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Fixed metal braces versus Invisalign

Woman removing her InvisalignIf you are deciding between metal braces or Invisalign to straighten your teeth, you may have lots of questions. Which is more effective? Which is more affordable? Ultimately, you want to choose the treatment that will do the job. You won’t want to have to fix your teeth again. So, which is the better choice? We’ll aim to answer some of your questions in this article so you are better informed when you go to a dentist, such as Simply Teeth in Essex, for treatment with braces.

Getting straight to the basics

Both metal braces and Invisalign are designed to straighten teeth while improving your smile and oral health. The first use of Invisalign by a dentist was in 2000, so this treatment does not yet have the same history as metal braces.

Traditional fixed metal braces consist of metal brackets glued to your teeth, tied together by wires and tiny rubber bands. Nowadays, you can get brackets to match the enamel colour of your teeth more closely to make them more discreet.

Invisalign, on the other hand, is designed to be almost invisible. Aligner trays made of smooth, comfortable clear plastic are worn over your teeth to guide your teeth into place subtly and gently.

With Invisalign, x-rays and impressions are used to create a precise 3D image of your teeth and to configure your aligner trays accordingly. You will be given a series of aligners, each to be worn for about 2 weeks before moving onto the next aligner in your set.

Still undecided?

If you’re an adult and feel self-conscious about your smile, perhaps daunted by wearing fixed metal braces, then Invisalign could be the right choice for you. It’s removable so you can eat, drink, brush and floss more naturally than with fixed metal braces. However in order for Invisalign to be effective, you must wear your aligners for at least 20-22 hours a day. This takes a certain amount of commitment and diligence.

Investing in teeth straightening to improve your smile and overall oral health is not a choice that should be taken lightly. If you need help deciding whether metal braces or Invisalign makes more sense for you, consult an experienced dentist.

Alternatives to Metal Braces for Adults and Teenagers

Girl with Clear BracesModern orthodontic treatment offers a lot more than just fixed metal braces. Tooth straightening treatment can be beneficial to patients of all ages – in fact, it is never too later to improve the alignment of your teeth.

Metal braces remain a staple of orthodontic treatment for children and teenagers, who often enjoy the option to colour-customise their brace. But for adults, the thought of a fixed metal appliance that is all-too-obvious to anyone and everyone they meet can be a significant treatment barrier.

At Enhancedental in Leeds, part of the practice ethos is that dental treatment should, as far as possible, fit around patients’ lifestyles. Both discreet braces and clear, removable aligners are available to straighten the teeth of adults and of more self-conscious teenagers.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the benefits of any type of orthodontic are more than just aesthetic. Straighter teeth are easier to clean, with fewer hard to reach areas. This can slash your risk of both tooth decay and gum disease.

Issues with the bite – the way the jaws meet each other – can cause problems with biting and chewing food, and sometimes result in excess wear and tear of specific teeth. Many discreet orthodontic appliances can improve the position of the bite and get rid of these issues.

Subtle fixed appliances

There are a number of subtle braces available, and an orthodontist will help to match the best one to your needs.

Lingual braces

These braces are made from metal, but are attached to the rear of the teeth, rendering them invisible in everyday life. They can correct a wider range of issues than some cosmetic brace systems. Some brands are made from gold alloy, which is excellent if you have a nickel allergy.


Available with clear and tooth-coloured components, these braces are uniquely designed to move both the roots and crowns of the teeth together, significantly reducing treatment times.

Clear braces

Clear braces may be for rapid cosmetic correction of the front teeth, or for improving more extensive issues. They blend in well with the natural colour of the teeth, and are stain-resistant.

Metal Mouth: Does Your Child Need Interceptive Orthodontics?

Teeth AlignmentBefore, children did not get orthodontic treatment until they were around 12 to 14 years old, just when all the permanent teeth have erupted. Now, the American Academy of Orthodontics states that all children should get an orthodontic assessment not later than 7 years old as they are also more receptive and compliant with treatment.

AFOAvon.com provides an overview of interceptive orthodontics and why your child may need it.

Interceptive Orthodontics in a Nutshell

This procedure is a phased type of orthodontics that diagnoses and treats malocclusions upon detection. It corrects any issue and prevents future problems. Sometimes, this treatment corrects problems associated with skeletal development and other times. Due to oral habits, this may be the necessary solution.

The Need for Interceptive Orthodontics for Children

Most of the time, this is the first phase that minimizes the second phase of treatment which occurs after the eruption of all permanent teeth at 12 to 14 years old. Being the primary phase, it may not eliminate the need for braces. But, it can prevent the extraction of permanent teeth in the future to adjust overcrowding and reduce the chances of needing surgery to even out the upper and lower jaws.

Interceptive orthodontics improves malocclusions caused by jaw or tooth misalignment. Leaving malocclusions untreated will take a toll on how your child chews and how they clean their teeth, talk, and smile. Moreover, these can lead to unfavorable growth, accidental chipping, periodontal disease, and tooth decay.

Apart from these, other problems that may be intercepted by this approach include thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, narrow dental arches, protruding of front teeth, and open bites.

Some of the advantages offered by getting this type of treatment include the preservation of space for teeth that have not erupted yet and the expansion of the palate to properly position the back molars. It also reduces the need for future tooth extractions and influences jaw growth, creating facial symmetry.

Do not wait for your child to suffer from the consequences of malocclusions. Introduce them to proper hygiene and let them get used to the dentist to gradually alleviate the onset of dental anxiety.