If you’re comparing Invisalign vs. braces, just know that both types of orthodontic treatment are excellent options. While plenty of patients choose clear braces or metal braces, clear aligners are becoming increasingly more popular, especially among adults and teenagers.
At 914 Smiles, our Tarrytown orthodontist Dr. Rishi Kothari uses three clear aligner systems: Invisalign, Ormco™ Spark™ Aligners and our very own 914 Aligners. After he performs an exam and reviews your diagnostic records at your initial consultation, he’ll be able to help you decide on the best treatment for your smile.
To give you a better idea of why you might want to consider clear aligners, we’ll be covering the benefits of Invisalign, Spark Aligners and 914 Aligners.
Treatment is discreet.
Some adults, especially those who interact with clients or customers or do a lot of public speaking, feel like having conventional braces will make them look unprofessional. For teens, it can be a matter of metal braces drawing attention to a smile they’re already self-conscious about.
That’s why, when trying to decide between clear aligners like Invisalign or braces, the biggest determinant for a lot of people is that clear aligners are much more under the radar than braces. They’re made of BPA-free, clear plastic that’s custom-molded to your mouth. The aligners slip over your teeth like a virtually invisible, super comfortable mouthguard. Most people won’t notice you are wearing them.
At 914 Smiles, we offer our own, in-house 914 Aligners made right here in Tarrytown, New York. Thanks to the top-of-the-line, FDA-approved materials and high-resolution 3D printer we use, our aligners are even smoother and clearer than the others, making them the most discreet, aesthetic and comfortable option we have.
There are no food restrictions.
If you have friends or family members with braces, you probably know they can’t eat anything really hard, sticky or chewy, such as popcorn, pizza crust, hard taco shells, chips, nuts, raw apples and carrots, beef jerky and candy.
Clear aligners are removable and you will take them out to eat or drink anything aside from plain water. This means there are no food restrictions. You can continue to eat whatever you’d like all throughout your treatment.
Oral hygiene is easier with clear aligners.
Even if you do get braces, you’ll get the hang of caring for them pretty quickly. However, there is an adjustment period and your oral hygiene routine will be a few minutes longer than it was before braces. This is because it’s difficult to clean the tight spaces around the brackets, and the brackets tend to trap food and plaque. Plus, flossing with braces requires using a floss threader or special orthodontic flosser.
If you don’t eliminate plaque build-up around your brackets, it can cause white spots on the teeth after braces. These white spots are areas of decalcification, which is when the acids in plaque leach minerals from your tooth enamel, causing very early stage tooth decay.
As far as aligners and Invisalign vs. braces, oral hygiene is much easier with clear aligners. You will take your aligners out, so you can brush and floss your teeth just as you normally would with a regular toothbrush and standard dental floss (no floss threader needed). This saves you a little time and helps you maintain excellent oral health to prevent cavities, gum disease and white spots.
Though oral hygiene will be simple, you will want to brush your teeth more often during your treatment. Putting your aligners in when your mouth is clean will ensure food, bacteria and plaque don’t get trapped under your aligners and against your teeth. So, after eating, brush your teeth or, at least rinse your mouth out really well, and rinse off your aligners before putting them back in.
You should also clean your clear aligners in the morning and before bed to keep them fresh and clear. Simply brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush and some mild, unscented dish soap before rinsing them off in lukewarm water.
Invisalign, Spark Aligners and 914 Aligners are comfortable.
Another of the key advantages of Invisalign, Spark Aligners and 914 Aligners is how comfortable they are. There are no brackets and wires that can cause irritation. The plastic is smooth and the aligners are digitally designed by Dr. Kothari for the perfect fit. Once you acclimate to having them in your mouth, you’ll barely notice they are there.
Aligners also deliver gentle, precisely timed force with each set designed to achieve certain tooth movements. Any discomfort as your teeth shift into place will be mild. If you do have some tenderness when switching to a new set of aligners, try changing them at night. By the time you wake up in the morning, most of the tenderness will be gone.
Aligners don’t have hardware that can break.
Braces consist of components that can break. For example, biting into a hard, chewy bagel with your front teeth might result in a bracket coming loose. When this happens, you may have to come in for a repair appointment.
Each clear aligner, on the other hand, is one piece with no breakable parts. You won’t have to navigate poking wires, loose brackets or repair appointments. This potentially saves you a bit of time and discomfort.
Clear aligner treatment is convenient and won’t interfere with your favorite activities.
Clear aligners don’t require adjustments like braces do and all of your aligners are designed and fabricated at the start of your treatment. While you will come in for regular appointments so Dr. Kothari can monitor your progress, these visits are quick and easy. Overall, you’ll spend less time at the office and caring for your appliance and more time enjoying your smile as it takes shape.
If you’re an athlete, you’ll remove your aligners while playing sports so you can wear a mouthguard. You won’t have to deal with cuts or abrasions from brackets and wires if you get hit in the face during a game or worry about accidentally cutting an opponent with your braces if you collide with someone.
As for musicians, you can also take your aligners out to play a wind instrument, meaning your aligners won’t get in the way. You can hit all of the notes you want with no hardware interfering or irritating your lips.
Seeing your clear aligner progress in real time is motivating!
And, last, but not least, when it comes to the benefits of Invisalign, Spark Aligners and 914 Aligners, the absence of anything obscuring your smile during treatment is a big one! While you can still see your progress with braces, you do have brackets and wires in the way. With clear aligners, you get a full view of your teeth.
After we take digital scans of your mouth, Dr. Kothari uses a 3D rendering of your smile to plan out your treatment. He’ll be able to show you a visualization of what your smile will look like in the end before you even start wearing your aligners. Then, as you work through your series of aligners, you’ll have an unobstructed view of your teeth shifting towards those final positions. Watching improvements happen in real time can be exciting and help to motivate you to stick with your aligner schedule.
Are There Disadvantages of Clear Aligners?
Now that we’ve covered the advantages of Spark Aligners, 914 Aligners and Invisalign vs. braces, it’s only fair we talk about the disadvantages. There is no one single orthodontic treatment that’s right for everyone. While clear aligners being removable is a perk for many patients, it is a negative for others.
First, since the aligners are removable (and clear), they can be lost. When you have clear aligners, you’ll need to keep track of them and remember to put them in their case when you’re not wearing them. If you set them down on a napkin or your plate while eating, there’s a chance you’ll accidentally throw them away. If you lose an aligner soon after you start wearing it and the necessary tooth movements haven’t occurred yet, you’ll need to have it replaced.
Additionally, success depends heavily on your compliance. You have to wear your clear aligners according to Dr. Kothari’s treatment plan in order for them to work. This means wearing them for 20 to 22 hours per day and changing them every one or two weeks. If you don’t think you’ll be able to stick to the instructions, a fixed appliance like metal or clear braces could be the better option.
Interested in Clear Aligners in Tarrytown, NY?
Schedule a complimentary consultation at 914 Smiles to find out if you’re a candidate for clear aligners. If you are, we’ll discuss the benefits of Invisalign, Spark Aligners and 914 Aligners, so you can choose the best option for your smile.