You have decided to get orthodontic treatment so that your beautiful, straight smile will be what people remember when they first meet you, instead of misaligned teeth. It’s an investment in your future as well as a confidence builder for life!
Maybe you and your orthodontist have eliminated traditional metal braces for you due to their high visibility, so now you must decide between ceramic braces or Invisalign clear aligners. Each has its pros and cons and it’s something you will have to live with for months (if not longer), so which is best for you?
We will explore those options in this article so you will be as comfortable as possible with your braces on your way to your new smile. Let’s learn about what each has to offer so you can make the best decision for your needs!
Invisalign or Ceramic Braces: Which Came First?
Many ancient cultures, including the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, developed ways to straighten teeth as far back as 5000 years ago! Mummies have even been found with braces intact, so this isn’t new “technology.”
The first modern metal braces were invented in 1819 in France and consisted of a woven wire system that fit over the upper and lower teeth. Then, ceramic braces were introduced around 30 years ago. Besides being more discreet, they are also more comfortable because the ceramic materials are less abrasive to the inside of the mouth than wire braces. Clear aligners then came along in 1997 and eliminated the need for wires and brackets and offered users the most discreet method of straightening teeth.
Now that you know a little bit of the history, let’s look at the pros and cons of Invisalign vs ceramic braces.
Invisalign Clear Aligners 101
Instead of braces attached to your teeth, Invisalign is a system of clear aligners, sometimes called trays, that are customized and made specifically for your orthodontic needs. The removable aligners slip over the teeth and fit into the mouth like a mouth guard.
The trays are changed approximately every two weeks, with each tray exerting a different pressure on your teeth in order to reach the goal your orthodontist has set for your mouth.
Here are the pros and cons of the Invisalign system:
- These clear aligners are nearly invisible on your teeth, which is an important feature for adults and teens when they need orthodontic treatment. When comparing Invisalign with ceramic braces in this regard, Invisalign is far less noticeable than ceramics.
- Invisalign is great for those with mild to moderate overcrowding, overbites and underbites, and spacing issues.
- You can eat what you want! The aligners are removed when you eat, so there is no need to restrict your choices of food.
- Invisalign is an effective treatment for most orthodontic issues of both teenagers and adults.
- You will not have to see the orthodontist every week for the uncomfortable tightening of brackets. (You will need to come in for periodic checkups on your progress, though.)
- Invisalign clear aligners are often more expensive than ceramic braces.
- In some cases, the treatment plan for aligners will be longer than ceramic braces.
- The chance of losing them is higher since they must be removed any time you want to eat.
- Since they must be removed several times a day to eat, aligners are sometimes not put back into the mouth when they should be. This disrupts the progress of the teeth and the treatment plan.
- The aligners can be damaged if they are not removed when you are eating.
Next, let’s see how ceramic braces compare to Invisalign clear aligners.
Ceramic Braces 101
Ceramic braces have brackets made of ceramic, porcelain, or plastic. The brackets are less visible than those on traditional metal braces and are clear or the same shade as your teeth. Though ceramic braces do use wires, so they are more noticeable than Invisalign.
These braces work like traditional metal braces. And the process to cement them to your teeth and then tighten them every few weeks is the same.
Here are the pros and cons of ceramic braces:
- Many people call these braces “invisible braces.” They are manufactured to be much more subtle on your teeth than traditional braces.
- They are generally more affordable than aligners.
- For clients who require orthodontic treatment for complex issues, ceramic braces are a better option.
- They work faster than aligners in most cases.
- Ceramic braces won’t stain or discolor.
- Although touted as “invisible,” they are more noticeable than clear aligners.
- They are less comfortable than plastic aligners.
- There will be limits to what you can eat. This will be true as long as you wear the braces.
- If not done carefully, brushing your teeth can damage wires and brackets.
Ceramic Braces vs Invisalign: Which Is Best for You?
Invisalign or ceramic braces will both give you the smile you want, and neither has the metal of traditional braces that calls a lot of attention to your mouth. But, as we have seen, these two orthodontic treatment options do have differences that must be considered.
It is even possible that your orthodontist may recommend using both ceramic braces as well as clear aligners. For example, the first part of your treatment plan may call for ceramic braces and then your treatment is completed using Invisalign. Your orthodontist will determine the best way to proceed at each stage of your treatment by continually assessing the positions of your teeth and what needs to be done next.
It’s important to discuss your options with our orthodontic team at White Plains Orthodontic and ask any questions that you may have. Here at White Plains Orthodontics, we are the trusted local provider of both Invisalign and ceramic braces in White Plains, NY. We have the experience and knowledge to advise you on which might be the best choice for you so that you achieve the best results possible.
Contact us to set an appointment and get started on your path to straighter teeth today!