Having a set of misaligned teeth is a common dental problem individuals want to correct, and for the longest time, braces were the only available option for those who want to fix it. For Dr. Kami Hoss, DDS, MS, the latest innovation in teeth alignment, Invisalign, provides a welcome alternative to braces. But, he warns, patients should take the time to discuss both options thoroughly with their dentist to help them make a more informed decision. Besides this, Dr. Kami Hoss adds, your dentist is the best person to evaluate and assess if your specific problems regarding teeth misalignment can be properly corrected by one option or the other.
For your reference, below are a few basic information shared by Dr. Kami Hoss regarding Invisalign and braces, focusing on their differences to help you see which one is more ideal.
Removable vs. irremovable
Invisalign is a removable “invisible” mouth tray that you should wear for at least 22 hours per day. The mouth tray should be removed every time you eat because food particles could get trapped between your teeth and the tray, which can lead to various oral problems including bad breath and tooth decay.
On the other hand, braces are irremovable, which basically means you are stuck with them for the duration of your treatment period. This could also pose issues every time you eat because food particles often get stuck on the brackets, or between your tooth and the bracket, which means you should be more mindful about this every time you eat.
With a removable teeth alignment dental appliance, you won’t feel self-conscious about eating, and you won’t have to check your teeth and brackets every so often to make sure nothing is stuck between them.
Brushing after every meal
Patients who opt for Invisalign should remember to brush their teeth after every meal or after ingesting anything (including colored drinks) to prevent stains and to avoid having food particles stuck inside the tray. This means that you should have a toothbrush kit handy at all times, and be ready to use them wherever you are.
With braces, you will also need to take care of your oral health, but perhaps not as extensively as when you’re on an Invisalign treatment.
With braces, patients normally would have to wear them for at least two years straight, with regular dentist appointments for adjustments. With Invisalign, the normal treatment period is between six and 18 months, with a minimum of 22 hours of wearing the tray every day. With braces, you’re stuck with them 24/7 for at least two years—more for some patients.
As you can see, Invisalign requires more discipline from the patient because they should remove them before each meal, brush after every meal, and then put them back on after. But, the shorter treatment period adds to its appeal; plus, you can eat comfortably and easily with this type of treatment. Dr. Kami Hoss adds that it all depends on the actual condition of your teeth, and the extent of treatment that needs to be done to correct your specific issue.