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If you are considering orthodontic care for you or for your child, you may be wondering what the differences are between traditional metal braces and the Invisalign system.
We’d like to explain to you what we think. As an orthodontist’s office, we have been using metal braces for years, but we’ve also been so pleased with the benefits of Invisalign that many of our patients are now using Invisalign to straighten their teeth.
Braces were the mainstays of orthodontists for many years. They are comprised of three parts: the brackets, the archwire, and the bands (bonding). Each of these parts works together to gently position your teeth. When patients visit the orthodontist, they will usually have the archwires adjusted, since that’s the part that moves the teeth in the proper place.
Braces are permanent until removed by orthodontist staff. They can irritate the gums, tongue, or mouth each time they are positioned, and teeth will often feel pressure when the archwire is moved. Kids, teens, and adults who wear braces have them adjusted about every four weeks. Metal braces make it more difficult to properly brush and floss your teeth. You must also avoid certain hard, chewy, or sticky foods until they are removed. Braces move teeth into position over an average of 18 month-30 months.
The Invisalign system is a series of customized, clear plastic aligners that gently guide your teeth into position. Your orthodontist takes X-rays and molds of your teeth, jaw, and mouth, and will determine your treatment plan. Invisalign will produce aligner trays that fit over your upper and lower teeth and gently move your teeth into the proper position. They are replaced by a new aligner every two weeks until your teeth are straight.
Invisalign is clear, so it is nearly invisible. No one will know you’re wearing them! They are also removable, which means that you take them out to brush and floss, and when you eat or drink (so you can eat anything that you want), and then put them back in. They’re comfortable because they’re made of smooth plastic, and they require fewer visits to the orthodontist. Invisalign straightens teeth just as quickly as traditional braces, if not faster. It can be used by both adults and teens.
Many people choose Invisalign over traditional metal braces because they are clear, removable, and comfortable. If you’d like to schedule a consultation to see if Invisalign is right for you, just give us a call. Gutiérrez Orthodontics in Tampa can answer all of your questions about the Invisalign process.