Compared to the traditional silver braces that have been around for decades, Invisalign is a relative newcomer to the orthodontic scene, receiving FDA approval in 1998. But don’t let its shorter history fool you, this alternative to metal braces can be a better choice for many patients.
The Benefits of Invisalign
Invisibility – Being invisible has its advantages. Wonder Woman’s invisible jet in the 70s and Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility allowed these heroes to get out of some tough predicaments. And while clear braces won’t literally save your life, they can save you from embarrassment at the office as an adult or help reduce the self-consciousness of a teen. With Invisalign, you can work toward your perfect smile without anyone knowing.
Faster treatment – Who wants to wait for straighter teeth? Invisalign offers numerous levels of treatment with different treatment lengths. For those with very minor crowding or spacing issues, Invisalign Express can have you looking your best in about two months. If you are one of the many people who didn’t religiously wear your retainer after getting your braces off in your teen years, Invisalign Lite can get your teeth back in order in two to six months. Even the longest Invisalign treatment – Invisalign Complete – typically lasts only 7 to 24 months.
Fewer appointments – As much as we love to see our patients, we know no one has time for orthodontic appointments every other week. Invisalign users receive 10-12 trays at each checkup, so they don’t have to come back for up to three months. This means fewer trips to the orthodontist and less time missed at work, school, or both.
Simpler cleaning – Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign users can remove their trays for cleaning. In fact, it’s recommended that you clean them after each meal. No more stubborn leftovers stuck in your braces after you eat, simply remove the trays and brush them with a little hand soap and warm water.
No food restrictions – Not only are you able to remove Invisalign trays for cleaning, it’s also recommended that you do so any time you drink dark or hot liquids or eat any type of food. While having to remove them at least three times a day may seem like a negative, it really isn’t, because it also removes all food restrictions that come with metal braces. Taking your trays out is a pretty low price to pay for being able to enjoy popcorn at the movies or gummi bears with friends.
Are Metal Braces a Thing of the Past?
Not at all. While Invisalign has many benefits, it’s not for everyone. A patient has to voluntarily commit to wearing the trays at least 22 hours a day. For patients who don’t have the discipline required for this treatment, traditional braces are still a better fit since once they’re installed, they remain in place. So for our younger patients, and perhaps more forgetful older patients, we offer regular braces in a variety of shapes and colors, including ceramic braces that blend in with your teeth.
Want to learn more about Invisalign and if it’s right for you? Call us at (843) 4-BRACES to schedule a free consultation.