Here at Booth Orthodontics, we understand that taking the first step towards a healthier smile is a big decision. We believe educated patients make the best partners in any orthodontic journey, which is why you should have all the information you need to make the best decision for your care. Some people compare braces vs Invisalign, wondering which one is right for them. This is why we offer a free consultation to every potential patient in Homer Glen and the surrounding communities! 

This initial evaluation gives us the chance to meet each other and discuss any concerns you have about your smile. We’ll answer any questions you have about the treatment process and cover a range of important topics, including: 

  • how orthodontic treatment can change your smile
  • which treatment options will best fit your unique needs
  • any payment options that are available to you

During your first visit, you’ll also learn more about our two most popular treatments: traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners. Since these tend to be the options we use most often, it can be helpful to understand the pros and cons of both. Keep reading to learn more about how these treatments work,  what the differences are between them, and how they can transform your smile! 

How do braces and aligners work?

They may look very different, but braces and clear aligners work in a similar way. Each appliance places gentle pressure on the teeth to move them into more optimal positions over time. This aligns your teeth and jaws, improving the overall appearance and function of your smile. Either treatment option can be an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve their oral health, but there are some different features you should be aware of before choosing which is best for your smile and lifestyle. 

Braces vs. Invisalign: Which One Is Right For Me?

Traditional braces

Traditional braces have been around for a long time, and they have a well-established history of successfully correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues. Metal brackets are attached to the teeth and held together by wires and tiny rubber bands. The braces we use at Booth Orthodontics have an improved appearance as well as being more comfortable than previous versions! In fact, we offer both metal and clear brackets for a more customizable experience. 

Braces are what we call a fixed orthodontic appliance, which simply means they cannot be removed by the patient. They’re especially effective at treating more serious or complex issues! When it comes to your treatment, the total time will vary from case to case, but the average time spent in braces tends to be anywhere from 18-36 months. 

Maintaining traditional braces can come with a bit of a learning curve in the beginning. Learning to navigate brushing and flossing with all those brackets and wires can take some practice, but with a little bit of patience, it will become just another part of your daily routine in no time. There are a variety of accessories available to make oral hygiene easier while a patient is in braces, like water piks to help rinse hard-to-reach places or ortho picks for braces-specific flossing. 

Food restrictions are another part of this maintenance. You will need to avoid eating anything that can damage your braces including anything that is crunchy or sticky. That means snacks like raw apples and carrots, certain kinds of candy and chips, and popcorn of any kind are off the menu until the treatment process is complete and the braces are removed.

If you’re in traditional braces, you can expect follow-up visits with us in our Homer Glen office about every 6-8 weeks. Your doctor will ensure everything is progressing according to the treatment plan, then change the bands attached to the brackets. They may decide to replace the wire at this time as well. These adjustment appointments are generally pretty quick, but they are an essential part of the treatment process! Sticking to the scheduled visits helps us achieve the best results in the least amount of time possible.  

Invisalign clear aligners

As our most popular alternative to traditional braces, the Invisalign system uses a series of removable clear aligners to straighten your teeth. These customized trays are made of a smooth plastic material that won’t irritate your gums or cheeks the way brackets sometimes can and they’re designed to fit firmly but comfortably over your teeth. Most Invisalign patients find that they are able to adjust to the aligners relatively quickly, though there can be some mild soreness at first. 

Treatment time is still dependent on how each patient reacts to their appliance. The average treatment time with Invisalign tends to be anywhere between 9-18 months, although it can take more or less time depending on the case. With Invisalign, the treatment time also depends in part on patient compliance. Those wearing the removable clear aligners must keep them in for at least 20-22 hours every day and switch them out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks. This allows them to keep up with the movements the teeth are making. Failure to follow these guidelines from Dr. Booth can lead to a longer treatment time and less optimal results.

Since Invisalign aligners are removable, they’re extremely easy to maintain! You take them out before eating and drinking anything other than water, so there’s no need to worry about food getting stuck in between the brackets and wires (which happens to be a leading cause of bacteria and decay.) Aligners are also removed before brushing and flossing, making the dental hygiene routine a much simpler process. This removability also means there are no food restrictions for Invisalign patients!

Like braces patients, those in Invisalign will be scheduled for regular follow-ups with our doctors. Skipping appointments or missing scheduled aligner changes can quickly undo any progress made in treatment, so it’s important to keep up with these visits to the best of your ability.

Braces vs. Invisalign: Which One Is Right For Me?

Find the perfect fit for your smile with Booth Orthodontics

As you can see, traditional braces and Invisalign aligners each have a lot to offer anyone hoping to achieve a beautiful smile! When you choose our expert team, you’ll enjoy world-class service and a rewarding orthodontic experience, from start to finish. Drs. Ryan and Barry Booth will only recommend the treatment they believe will be the best for your unique smile, lifestyle, and goals. 

If you’re in the Homer Glen area and would like to learn more about what orthodontics has to offer you, get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with our doctors!