More adults than ever are having their teeth straightened but deciding whether to opt for braces or Invisalign can be a difficult one. Traditional braces have been around for years whereas Invisalign is the new kid on the block, although it’s been in existence since 2000. We’ve put together some of the major differences between the two to help you decide. Aesthetics – One of the main reasons for choosing Invisalign over traditional braces is aesthetics. The Invisalign system consists of clear plastic aligners worn over the teeth like a mouthguard and are virtually invisible to others. Traditional metal braces, on the other hand, consist of metal brackets glued to the teeth which are tied together with wires and rubber bands and are very obvious when you smile or speak. However, modern-day versions can have brackets color matched to your tooth enamel or you can go all out and make a fashion statement with a rainbow of colors for your bands. Performance – Traditional braces have a long well-established history of success behind them and are better at treating more complex dental issues than Invisalign. They’re also better suited to issues which involve the back teeth and teeth rotation. As such they’re an ideal choice for overcrowded and misaligned teeth. Invisalign can correct over and underbites, crossbites, gapped teeth, crowded teeth and generally straighten teeth. Oral hygiene – Maintaining oral hygiene can be challenging when wearing a brace since food particles can get stuck between your teeth and your braces. However, our hygienist can show you the best way to clean your braces and how to floss more effectively. Invisalign can be removed for brushing and flossing which helps to maintain oral hygiene although you will have to factor in a little extra time to thoroughly clean your aligners at the end of each day. Commitment – Making the decision to straighten your teeth is never an easy one and does require commitment and motivation. Braces are worn all the time so they work around the clock improving your smile and allowing you to get on with your life. Because aligners are easily removed there is always that temptation to take them out. While it’s okay to do this for a couple of hours per day, if you leave them out longer then any progress you have made could be reversed. If a commitment isn’t your strong point then braces could be a better option for you. Food choices – Because the brackets and wires on braces can easily break you will have to watch what you put into your mouth. Typically this involves avoiding food that is hard and crunchy like popcorn, boiled sweets, and apples. You’ll also have to stop chewing gum as this can easily get tangled around your wires. Invisalign wearers can eat any food they like because their aligners must be removed when eating or drinking anything other than water to avoid staining. It’s also necessary to brush teeth after every meal. If this all sounds highly inconvenient then again, perhaps you’d be more suited to braces. To sum up, if you’re already feeling self-conscious about your smile then wearing fixed traditional braces could make matters worse. If you want to be able to eat what you like and brush and floss your teeth with ease, then Invisalign sounds like a better choice for you. However, if you hate commitment and don’t want the hassle of removing your aligners every time you want to eat or drink, then braces are your best option. If you’re looking to straighten your smile then come and speak with Dr. Melba Akinwande. She has experience of braces and Invisalign and is well placed to advise you on the best treatment for your dental needs. Why not call Chesterfield dentistry today on (314) 469 6429 and book your braces consultation?