Are you the one that’s always avoided photographs, the one that refuses to take selfies and is perma-camera shy? Being unhappy with your smile affects your confidence in more ways than one.

For years, the only option available to achieve perfectly straight teeth was to have fixed braces, with regular trips to the orthodontist. With the introduction of Invisalign, though, dentists are giving patients a new way to get the smile they’ve always dreamed of.

Are you trying to make the tough decision between Invisalign vs braces? If you’re not sure which way to go, read on to learn which option is right for you.

Traditional Fixed Braces

Fixed braces are made up of brackets that your dentist attaches to each tooth. He’ll then feed a wire through the brackets, and fix it in place.

Over an extended period, your dentist will adjust the tension of the wire across your teeth. Gently and skillfully, he’ll realign them until he reveals that lovely smile you’ve been waiting for.

The Pros

Lower Cost

If you can get past how they look, there are plenty of good things that come with fixed braces. For one thing, they’re available on the NHS, so if your treatment is not for purely cosmetic reasons, they can work out as a vastly cheaper option.

Maintenance

For one, there’s very little patient maintenance involved. Once your dentist affixes your braces, your job will be to avoid foods that can snap the wires, and remember to go to your next appointment.

Speed

If you have major issues with your teeth, for example, twisted or very crooked teeth, then a fixed brace may get you results much faster than Invisalign can by anything up to a year or more.

Specialist Cases

Fixed braces can also do something Invisalign can’t–they can sometimes realign a top and bottom jaw that have slipped out of place.

Minimal Fuss

Both major and minor cases can be treated with fixed braces, sometimes in a shorter time than Invisalign. Fixed braces also do the job with minimal fuss, and with excellent results, which makes them a big contender in the Invisalign vs braces debate.

The Cons

Conspicuous

You’ll probably remember the term ‘train tracks’ being bandied about at school, and some poor kid with braces shuffling sheepishly away. It’s not a great endorsement, but braces are really obvious.

Avoid Foods

If you can move past that, you’ll also need to make sure you avoid foods that could damage your teeth, or get stuck in your braces. Things like popcorn, chewing gum and toffee should all be avoided.

Special Equipment

When it comes to your oral hygiene routine, you’ll need to invest some special interdental floss, brushes or a water pick, to be able to clean beyond the wire.

Pain

You should also be aware that, when your braces are first installed, you can feel some pain and discomfort for the first couple of weeks. The metal brackets can also catch and rub inside your mouth at first, so it’ll take some getting used to.

Time: Usually 1-2 years.

Cost: From around ?220 on the NHS up to roughly ?3,000 privately.

Invisalign

Invisalign is a relatively new technique that uses 3D imaging to create clear plastic trays–and sometimes small composite nodules attached to the teeth–to straighten out your smile.

Once your dentist has taken an impression of your teeth and sent it away to have your trays made, the process can begin. He’ll give you an initial collection of trays to be changed every couple of weeks, and you’ll need to go back to see him once you’ve got through that set.

Your dentist will assess your progress and give you your next few sets–sometimes 3 months’ supply–and off you go.

At the end of your treatment plan, you’ll end up with a stunning set of pearly whites you’ll truly be proud of.

The Pros

Invisible

Invisalign is practically invisible–it’s in the name. In the decision between Invisalign vs braces, this one’s a biggie.

Discreet

The clear plastic trays have been designed to slip discreetly over your teeth so that you can wear them all day, every day without anybody ever noticing. If you’re in a customer-facing role–or camera-facing one at that–at work, Invisalign might be just what you’re looking for.

All Foods Allowed

You don’t need to worry about avoiding any foods with Invisalign–simply slip them off before your meal, and replace them afterward.

Cleaner Teeth

Your oral hygiene instruments don’t have to change–in fact, when you keep on top of your Invisalign care, your teeth will be cleaner than ever, as you’ll be brushing them at least 3 times a day.

Comfortable

Invisalign trays are smooth and comfortable to wear and move your teeth gently through the realignment process.

Fixes Some Major Issues

Invisalign has become so advanced that it can help to correct even major problems with the positioning of teeth so that you can get that gleaming Hollywood smile that’ll be the envy of everyone.

The Cons

Compliance

The major drawback of Invisalign is compliance. Some patients find it difficult to keep up with the hygiene routine. You’ll need to brush your teeth after every meal. You’ll also need to floss, to ensure your teeth have the freedom to move through each stage of realignment.

Danger of Cavities

If you don’t keep on top of brushing your teeth, you could develop cavities and other issues related to wearing your trays over teeth that aren’t clean.

Pain

When you switch to a new set of trays every couple of weeks, there can be some initial pain and discomfort as your teeth begin to shift. While this is temporary, it is something to keep in mind.

Long Wear Time

You’ll also need to wear your trays for at least 22 hours a day, which some patients struggle to do.

Unexpected Treatment

Finally, you are an individual, and due to both compliance and the nature of your body, your teeth may not move as quickly, or in the manner your dentist expected. In that case, he may need to send off for more trays, which could increase the amount you’ll have to pay.

Time: 1-2 years, though sometimes longer in extreme cases.

Cost: From around ?2,000 upwards, depending on your personal treatment plan.

Invisalign vs Braces–Which Will It Be?

When it comes to making your choice between Invisalign vs braces, there are a lot of questions to consider. You need to think about the kind of person you are, the amount of discipline you have, and how much either treatment option will either benefit or negatively impact your life.

Braces technology has come a long way, so the quest for a beautiful, bright white smile is almost over. All you have to do is make the choice between Invisalign vs braces: which will it be?

If Invisalign’s your choice, then get in touch and see how we can help.