A lot of parents let me know they are concerned that their teen will not be able to commit to the responsibility of using aligner therapy since aligners are removable. So here’s a little information about aligner therapy to help you understand the pros and cons of Braces vs. Invisalign.
The main difference between braces and Invisalign is that braces are bound to the teeth while Invisalign is a removable, clear guard. Braces are made of metal, brackets, and wires making them more uncomfortable and require a lot of maintenance. The bulk of the responsibility for the patient is to maintain braces by brushing and flossing well. Foods that are very hard, crunchy, sticky or chewy are off the menu. Certain foods on the “avoid list” include biting into corn on the cob, apples, sticky candies, chewing gum etc. Brushing and flossing are certainly more difficult with braces considering all the nooks and crannies where food can get stuck.
Invisalign is a series of clear aligners that patients wear for about a week at a time. Once removed, patients can eat whatever they want then brush and floss with nothing in the way! In addition, the aligners are much less visible than clear braces. For best results, patients must wear their aligners during school, daily activities, and sleeping. Most mouth guards fit over aligners so even athletes can be consistent. An added benefit is no pokey wires or broken brackets if there is a sports injury! No emergency visits to Annapolis Orthodontics required. Patients must be diligent about wearing their aligners all of the time; with the exception of eating and brushing, totaling 22 hours per day.
I always like to remind my patients and their parents that both options will require compliance. Braces require a diligent brusher and discipline to avoid certain foods. Invisalign requires compliance with wearing aligners for the prescribed amount of time. In addition, both treatment options may require rubber bands to help correct a bite. So your teen must take charge, no matter what option they choose! The more a patient complies with the directions I give them, the quicker we can make progress to unveil those pearly whites.
One last, but very important thing to remember, is that Invisalign is a paintbrush and the doctor is the painter. The treating doctor’s knowledge and skill set is what allows, or prevents, a beautiful outcome with Invisalign. Orthodontists, unlike dentists, have dedicated 3 additional years of training in treating teeth and jaw alignment. Orthodontic specialists will always provide the best possible results using Invisalign because of their continued education. For instance, I have completed 100 additional hours of training and treated hundreds of patients who have achieved wonderful results using Invisalign.
Call us to schedule your complimentary consultation to see if your teen would benefit from Invisalign Treatment.