Braces or Invisalign: Which Treatment Option Is Right For You?

Choosing orthodontic treatment comes with a lot of unknowns, but don’t let that deter you! Here at Texas Family Orthodontics, we’re on a mission to change lives throughout San Antonio by creating healthy smiles our patients love. The first step towards improved oral health is a consultation with an experienced provider, something we provide at no charge. During this initial visit, you’ll be able to discuss any concerns you have with Dr. Vo. We’ll also be happy to outline everything included in the orthodontic process, including popular treatments like traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners. If you’ve been comparing braces or Invisalign, wondering which treatment option is right for you, we’re here to help! Keep reading below to learn more about how these exciting options can transform your smile! 

Two treatments, one stunning smile

Traditional braces have been around in one form or another for a very long time, and have a proven track record of successfully correcting a variety of orthodontic issues. They use brackets, wires, and bands to exert gentle pressure on the teeth that gradually moves them into the desired positions. Today’s braces are better than ever, with added comfort and an improved appearance. They can also be customized! The elastic bands are available in a variety of fun colors for patients who want to add a pop of personality to the treatment. We also offer clear brackets for those who prefer a more discreet look.

The Invisalign system works in much the same way braces do but uses a series of clear removable aligners to move the teeth instead of brackets and wires. These customized aligners are made of a special thermoplastic material that allows them to fit firmly but comfortably over your teeth. When fully compliant, Invisalign can be just as effective as braces at correcting many of the most common orthodontic issues. And because they’re removable, patients have an extra measure of flexibility throughout their orthodontic journey!  

Braces or Invisalign: Which Treatment Option Is Right For You?

Braces basics

Traditional braces are very efficient at correcting a wide range of oral issues and can be especially helpful in more complex cases. They can sometimes work faster than clear aligners, which may shorten the overall treatment time. That being said, there’s no “one size fits all” answer for how long a patient will need to be in braces since everyone’s needs are different. However, the average tends to be around 12-36 months or so. 

You’ll often be able to see some signs of progress in a relatively short period of time, which can give you a boost of encouragement as you settle into your orthodontic journey!

Maintaining traditional braces can come with a bit of a learning curve, especially when it comes to navigating around the brackets and wires. With a little patience (and a lot of practice!) this will become just one more part of your daily routine in no time. There are also a variety of accessories available to make oral hygiene easier, like water piks to help rinse those hard-to-reach areas or ortho picks for braces-specific flossing.

Food restrictions are an important part of this maintenance, as well—you’ll need to avoid anything that can damage your braces or teeth throughout the treatment process. This includes anything crunchy or sticky, so favorites like raw carrots, certain kinds of candy, popcorn, and gum will have to go on the back burner until your braces come off. 

If you’re wearing braces, you’ll be scheduled for follow-up visits every 6-8 weeks or so. Dr. Vo will use this time to ensure that everything is progressing as it should be. She’ll make any necessary adjustments, and may choose to change the wire as well. Most of these visits last no more than an hour, but they’re an essential part of treatment, so it’s important to keep up with all your appointments. This will help ensure the best results in the least amount of time possible.

Invisalign 101

The Invisalign system differs from braces in that it relies on patient compliance for its success. Since the custom aligners are removable, you’ll be responsible for wearing them the recommended 20-22 hours a day throughout the treatment process. Each aligner will also need to be switched out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks in order to keep up with the movements the teeth are making. Failure to follow these guidelines can lead to longer treatment times and less optimal results. 

Because Invisalign aligners are removable, it’s very easy to maintain oral health. They’re designed to be taken out before eating and drinking anything other than water, so you’ll never need to worry about food getting stuck in between the brackets and wires. That means no restrictions on what you can eat! Aligners are also removed before brushing and flossing, making dental hygiene a much quicker process. 

The treatment time with Invisalign is also dependent on how each patient responds, but the average tends to be somewhere between 12-24 months. Like braces patients, Invisalign patients will be scheduled for regular follow-ups with Dr. Vo, usually every 8-12 weeks or so. Skipping appointments or missing scheduled aligner changes can quickly undo any progress you’ve made in treatment, so it’s very important to keep up with these visits!

Braces or Invisalign: Which Treatment Option Is Right For You?

Find the right treatment for your smile at Texas Family Orthodontics

As you can see, every treatment option comes with its own set of pros and cons. That’s why it’s so important to work with a qualified and experienced orthodontist like Dr. Vo! When you schedule an orthodontic evaluation with our expert team, she’ll assess your oral health and let you know which treatment would be the best fit for your unique needs. This will give you a smile that’s beautifully suited to your face, and fully functional, too! 

With two offices conveniently located in San Antonio and Windcrest, it’s easier than ever to achieve the confident smile you deserve. To learn more about how braces or Invisalign could transform your teeth, get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Vo and the rest of our expert team.