Braces vs. Invisalign — Which One Is Right for Me?

When you begin exploring the idea of orthodontic treatment, it’s not unusual to end up with an entire laundry list of questions about the process. You may be comparing braces vs Invisalign, wondering which one is right for you. Choosing to straighten your smile is a big decision, and you should have as much information as possible about everything treatment involves.

Here at Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics, we’re committed to helping you explore all the options available to you and creating a personalized plan based on your specific needs and goals! The first step is scheduling an initial consultation with one of our four offices, all of which are conveniently located in Edmond, Oklahoma City, and Clinton. During this visit, you’ll have the chance to discuss your concerns with our doctors, including:

  • how orthodontic treatment will change your smile
  • which treatments would be a good fit for your needs
  • what payment options are available to you
  • what differences exist between popular treatments like metal braces and clear aligners

We’ll be focusing on that last topic in this blog. Traditional metal braces and Invisalign clear aligners are the two treatment options we tend to use the most, so we’ll be taking a look at the pros and cons of each! Having this information will help you decide which treatment options would be the best fit for your unique smile. Keep reading below to learn more!

The basics of both treatment options

Braces and aligners both apply gentle force to the teeth, moving them into more optimal positions over time. This will align the teeth and jaws, improve the appearance of your smile, and increase your oral health. Traditional braces have been used for hundreds of years in various forms! As such, they have a well-established history of successfully correcting a variety of orthodontic issues.

Invisalign is a newer treatment method, but over the last twenty years, this innovative system has enjoyed enormous popularity with teens and adults. Braces and Invisalign are both excellent options for anyone interested in achieving a beautiful smile, but there are some important differences between them.

Metal braces

You could say that traditional metal braces put a bit more emphasis on function over style, but they’re still an incredibly effective option for correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues. They’re especially useful for more severe or complex cases. Every case is different and each patient responds to braces in their own way, so treatment time will vary. However, the average patient can expect to spend anywhere from 18-36 months in braces.

Braces can come with a bit of a learning curve. There are certain foods that need to be avoided throughout treatment, as crunchy and chewy foods can damage the brackets and wires. You’ll also need to adjust your dental hygiene routine. It can be tricky learning to navigate around braces, particularly where flossing is concerned, but this is an essential part of treatment.

Fortunately, there are a variety of accessories available to make cleaning easier! Water piks help rinse hard to reach places while ortho-picks simplify flossing for you. It may seem a little overwhelming at first, but don’t worry—these precautions will become part of your daily routine before you know it.

At Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer patients Damon Smile braces. The Damon system uses unique high-tech wires to straighten the teeth faster with fewer adjustments and less pressure. Instead of elastic tie-ins, Damon braces are self-ligating, which means no elastic or metal ties are required! The braces are attached to a light “shape memory” wire that connects slide brackets without the pressure elastics often produce.

The tie-ins typically used with traditional braces can sometimes cause friction and pressure, making treatment less comfortable. Damon braces use a patented slide mechanism to hold the archwire in place while allowing teeth to move freely and quickly without as much friction. Since there are no elastic ties, no tightening is required. These braces are also less likely to attract plaque since they tend to be easier to clean.

Like traditional braces, Damon braces are extremely efficient at fixing oral issues that range from simple to complex. In fact, they often work faster at closing gaps and aligning teeth than other treatments might. Noticeable signs of progress are often seen in a relatively short amount of time, which can give patients boosts of encouragement throughout their orthodontic journey!

Invisalign clear aligners

There are two big reasons why Invisalign aligners are the most popular alternative to braces, year after year. They’re nearly invisible, giving patients a truly discreet way to straighten their smile, and they’re removable, too. The smooth SmartTrack material is smooth and tends to be more comfortable than traditional braces. When worn as directed, Invisalign aligners can be just as efficient as braces at correcting many of the most common orthodontic issues.

Just like braces, the total treatment time for Invisalign patients will vary from case to case, but the average is usually anywhere 9-18 months. The amount of aligners needed will depend on your needs, how compliant you are with the guidelines, and how your teeth respond to treatment.

Because Invisalign aligners are removable, they’re extremely easy to maintain. They’re designed to be taken out before eating or drinking anything other than water, and should also be removed before brushing and flossing. Since you don’t have your aligners in during mealtimes, there are no food restrictions. You can continue eating all your favorite snacks as long as you’re careful about brushing and flossing afterwards. This makes eating and caring for your teeth a much quicker and less frustrating process!

You’ll be expected to attend follow-up visits with Dr. Farrow or Dr. Dewbre, just like a patient in braces. Aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours each day and switched out every 1-2 weeks in order to be successful. Because they’re custom-designed to fit each patient’s unique needs, these frequent changes are necessary in order to keep up with the shifting of the teeth. Skipping appointments or missing scheduled aligner changes can quickly undo any progress you’ve made.

Find the best fit for your smile with Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics

When comparing traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners, it’s a pretty close race! The good news is, our expert orthodontists will only recommend the treatment they feel is best for your specific smile. Our customized treatment plans are built around your unique needs, lifestyle, and goals, so you can achieve a smile that looks and feels great in the shortest amount of time possible!

If you’re ready to find the best treatment for your smile, get in touch today to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Farrow or Dr. Dewbre. Our team is dedicated to keeping your mouth healthy and aligned for a lifetime of beautiful smiles!