Braces or Invisalign? How to know which is right for you.

Braces or Invisalign - how to know which is right for you

As many of you know, I got Invisalign a few months ago. I know I have been BEYOND excited about it, and turns out many of you are too! I continue to get questions, comments, and emails about my Invisalign. Seeing as how it's Focus on Learning month and all, I thought I'd help you learn to decipher, between braces or Invisalign, which would be the better investment for you or a family member if you're considering orthodontics. So, here's my opinion to help you choose between…

Braces or Invisalign?

Now, I'm no orthodontist and don't claim to be. BUT…I have had both braces (as a teen) and Invisalign (as an adult – currently), and have an amazing orthodontist here in Utah who gave me some serious information about the subject before I made my personal decision. So here are some opinions/tips/recommendations for you, having experienced both first-hand:

BRACES:

Braces or Invisalign? how to know which is right for you.

  • Can correct even the most complicated of mouths, and are better for complex issues. Braces are better at pulling teeth down and do a great job of correcting bites. If you have a complex case, braces are most likely your best bet.
  • The brackets are affixed by hand, so it allows room for error. Dr. Parker explained to me that because every move is made by hand, human error plays a role. Fine tuning is harder with braces, but they still do the job.
  • Braces tend to work faster. Not always, but usually. I would think this is because they are on your teeth 100% of the time, whereas Invisalign is off your teeth for several hours per day (or more if you aren't as good about keeping them on).
  • I believe braces are better for teens. I, personally, would never buy Invisalign for my children. Sure, braces are more cumbersome and noticeable, but you can't take them off. It's much harder to be “naughty” with braces…because they are permanently attached to your face 🙂 Invisalign is much more expensive, and takes longer as it is. I think it would be a nightmare to help my teen keep track of switching the retainers, not losing them, not eating with them on or breaking them. Braces are more of a “fix it and forget it” process.
  • Braces are almost always more affordable than Invisalign, as broken down in THIS POST. So this is a more affordable option for families with several people needing orthodontics.
  • Braces can have more things go wrong with them – there are more brackets to break, more wires to pop, more things to poke and irritate your mouth.
  • Braces are a better option for those on a tight budget. The Orthodontist has more wiggle room with negotiating the price because there is less overhead involved than with Invisalign, and less money is required up-front so you can space out your payments easier.
  • Braces are fun for teens and younger kids because you can customize the bracket colors.

INVISALIGN

teeth with whitening tray

  • Can correct complex teeth issues, but braces tends to do a better job.
  • Doesn't just straighten teeth, it can also correct bites.
  • Invisalign is crafted by a computer – so it's exact…no human error like with braces.
  • Better for adults in my opinion, because you can take them off for certain social situations and they are less noticeable.
  • While they are clear, you do get little “buttons” cemented onto some of your teeth to help grip the Invisalign. Some mouths need more buttons than others, I even had to get hooks on my canines to hold the rubber bands I have to wear at night to correct my bite. So even when the Invisalign is off, there is still visible orthodontics on your teeth (as I show HERE) – but much less noticeable than braces.
  • Better for adults, also, because it takes quite a bit of responsibility and commitment for them to work. You are constantly taking them on and off during the day, so they can be hard to keep track of. It's easy to forget (or not want to) to put them back on, so it takes dedication.
  • Better for the busy person because visits are SUPER QUICK, and very infrequent. You run in, they give you your next several rounds of Invisalign trays, they make sure the next pair fits on your teeth properly, and you're on your way. You change out the trays at home every 1-2 weeks without needing an orthodontist. I was leaving town for a last-minute trip and needed to cancel my next appointment. I was able to go to My Ortho, grab my next several trays, and postpone my next appointment by several weeks without delaying my progress at all.
  • You can eat anything you want with Invisalign, because you just take them off and your teeth are pretty much like normal!
  • Invisalign is more expensive, as I break down in THIS POST.
  • Invisalign doesn't allow for as much saliva to pass through/around your teeth, so keeping your teeth clean and healthy is not as easy. You really have to be careful to not drink anything other than water while wearing Invisalign because it will stain your trays and teeth, and can lead to quick cavities.
  • Invisalign helps curb snacking and encourages you to drink water vs other beverages. It makes you more mindful of what you put in your mouth because you have to consciously remove the retainers before eating or drinking ANYTHING other than water (trust me, I've tried, it's just doesn't work). Not that you would want to get Invisalign for this reason, but it does help for those who are working on diet and/or weight loss.

So, there you go! In conclusion, I love my Invisalign as an adult, but would never give it to my kids or teens. But if you're budget-conscious and want orthodontics as an adult, braces are a great option. Either way, both Invisalign AND braces will get the job done – just depends on how you want the process to go!

Braces or Invisalign? How to know which is right for you.

Again, I can't rave about my Orthodontist enough. If you're in Utah, call Dr. Parker and he will personally consult you and tell you which is the right choice for you. I was FOR SURE I wanted Braces (I wanted it to go as quickly as possible). He quickly educated me and helped me see that Invisalign is what I need. The changes to my teeth needed to be very precise, and he said Braces would tweak lots of things that wouldn't need tweaking, whereas Invisalign would be exact. I'm so glad I did it his way. So talk to a professional to find what's best for you!

Hope that helps. Brace-Face, signing out –

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Comments

  1. I just finished a round of traditional braces (I’m 28) and my orthodontist said that one thing that is hard with Invisalign in pulling teeth down or getting the height off all the teeth to line up. One other tip is check with your dental insurance. Not only did my insurance cover part of my expense, but there was also a 25% discount if I chose an orthodontist from their list of providers.

    I’m sure you will love your new smile Jordan!

  2. Braces do bite correction too — I had to wear rubber bands with my braces the whole time I had them (my teeth were pretty bad due to crowding!). 🙂

  3. I am 58 and considering orthodonture because my always straight teeth as a kid are now getting crooked as an adult. My Dentist said that they have put invisalign on people as old as 70. They did comment that one has to commit to wear them 23 hours per day (I’m sure that 1 hr is the eating part).

    Thanks for the info. It is a great help in making my final decision.

    • If I could do it again, I might go with traditional braces simply because I’m not good at wearing my invisalign any more and it’s taking FOREVER to straighten my teeth! Working nicely though, I will say!

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