Braces vs. Invisalign: A Visual Guide to Your Orthodontic Treatment Options

 

Thinking about starting orthodontic treatment but not sure which option is right for you? We get it: between Invisalign or other clear aligner systems and the many different types of braces available today, it can be tricky to determine what kind of treatment will give you the beautiful results you’re looking for. Braces are a super effective and trusted method of straightening teeth, but you have to adjust what you eat and how you care for your teeth. Invisalign aligners are also a state-of-the-art system with proven results, but they require a bit more responsibility on your part to make sure you’re wearing them enough. There are pros and cons to every orthodontic treatment option, so it’s important to do your research to find the best one that fits in with your lifestyle.

 

If this sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place. At Shine Orthodontics, we’re your experts in all things orthodontics in Thornton, CO. Whether you’re seeking orthodontic treatment for yourself or your child, we’re here to help you weigh your options and consider the benefits of each type of treatment. After all, the decision to straighten your teeth isn’t just about getting a perfect smile — you’re making an important investment in your lifelong health. In this post, we’ll break down the various types of orthodontic treatment options, so you can make the most informed decision for your smile.

 

Infographic comparing braces or Invisalign. More details below.

 

Traditional Metal Braces

 

Ideal patient: kids, teens and adults

Benefits of traditional braces:

  • The most cost effective orthodontic treatment
  • Tried-and-true system
  • Can fix the widest array of cases, including simple and complex conditions
  • You can customize your elastics to show off your personality

 

Metal braces are probably the most recognized orthodontic treatment out there for good reason. Braces are incredibly effective at straightening teeth and correcting both simple and complex orthodontic issues, including crowding, spacing, overjet, crossbite and underbite. But if you’re picturing the big, chunky brackets and wires from way back when, well, we understand why you might not be rushing to start treatment. Fortunately, metal braces today are much smaller and more streamlined than they used to be, so you get all the benefits of braces while still feeling like yourself.

And remember, braces aren’t just for kids and teens anymore. An increasing number of our Thornton orthodontic patients are adults who have chosen to trust the proven teeth-straightening power of traditional braces!

 

Clear Ceramic Braces

 

Ideal patient: teens and adults

Benefits of clear braces:

  • Less noticeable than traditional metal braces
  • Function in the same way as traditional braces, meaning you won’t compromise on results
  • Can treat a wide range of cases

 

If you’re interested in braces but aren’t thrilled about the idea of sporting metal hardware, clear braces might be the right fit for you. Instead of metal, the brackets for clear braces are made from a clear, ceramic material that’s designed to blend in with your teeth. This makes the braces less noticeable, which often helps patients feel more confident and less self-conscious throughout their treatment.

 

The best part is that ceramic braces work in the same way as classic braces, so you can trust that you’ll get results you’ll love. Each bracket is attached to a tooth, and a wire connects the brackets together. This wire then acts as a track to gently guide your teeth into proper alignment to create a more beautiful smile.

 

Lingual Braces

 

Ideal patient: teens and adults

Benefits of lingual braces:

  • Completely invisible to the eye
  • The most discreet of all orthodontic treatment options
  • May take less time than traditional or clear braces

 

The most invisible orthodontic treatment on the market, lingual braces are a fantastic option for those looking for a discreet way to straighten their teeth. This type of braces consists of a high-tech, custom-made wire that’s bonded to the back of your teeth, on the tongue side. This means no one will even know you’re in the middle of orthodontic treatment!

 

At Shine Orthodontics, we offer InBrace® lingual braces. This system uses Smartwires™, which have a looping design that allows you to floss as you normally would. They also self-adjust and don’t require braces tightening, so your visits to your Thornton orthodontist will be shorter. Thanks to digital treatment planning, and the unique brackets and wires, these hidden braces cause less friction and are more efficient than conventional braces. This means treatment is more comfortable and you may see your new smile sooner. On top of all that, most lingual braces are only used for simple cases but the InBrace® technology can work to correct even complex orthodontic issues. The one drawback is that this type of braces costs more than traditional metal braces.

 

Invisalign Clear Aligners

 

Ideal patient: teens and adults

Benefits of Invisalign:

  • Discreet and virtually invisible
  • Can treat mild and complex issues
  • Can remove the aligners to eat, drink, brush and floss
  • Uses a state-of-the-art system for super accurate results
  • Don’t require braces tightening

 

While braces are highly effective and can fix even the most complex issues, many patients simply don’t want to have brackets and wires fixed in place on their teeth. Braces also come with a handful of rules for what to eat, and how to brush and floss, which can get in the way of your regular routine. That’s what makes Invisalign so great: you can get beautiful results in a discreet way without having to change the way you live your life.

 

So how does Invisalign work anyway? This state-of-the-art system uses a series of custom-made, clear, plastic aligners to exert steady, gentle pressure on your teeth to move them into their ideal positions. After taking digital impressions with our iTero® scanner, Dr. Scheer will create a virtual, 3D model of your mouth. He will then plan out your treatment on this model and send the specifications to the Invisalign lab, where your custom series of aligners will be printed out according to his prescription. Invisalign has the ability to correct a wide range of orthodontic concerns, just like braces.

 

Not only are the aligners comfortable — they’re also virtually undetectable. You’ll wear them for about 22 hours per day for optimal results. But since they can be removed for eating, brushing, flossing and even special events, they’re arguably the most convenient smile solution available. This is also what makes Invisalign a popular orthodontic option for older teens and adults.

 

Invisalign Teen

 

Ideal patient: teens

Benefits of Invisalign Teen:

  • Discreet teeth straightening system
  • Specifically designed to treat developing mouths
  • Aligners can be removed to eat, drink, brush, floss and play sports
  • Don’t require braces tightening

 

At Shine Orthodontics, we understand that teens are under all kinds of social pressures and sometimes braces just don’t fit into the picture. That’s why we offer Invisalign Teen: to give our teenage patients the ability to straighten their teeth in a way that’s almost invisible. With Invisalign Teen, you get all the same benefits and precise results as the regular Invisalign system, just with a few added teen-specific perks. After all, teens mouths are still developing and require a different course of action than adult mouths.

 

Created especially for teenagers, Invisalign Teen includes special features like eruption tabs to accommodate erupting teeth and a few free replacement aligners in case a set or two inevitably gets lost in your teen’s busy life. And since the trays are removable, there are zero food restrictions, and brushing and flossing is a breeze. With Invisalign Teen aligners, it’s also easy for wearers to continue with their normal activities, like playing sports and musical instruments.

And one more bonus: with Invisalign and Invisalign Teen, you don’t need to see your orthodontist as often because the aligners don’t require braces tightening. This means you won’t be struggling to fit those braces tightening appointments into your teen’s schedule, giving them more time to do the things they love. So if your teen is looking to get a straighter, healthier smile without metal brackets or wires, Invisalign Teen could be the solution they’re looking for.

 

At the end of the day, there is no one-size-fits-all orthodontic treatment plan. The type of treatment you choose will depend on a number of factors, including your diagnosis, preferences and lifestyle choices. The best way to figure out whether braces or Invisalign is right for you is to visit your Thornton orthodontist for a complimentary consultation. During your first visit at Shine Orthodontics, Dr. Scheer and his team will take digital photos and x-rays of your or your child’s mouth (if necessary), evaluate your teeth and jaw to determine an accurate diagnosis, and then sit down with you to discuss your options, the cost of braces or Invisalign, and our flexible financing plans.

That way, you’ll have all the information you need to make the best decision for your orthodontic treatment.

Ready to find out which type of orthodontic treatment is right for you or your child? Contact Shine Orthodontics to book your appointment with Dr. Scheer today.