The Benefits and Drawbacks of Invisalign

By Dental Haven

People looking to straighten their teeth love the look of Invisalign,, yet many shoppers still opt for braces. Traditional braces and Invisalign are two popular orthodontic treatments used to straighten teeth gradually. As both are FDA-approved devices that yield stunning results, it can be hard to know which method is best, here we break down the benefits and drawbacks of Invisalign. 

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign is one brand of clear aligners – orthodontic devices that correct crooked teeth. Clear aligners, also known as invisible braces, are custom-made mouthpieces molded from medical-grade plastic that apply pressure to teeth, guiding them to the desired position. Clear aligners are a discreet alternative to traditional metal braces.

Shoppers should consider the benefits and drawbacks of both Invisalign and traditional braces to determine which one is better. Take a look at the pros and cons of clear aligners like Invisalign.

The Benefits of Clear Aligners

Unlike metal braces, clear plastic Invisalign aligners closely fit a user’s teeth and are nearly invisible from a distance. A discreet style is one of the main reasons many people choose transparent aligners over braces. 

Clear aligners fit flush against teeth and don’t cause the cuts or discomfort that braces can. While wearers do experience some discomfort with teeth repositioning, the inside of the mouth is largely spared pain with Invisalign.

Ease of Brushing and Flossing
With clear aligners, users simply remove the mouthpiece and brush and floss normally. No need for a lengthy and challenging dental care process as with traditional braces. 

No Danger With Hard or Chewy Foods
Braces wearers should avoid hard and chewy foods, including nuts, popcorn, and bagels, to prevent damage or irritation. But since people with aligners must remove them before eating, they don’t need to avoid these foods. 

Fewer Orthodontist Visits
Some patients won’t need to visit the orthodontist as frequently with aligners as with braces. While Invisalign treatments usually require a visit every four to six weeks, some online companies provide customers with clear aligners and zero orthodontist visits, although this isn’t the best option for everyone. For braces treatment, customers must come into the office for every adjustment.

The Drawbacks of Clear Aligners

Not for Complex Corrections
Transparent aligners do not work for every situation and are typically best for people who need only minor straightening. 

Must Remove to Eat
Patients may drink water when wearing Invisalign trays but should remove them whenever eating or drinking anything other than water. The plastic is soft and easily damaged by food. Additionally, the clear plastic stains easily and warps with heat, so users should remove the aligners when drinking hot or colorful beverages. 

Requires Discipline
People must wear the Invisalign aligner at least 20 to 22 hours daily. Wearing them less often may slow progress or even harm the final results. Because it’s easy to take them out, only people who are disciplined enough to wear them the required number of hours each day should opt for clear aligners. Another concern, especially for kids, is losing aligners, which costs more money and extends treatment time.

More Tooth Brushing 
Users with poor dental hygiene should not wear an Invisalign aligner as this can cause bad breath and cavities. After eating or drinking, wearers should ensure they clean their teeth with a thorough brushing. Because most people snack throughout the day, daily brushing time may double or triple when using Invisalign. 

May Require Visible Attachments
Some people need small tooth attachments that connect to the clear aligners like buttons. These attachments help control tooth movements and must be attached and taken off by an orthodontist. As a result, users who need attachments may require more consultations than others, and the attachments are visible through the clear plastic.

The Bottom Line

Overall, Invisalign is not as good as braces for severely crooked teeth. You must take the aligners out when eating, and it’s possible to lose the aligners. Compared with other transparent aligner companies, Invisalign aligners are expensive, however dental insurance may help mitigate the costs. 

People looking into Invisalign should speak with a dentist or orthodontist to see if it is the right fit for them!