If you're considering orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth, it’s likely you’re trying to decide between traditional metal braces and Invisalign. You know that Invisalign looks better, but does Invisalign work as well as metal braces? Do these clear plastic aligners really live up to the hype? Here, we'll share our thoughts on the most significant benefits of Invisalign over traditional braces.
You Can Eat and Drink Whatever You Want
With traditional metal braces, there’s a long list of verboten foods. There’s the obvious––no gum, chewy candies, caramel, corn-on-the-cob, and popcorn––but others may surprise you. Steak is off limits, as are hard nuts like almonds. If you like biting into fresh, crisp apples in the fall, start getting used to cutting them into bite-sized pieces instead. Same goes for carrots and other hard fruits and vegetables.
Hard foods can cause brackets to break off of your teeth when you bite into them, while chewy foods easily get stuck on, in, and around your brackets and wires, creating the perfect breeding ground for sugar-loving bacteria. With Invisalign, you’ll never have to worry about committing a list of forbidden foods to memory. Simply take your aligner trays out before meals and snacks, eat whatever you want, brush (or at the very least, rinse with water), and put your aligners back in place.
Invisalign Is Virtually Invisible
Before Invisalign, so many adults liked the idea of having straighter teeth, but were put off by the prospect of traditional metal braces. No one wants to draw attention to the fact that they’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, and that’s exactly what metal braces do. Patients felt that their crooked teeth were less noticeable and embarrassing than metal braces, so they lived with smiles they weren’t happy with.
Invisalign is a game-changer for anyone in need of orthodontic treatment. Most people won’t even know you’re wearing your aligners––they’re made with thin, clear plastic that’s almost invisible. Now you can get the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted without drawing attention to the fact that you’re straightening your teeth. Invisalign is more discreet than any other option on the market.
Oral Hygiene Is Easier
Many patients with traditional metal braces are met with an unwelcome surprise once they’re removed: stains on their teeth. Or, even worse, they may have cavities or gingivitis, a precursor to gum disease. This is because metal braces make good oral hygiene extraordinarily difficult. It’s not impossible, of course, but flossing and brushing around your brackets and wires takes a lot of time and patience. Floss needs to be carefully threaded under the wires, and brushing not only requires cleaning all surfaces of your teeth, but also all surfaces of your brackets.
With Invisalign, oral hygiene is as simple as removing your plastic aligners and brushing and flossing as usual––the same way you did before starting your Invisalign treatment. Your aligners can be cleaned with a soft bristled toothbrush or soaked in a cleaning solution that is specially formulated to disinfect Invisalign aligners.
You’ll Never Have Orthodontic Emergencies
One of the many inconveniences of traditional braces is the inevitable orthodontic emergency. You can minimize the risk by following your orthodontist’s instructions for which foods to avoid, but even then, most patients experience a broken bracket or two at some point during their treatment. Finding the time in your schedule to get it replaced is inconvenient, but trying to get away with not replacing it until your next appointment may prolong your overall orthodontic treatment time.
Invisalign aligners are strong––you don’t have to worry about breaking them. That means no emergency visits to our office.
Invisalign Is Comfortable
Many of our patients had metal braces as children or teenagers and, as adults, they’re getting Invisalign treatment because their teeth gradually shifted out of alignment over the years. Patients who have experienced both forms of orthodontic treatment are amazed by how comfortable Invisalign is compared with traditional metal braces. The aligners are made with smooth plastic that fits snugly against the teeth, in contrast to obtrusive metal brackets. There are no wires poking your cheeks and soft tissue, and no painful wire tightening every four weeks––instead, you’ll switch your aligners yourself at home every two weeks.
You Can Remove Your Aligners
Because Invisalign aligners are practically invisible, there’s really no need to ever remove them. Sometimes, though, our patients have special events that they’d prefer to attend without wearing their aligners––a wedding, giving an important speech at a conference, or even a first date. With Invisalign, removing your aligners for a few hours is not a problem.
As long as you keep your aligners in for at least 20 hours a day, your treatment will stay on track. Don’t forget to include the time spent eating and brushing when you calculate this number. (If you’re getting married, we’ll give you a pass on keeping your aligners out all day.)
It’s Covered By More and More Dental Insurance Plans
When Invisalign was a brand new orthodontic treatment, it wasn’t covered by most dental insurance plans. While many still do not cover Invisalign aligners, we’re seeing more plans pay for all or part of the cost as evidence mounts about the efficacy of this treatment. Ask your benefits manager at work or call your dental insurance provider to see if Invisalign is covered by your plan. In some cases, orthodontic treatment may be covered by your health insurance rather than dental.
If your insurance plan does not cover Invisalign, consider using FSA or HSA funds towards the cost of your treatment. We also offer corporate rate and preferred rate plans to help you save on Invisalign, as well as our other dental services.
Invisalign Is Just as Effective as Traditional Metal Braces
Invisalign isn’t just made with plastic––it’s made from advanced SmartTrack® material, for more predictable, controlled tooth movements. As Invisalign technology becomes more sophisticated, it means Invisalign is just as effective as metal braces for almost all orthodontic cases. While there is still a small number of patients with complex issues that need to be treated with traditional braces, Invisalign has become a viable option for just about every teenager and adult who wants straighter teeth and a better bite.
Many patients are under the impression that Invisalign treatment takes longer than treatment with traditional braces. Much of the treatment length question with Invisalign depends on your willingness and ability to keep the aligners in for a minimum of 20 hours a day. If you’re able to adhere to this, your treatment time may be comparable to that of metal braces. The major difference between Invisalign and braces when it comes to length of treatment is that braces are worn 24/7, while Invisalign aligners are not. Overall, any difference in treatment time is usually negligible. Most Invisalign patients wear their aligners for 12 to 18 months and they receive between 20 and 30 sets of aligners.
Once treatment is complete, our patients are thrilled with the results. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to get the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted with Invisalign aligners.
You’ll Spend Less Time at the Dentist
You spend a lot of time at the orthodontist's office with traditional metal braces. Every four weeks, you'll go in for a scheduled visit where your braces will be adjusted and tightened––and of course, there's the unplanned emergency visits we mentioned earlier. All the time spent at the orthodontist’s office quickly adds up, and it can be especially inconvenient when you have to frequently leave work or school for all of these appointments.
There's no "tightening" with Invisalign. Instead, you simply switch to a new set of plastic aligners right at home. You may feel some slight discomfort and pressure when you make the change to new aligners, but nowhere near the discomfort caused by adjusting wires. Because there are no wires to tighten, you only need to follow up with us every six weeks for Invisalign, and these visits are much quicker than they are with traditional braces. We'll just take a look to make sure your treatment is on the right track and send you on your way.
You Can Get Invisalign at DDS Group
With Invisalign, there's no need to research orthodontists and find yet another treatment provider for your dental care. You can get Invisalign from your dentist here at DDS Group. This means you won't need to fill out more paperwork for a new provider and you won't need to worry about facilitating communication between two or more different dental practices. Our Invisalign patients appreciate being able to get all of their dental care under one roof.
Find Out More About Our Wall Street Invisalign Services
If you'd like to learn more about whether Invisalign is right for you or you'd like to schedule an appointment for a consultation with one of our doctors, contact us at 212-269-6655. We look forward to meeting with you.