Orthodontics has changed significantly over the years. Most people know about traditional metal braces. But today’s options also include clear or ceramic braces, self-ligating braces, hidden braces, and Invisalign clear aligners.

Which of these is best for you or your child? It’s a daunting question. If you live in Lake Nona, FL, or Orlando, FL, Esteem Dental & Orthodontics can assist you in learning about your options. We evaluate your dental health needs and determine which is best for you.

Let’s start by answering some common questions about braces and Invisalign and outlining some of the biggest differences. We’ll also let you know how to find out more information.

First, let’s start with the basics.

Types of braces

Most people who hear “braces,” think of a mouthful of metal with a headset strapped to them. Today’s braces are different from the ones you or your parents may have worn.

Today, traditional braces are small against the tooth and customized to the patient’s taste with colorful elastics placed around each bracket.

Self-ligating braces are similar to traditional ones, except they don’t require elastics. They also don’t use as much friction, so they tend to require less tightening and are less abrasive than traditional braces.

Clear or ceramic braces are a third option. Similar to metal braces, the brackets are made from clear acrylic or ceramic instead of metal. Their clear or white appearance allows them to blend into the tooth better. These are a great option for those who may feel a bit self-conscious about wearing traditional metal braces.

Esteem Dental & Orthodontics also offers hidden or invisible braces. These are placed on the inside of the teeth rather than the outside. This hides the braces and makes it nearly impossible to see them.

Invisalign and Invisalign Teen

Invisalign® uses clear aligners to move teeth into their proper positions. They correct dental issues such as overbites, underbites, crossbites, gapped teeth, or crowded teeth. Invisalign Teen® aligners are designed to address dental issues more commonly found in teenagers. Invisalign products work similarly to braces by using gentle pressure to move teeth into position. The clear aligners fit around the teeth. Unlike traditional braces, which are glued to the teeth, Invisalign clear aligners can be removed and switched out for a new set regularly.

If you’re looking for braces or Invisalign in Lake Nora or Orlando, FL, Esteem Dental & Orthodontics is near you and available for these services. 

Braces vs. Invisalign: Treatment Time

Is there a difference in treatment time? Yes, on average. Invisalign often takes 12-18 months for treatment. They can take as little as six months. Treatment time depends on the number and severity of the dental issues being addressed. 

Braces can take a bit longer, often 12-24 months. The various types of braces typically have the same treatment times. Self-ligating braces require fewer trips to the orthodontist because they don’t have elastics to change regularly. The overall treatment time, however, is similar to traditional and clear or ceramic braces.

Braces vs. Invisalign: Food Restrictions

There is a difference when it comes to food restrictions with braces compared to Invisalign products.

Patients with braces must avoid hard or sticky foods that can break wires, pop off brackets or damage the braces. Patients should avoid hard candy, gum, caramels, popcorn, hard vegetables, and nuts. Fruits that are eaten by biting into them, such as apples and pears, also pose a risk for braces.

On the other hand, patients can remove Invisalign for eating and drinking. This means fewer food restrictions. Patients should brush before returning the aligners to their teeth.

With any treatment, patients should avoid sugary or starchy foods that promote tooth decay.

Braces vs. Invisalign: Maintenance

Maintenance for braces differs from Invisalign, but proper dental hygiene is required for both.

Braces require regular visits to your doctor for tightening. Traditional and clear or ceramic braces require the elastics that hold the archwire in place to be changed regularly. Usually, orthodontics visits take place every 6-8 weeks. Those with self-ligating braces don’t have elastics to change, so they usually visit the doctor every 8 weeks. Invisalign visits average every 6 weeks to ensure the aligners are moving the teeth properly.

Braces require careful dental hygiene. Patients need to brush after every meal with a soft-bristled brush. Flossing is also a must, but a floss threader is often needed to get around the brackets and through the wires without causing damage.

Hygiene is much easier for Invisalign. Because you can remove them, you can brush and floss after meals normally. The aligners need to be put back as soon as brushing is finished, so they are worn for the 22 hours a day necessary for proper treatment.

Braces vs. Invisalign: Cost

Probably the biggest question we get about braces vs. Invisalign is the difference in cost. In general, Invisalign clear aligners are comparable, though slightly higher, than the cost of traditional braces. Hidden braces tend to be higher in cost than standard braces.

Esteem Dental & Orthodontics offers several financing options for braces and Invisalign products. Patients can take advantage of low down payments, extended financing plans, and flexible monthly payments.

Braces vs. Invisalign: Getting the facts

We’ve addressed general questions regarding braces vs. Invisalign, but you may have others specific to you or your child. We can answer any questions you may have. We recommend you start a virtual consult through our website. Once we have more information on your situation, we can set up a free, no-obligation, in-person consultation.

At Esteem Dental & Orthodontics, we want to bring smiles to patients in the Lake Nona/Orlando area. A healthy smile not only improves your oral health but can also improve overall health. We take pride in our products and services and provide the best care possible to every patient. Visit us today to get started on improving your dental health and achieving that beautiful smile you’ve always wanted!

Compassionate Dentistry; Exceptional Orthodontics

The Esteem Dental team is honored to serve Lake Nona and all of South Orlando with exceptional dental care. Let us know how our dental team can serve you and your family. We can’t wait to meet you!