Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a busy professional, or even a teenager, we all want to be confident about our smiles.

But many of us need help correcting embarrassing issues, such as crooked teeth, crowded teeth, and gaps. Two popular methods dentists use to straighten teeth are Invisalign® and braces. Both are great options, but how do you know which one is right for you?

For decades, metal braces were the only way to straighten crooked teeth. These days, braces can be made from ceramic material or attached to the backs of teeth. Another popular option is Invisalign®. With this system, you wear pairs of removable plastic trays that adjust your teeth over time.

At Forest Hills Orthodontic Associates, Emanuel Mizrahi, DDS, will help you determine which treatment can best give you a healthy, beautiful smile.

The basics

Braces are metal brackets that are bonded to each tooth, and they’re held together by tiny wires. These wires are adjusted over time to help straighten misaligned teeth.

With Invisalign®, Dr. Mizrahi scans your teeth to create 3-D computer images of your teeth. Using these images, Dr. Mizrahi creates a treatment plan and sends the information to the Invisalign® lab where your aligners are made.

When you get your aligners, you’ll wear the plastic trays over your teeth like mouthguards, switching to a slightly adjusted set every two weeks until your teeth are shifted into their ideal positions.

Time involved

With Invisalign®, you’ll go to Dr. Mizrahi for follow-up visits every 4-6 weeks. Much of your treatment will be done at home, because you will have all of your aligner sets. You’ll switch out one set for another every two weeks or so, and you’ll see Dr. Mizrahi to make sure your treatment is continuing as planned.

With traditional braces, you’ll need to visit Dr. Mizrahi every 4 weeks for new bands, wires, and other adjustments.

Aesthetics and style

Invisalign® is popular because the aligner trays are clear and inconspicuous. You can wear your aligners without feeling self-conscious.

Before now, wearing braces meant you had to smile through a mouthful of metal. These days, you can get tooth-colored or clear braces.

Patient compliance

Invisalign® is a popular choice, but its efficacy relies on your compliance. You’ll need to wear your aligners for 20-22 hours a day.

While it’s convenient that you can remove your aligners to eat and clean your teeth, you must remember to put them back in. If you don’t, you may hinder your progress.

These issues don’t occur with braces, because they’re attached to your teeth for the duration of your treatment.

Ease of maintenance

With Invisalign®, you’ll need to take your aligners out when you eat, and you’ll need to brush your teeth and rinse your aligners before you put them back in.

With braces, you’ll need to avoid sticky or hard foods as they can dislodge your brackets or break your wires. Also, braces are more likely to trap food particles in your mouth. You should brush and floss twice a day.

Do you want to find out more about Invisalign® aligners and braces? Book an appointment online or over the phone with Forest Hills Orthodontic Associates today to learn more.