When you’re considering orthodontic treatment to achieve a straighter smile, there’s quite a bit to consider. Treatment is a big decision and you don’t want to rush into something you aren’t sure about. At Bigman Orthodontics, we want you to have as much information as possible about the orthodontic process before taking the plunge. If you’ve been wondering “Are braces or Invisalign better for my smile?” we’re here to help!
Dr. Sandy Bigman has created beautiful smiles for more than 10,000 patients throughout San Ramon and the surrounding areas for years and would love to do the same for you! Our expert team is committed to helping you explore all the options available to you, and that begins with your initial consultation. This visit will give us the chance to discuss any concerns you have about your teeth, as well as:
- how orthodontic treatment can change your smile
- which treatment would be the best fit for your needs
- what payment options are available to you
During your consultation, we’ll also outline the differences between popular treatments like metal braces and Invisalign clear aligners. These tend to be the most common treatment options and knowing a bit more about each will help you understand which one would suit your smile best. Let’s take a look at their pros and cons below!
The basics of orthodontic treatment
Although they look very different, braces and aligners actually work very similarly. Each treatment uses an orthodontic appliance to apply gentle force to your teeth, shifting them into more optimal positions over time. This aligns the teeth and jaws and increases your oral health, giving you a fully functional smile that looks great and feels good, too!
Traditional braces have been around for hundreds of years in various forms, so they have a proven track record of successfully correcting a variety of orthodontic issues ranging from simple to complex. Invisalign, on the other hand, is a somewhat newer treatment method that has become increasingly popular over the last twenty years with teen and adult patients. That being said, braces and clear aligners are both excellent options for anyone interested in achieving a healthier smile. Let’s take a look at some of the important differences between them.
Metal braces with Bigman Orthodontics are very efficient at correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues and can be especially useful in cases that are more severe or complex. Because every case is different and each patient responds in their own way, there is no certain answer as to how long your treatment time will be. However, the average patient usually spends anywhere from 18-36 months in braces.
Braces are a fixed appliance, which means they can come with a bit of a learning curve! There are certain foods that must be avoided throughout treatment, since crunchy and chewy foods can damage the brackets and wires. You’ll also need to adjust your dental hygiene routine to ensure you’re keeping your teeth, gums, and appliances clean. It can be tricky learning to navigate around braces, particularly where flossing is concerned, but this is an essential part of the treatment process. Fortunately, there are a variety of accessories available to make cleaning easier!
Invisalign clear aligners
Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible and completely removable, making them the most popular alternative to braces by far. The SmartTrack material Invisalign aligners are made of is smooth and tends to be more comfortable than traditional braces. When worn as directed by Dr. Bigman, Invisalign aligners can be just as efficient as braces at correcting most common orthodontic issues.
Just like braces, the total treatment time for Invisalign patients will vary from case to case, with it averaging about 9-18 months. The number of aligners needed to straighten your teeth will also depend on your customized treatment plan, as well as your level of compliance and how your teeth respond to treatment.
Since Invisalign aligners are removable, you have an extra measure of freedom during treatment. Aligners are designed to be taken out before eating or drinking anything other than water and should also be removed before brushing and flossing. Since you don’t wear your aligners during mealtimes, there are no food restrictions, something everyone can appreciate! That means you can continue eating all your favorite snacks as long as you’re careful about brushing and flossing afterward, which makes the entire treatment process a bit easier to manage.
Your aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours each day and switched out every 1-2 weeks as recommended by Dr. Bigman 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 shifting of your teeth. Just like braces patients, you’ll be expected to attend follow-up visits at our San Ramon office every 6-8 weeks or so. Skipping these appointments or missing your scheduled aligner changes can quickly undo any progress you’ve made, so you should always make them a priority!
Find the best fit for your smile with Bigman Orthodontics
Once you have all the information, you can see that metal braces and clear aligners are both excellent options for achieving your dream smile! When you trust Bigman Orthodontics with your smile, you can feel confident that we’ll only recommend the treatment that is the best for your unique needs, lifestyle, and goals.
If you’re ready to take the first step towards the confident smile you deserve, get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Bigman!