Clear braces versus clear trays for aligning your teeth are both discreet. Both clear tray and clear braces can both take away some of the noticeability of having your teeth straightened. Invisalign is the most well-known version of clear tray dental alignment appliances.
Many people choose traditional braces as the least expensive option for straightening teeth. However, there are less noticeable options that produce the same results without drawing extra attention to your mouth. Clear braces and Invisalign are both great alternatives. Here are a few differences between clear braces and Invisalign treatments. Use these to help you decide which best fits your lifestyle.
Invisalign is more discreet than clear braces.
Clear braces adhere to the teeth, and while they might be white to match the color of your teeth or completely clear, they still attach to the surface of your teeth, which means they are more noticeable than the clear plastic trays used in Invisalign treatment. This doesn’t mean that Invisalign is better, just that someone is less likely to notice a tray than clear brackets.
“One of my patients’ favorite things about Invisalign is its virtual transparency,” says Dr. Priscilla Larson of Sky Ortho. “Most people don’t even notice someone is wearing Invisalign.”
Clear braces cannot be removed like Invisalign can.
One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign is the ability to remove the trays to eat or clean your teeth. This means fewer restrictions when it comes to what you can eat and how you can clean your teeth. However, it also means the treatment takes longer, especially if you are not vigilant. Wear your trays at least 22 hours each day for optimal results. If it’s more important to be able to remove your treatment to eat and clean teeth, opt for Invisalign. If you just want to get it over with as quickly as possible, go for the braces.
Clear braces are better for complicated cases.
While Invisalign is a great system and can really straighten teeth, the aligning trays are really only good for straightening crooked teeth and closing gaps between teeth. In more complicated or severe cases, clear braces are a better option for any tooth or jaw alignment issue. In fact, clear braces are the best choice for correcting a bite, widening an arch, or a turning a tooth in its socket. If you only have a few crooked teeth and an uncomplicated case, Invisalign is often a more convenient choice.
Invisalign are less fragile.
Because the aligners are switched out every other week, it is very rare that someone breaks an aligner and has to get a new one. However, as with any braces, the brackets do not change. This means they are more likely to break over time. This is, again, down to personal preference and your lifestyle.
Clear braces cause irritation in early treatment.
While your mouth will likely not enjoy having the Invisalign trays in all the time, clear braces are more likely to irritate your gums and the inside of your lips during the early part of your treatment. The mouth is extremely resilient, however, and does create calluses on the insides of the lips and cheeks, to prevent further irritation as the treatment goes on.
Both options can stain.
If you smoke, drink coffee, or eat dark pigmented foods while wearing either of these systems, it is possible for you to stain the plastic that both systems use. The best way to prevent stains on your braces or trays is by regular, thorough cleaning. Follow the instructions from your orthodontist. Avoid eating or drinking things that stain. Because you can take Invisalign out, you can prevent stains. On the other hand, the more often you take the trays out, the longer your treatment takes.
Both clear braces and Invisalign are great options for those who want straighter teeth, without resorting to attention-grabbing metal brackets and wires. Clear braces are best for those who have complicated treatments or who want to get straight teeth as quickly as possible. Invisalign is best for those who have minor to moderate issues and like the flexibility of the Invisalign system, even if it does add slightly to the length of treatment.