Farr West Orthodontics News

Invisalign vs. Braces

Author | August 11, 2018 9:49 pm | Category:

We are often asked if braces or clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are better at straightening teeth. The answer is that it depends. In this short article we will dive into the pros and cons of each and hopefully you will be better educated on what option for getting your teeth straight will be better for you. Teeth are dumb, they don’t know if braces and wires or clear plastic aligners are pushing on them. They only react to the force placed on them, so both methods can effectively move teeth.  

Braces have been the “go to” appliance for orthodontic tooth movement for the last 70+ years.  Braces are considered a fixed appliance. This means they are stuck to your teeth and cannot be removed by you; this makes them very predictable and gives Dr. Richards most of the control in how well your teeth move.  Braces are very good at moving teeth up, down, in, out, tipping, and in all directions. This is mostly due to the brace being bonded to the tooth. Rubber bands and other auxiliaries can easily be added to braces to correct your bite as well.  

The downside of braces are that they are stuck to your teeth.  This makes brushing, flossing, and eating some foods more difficult and time consuming.  Also, they can be more noticeable due to the wires and braces being metal.  However, Farr West Orthodontics offers clear braces and tooth colored wires. Finally, braces can take some getting used to due to the “pokey” wires and braces.  

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are also very effective in moving teeth and giving you the smile that you have always dreamed of.  Their main advantage (and disadvantage) is that they are removable. This means you can take them out and eat, brush, and floss just like normal. Another advantage of clear aligners is they are almost invisible and more comfortable than braces and wires.  

There a few potentially negative aspects of clear aligners.  One of the main one is that are removable, so you can take them out and if they aren’t in your mouth they aren’t moving teeth. Also, we ask that if you eat and drink anything but water that you remove your aligners. So if you snack all day long aligners may be difficult for you. Finally, certain movements may be a little more difficult with aligners than braces.

The truth is that most patients could be treated effectively with braces or Invisalign.  So, the choice often comes down to the points discussed above and lifestyle.  If you still have questions, feel free to schedule a complimentary exam with Dr. Michael Richards and he’d be happy to answer your questions.