The hardest part of any journey is taking the first step! When you’re told that you or your child may benefit from orthodontic treatment, navigating the options and choices ahead of you may be more intimidating than undergoing the procedures themselves. We often hear from patients who have the same question: “Should I choose braces or Invisalign?” At Seabreeze Orthodontics, we believe that you should be as informed as possible when beginning your orthodontic journey. Choosing between braces and Invisalign is a big decision and our team is here to help!
Dr. Juan and his team are committed to helping you explore all the options available to you and creating a personalized plan based on your specific needs and goals! The first step is scheduling an initial consultation at our office in Myrtle Beach. During this visit, you’ll have the chance to discuss your concerns with Dr. Juan and other staff members, including topics like:
- how orthodontic treatment will change your smile
- which treatments will best fit your needs
- what payment options are available to you
- differences between popular treatments like metal braces and clear aligners
Traditional metal braces and Invisalign clear aligners tend to be our most popular treatment options, so we’ll be taking a look at the pros and cons of each one. Having this information will help you decide which treatment option would be the best fit for your unique smile. Keep reading below to learn more!
Orthodontic Treatment: The Basics
Braces and Invisalign clear aligners both do their job by applying gentle force to your teeth, shifting them into more optimal positions with time. Aligning the teeth and jaws in this way will gradually improve the appearance of your smile and your overall oral health. Traditional braces have been used for hundreds of years in various forms, and therefore have a well-established reputation for successfully correcting a variety of orthodontic issues, and are well-suited to treat anything from mild to very severe cases.
Invisalign is a newer treatment method, but this innovative system has grown in popularity with teens and adults over the last twenty years. Braces and Invisalign are both excellent options for anyone interested in achieving a beautiful smile, but there are some important differences between them.
Traditional braces have seen a variety of improvements to their size, shape, and even color over the years. That means this effective treatment option is more functional and adaptable than ever! Traditional metal braces are useful for correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues, especially those that are more complex or severe. Every patient will respond to treatment in their way, so treatment durations will vary from case to case. However, the average patient can expect to spend anywhere from 18-36 months in braces.
Braces can come with a bit of a learning curve, so it’s good to know what to expect early on. You will need to avoid certain foods throughout your treatment, like crunchy or chewy foods, which can damage the brackets and wires. You’ll also need to adjust your dental hygiene routine. It can be tricky learning to navigate around braces, particularly where flossing is concerned, but this is an essential skill to ensure that your treatment succeeds.
Fortunately, there are a variety of accessories available to make cleaning much easier! Waterpiks help rinse inaccessible places while ortho-picks simplify flossing for you. It may seem a little overwhelming at first, but don’t worry—these precautions will become part of your daily routine before you know it.
At Seabreeze Orthodontics we also offer clear braces to our Myrtle Beach patients. These work just like metal braces but are made from clear, ceramic materials that blend in with your smile. Clear braces are an excellent option if you’re worried about orthodontic treatment making you stand out.
Since ceramic brackets are about the same size and shape as metal brackets, they’re just as effective to straighten your smile. However, since the material they’re made of can be more prone to chipping, we typically recommend clear braces for older teens and adult patients.
Invisalign Clear Aligners
Year after year, Invisalign aligners prove to be our most popular alternative to braces, and it isn’t hard to see why! They’re nearly invisible, giving patients a more subtle way to straighten their smile, and they’re removable, providing a level of freedom that other treatment methods don’t. The smooth material clear aligners are made from tends to be more comfortable than traditional braces, as the SmartTrack plastic tends to be less abrasive on lips, tongues, and gums. When worn as directed by Dr. Juan, Invisalign aligners are just as efficient as braces at correcting many of the most common orthodontic issues.
Just like braces, the total treatment time for Invisalign patients will vary from case to case, but the average is anywhere from 9-18 months. The number of aligners needed will depend on your unique needs, how compliant you are with the guidelines, and how your mouth responds to treatment.
Because Invisalign aligners are removable, they’re easier to maintain than other treatments. They’re designed to be removed when eating or drinking anything other than water and before brushing and flossing. Since you don’t wear your aligners during mealtimes, there are no food restrictions. You can continue eating all your favorite snacks as long as you’re prudent about cleaning your teeth before replacing your aligners. This makes eating and caring for your teeth a less restrictive, less frustrating process!
If you select Invisalign for your orthodontic treatment, follow-up appointments with Dr. Juan won’t be as frequent as they would be with braces, but they’re just as important for your success! Aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours each day and switched out every 1-2 weeks to be successful. Because they’re custom-designed to fit each patient’s unique needs, these frequent changes are necessary to keep up with the movement as it occurs in the mouth. Skipping appointments or missing scheduled aligner changes can negate any progress you’ve made, so don’t forget to keep up!
Find the Best Fit For Your Smile with Seabreeze Orthodontics
Both traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners have many compelling pros and cons. Our expert team is happy to discuss your options with you in further detail, and will only recommend the treatment they feel is best for your specific smile. Our customized treatment plans are built around your unique needs, lifestyle, and goals, so you can achieve a smile that looks and feels great in the shortest amount of time possible!
If you’ve been wondering “Should I choose braces or Invisalign” and you’re ready to take the next step for your smile, get in touch today to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Juan. Our team is committed to keeping your mouth healthy and aligned for a lifetime of beautiful smiles!