can eat anything that you like. You can take them out to brush and floss your teeth. You won’t need to learn how to use any special tools, and you won’t need to change your regular oral hygiene routine.
Last but not least, when you have braces, everyone knows it. You can’t hide the fact that you have metal brackets and wires in your mouth.
With clear, plastic aligners, you can have them in, and many people will never notice. This can be a huge benefit for people who may be self-conscious about wearing braces.
See The Difference For Yourself
Before you decide on orthodontic care, find out if you or someone you love might be able to use Invisalign instead of braces. Stop by our dentist office in Houston for a free consultation.
Call Antoine Dental Center at 713-364-8990 or fill out our online form to make an appointment.