Braces Vs. Aligners: Which One Is Right For Your Smile?

Have you been thinking about straightening your smile recently? Maybe you’ve been comparing braces vs aligners, wondering which one is right for your smile. We’ve got some good news for you! There’s never been a more exciting time to explore all the benefits that orthodontics can have for your smile. Here at RiverView Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer patients of all ages a range of affordable and effective treatment options, including braces and Invisalign clear aligners. Each of these methods has its own list of pros and cons, so you may be wondering which one is right for you. That’s where our expert team comes in! 

When you schedule a complimentary consultation with us, Dr. Upton will perform an oral examination. After assessing your bite and discussing any concerns you have about your smile, he’ll provide you with a diagnosis and design a custom treatment plan for your unique needs. We know that every smile is unique, so you’ll never find any cookie-cutter service at our practice! We’ll also outline what’s involved in the orthodontic process, including treatment options. To learn more about the differences between braces and clear aligners, keep reading below.

Braces Basics

Braces have been around for a very long time—primitive versions have even been found on ancient Egyptian mummies!  Needless to say, they have a pretty extensive track record of successfully straightening smiles. They’ve come a long way since the days of the pyramids, however, so modern braces are more comfortable, effective, and attractive than any previous designs! 

Dr. Upton has the experience necessary to shift your teeth into more desirable positions safely and efficiently using braces. Metal or clear brackets are affixed to the front surface of your teeth and connected by a flexible metal wire. By tightening this wire at regular intervals throughout your orthodontic journey, we’re able to move each tooth where we want it to go. We often use elastic bands as part of this process, too. 

RiverView Orthodontics offers both metal and clear braces. These can help you achieve a beautifully aligned smile, even if your case is more serious or complex. That’s because braces make use of several specialized methods to move even the most severely misaligned teeth! 

Braces are bonded directly to your teeth, so you’ll benefit from consistent movement. You’ll never have to worry about keeping up with aligners, either, which some patients really appreciate. Patient compliance is still important, though. You’ll need to maintain a good dental hygiene routine, show up for all your follow-up appointments, and continue seeing your dentist regularly.  

We know that cost is often a concern for families in Tuscaloosa and Demopolis when it comes to budgeting for orthodontic treatment. The overall cost of treatment will vary based on multiple factors, like the appliance being used and the complexity of the case. We’ll always do our best to provide you with high-quality care that fits your budget!

Braces Vs. Aligners: Which One Is Right For Your Smile?

Invisalign 101

For the last twenty years or so, Invisalign’s patented technology has allowed orthodontists to achieve straighter teeth and a healthier smile without any brackets, bands, or wires. If you’re looking for a subtle treatment option that’s barely noticeable, Invisalign could be the perfect solution for your smile!

Invisalign aligners are made of a special SmartTrack™ material that’s specifically designed to align the teeth. This multilayer material is safe and very effective for achieving precise tooth movements. We customize each aligner to fit snugly around your teeth and address your specific needs. The smooth material is comfortable and means there’s nothing to poke at or pinch your cheeks and gums. 

Since the aligners are removable, patient compliance is essential for the system to be successful. You’ll need to wear your aligners 20-22 hours each day throughout the treatment process as directed by Dr. Upton. You’ll also be responsible for switching each aligner out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks. This is what allows them to keep up with the movements your teeth are making. Failure to follow these guidelines can increase treatment times and lead to subpar results. 

Aligners come with a bit of extra responsibility, but there are lots of benefits, too! Invisalign aligners are designed to be removed during mealtimes, so you won’t have any of the food restrictions that braces patients have. You can continue to eat all your favorite foods as long as you promptly brush your teeth, rinse your aligners, and put them back in when you’re done.

This also makes it simple to maintain your oral health! Brackets and wires can trap bacteria, leading to a build-up of plaque. This increases the chances of developing cavities and tooth decay. With Invisalign, all you have to do is remove the aligners before brushing and flossing as normal! Cleaning them is easy, too—just scrub them gently with a toothbrush or soak them in a cleaning solution to keep them looking good and functioning as they should.

As with the total cost of treatment, there’s no one answer for how long the process will take. Every case is different and each patient will respond to treatment in their own way. That being said, aligners can sometimes straighten teeth more quickly than traditional braces! 

Since Invisalign produces an all-around force on the teeth instead of the individual tooth movement achieved with braces, patients can finish treatment anywhere from 6-18 months. Braces tend to require at least 12 months of treatment to achieve the desired results, though of course, these estimates will vary.

Braces Vs. Aligners: Which One Is Right For Your Smile?

Find the right fit for you at RiverView Orthodontics

Braces and Invisalign aligners are both excellent solutions for aligning your bite and giving you a beautiful smile! With offices in Tuscaloosa and Demopolis, it’s never been easier to achieve a total smile transformation with our expert team. To learn more about our exciting treatment options, get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Upton and the team!