When it comes to repairing your smile, you really have two main choices: braces or Invisalign. This leads many people to wonder if there are significant differences between the two choices, especially in terms of how effective the treatments will be in fixing your teeth. Price may be a consideration, as well, although some people are willing to pay more if it means a better outcome. The primary goal, whether you want to fix your own teeth or give your child a straighter smile, is to choose the option that will have the longest lasting effect.
Braces vs. Invisalign: What Are They?
Either option is intended to improve your smile by straightening your teeth and helping you return to a better state of oral health. At this point, braces are often more popular among people, simply because they have been around longer. Invisalign was only introduced in 2000, so they’re still fairly new.
Most people have a pretty good idea about what getting braces entails. It’s a metal bracket, which is glued to your teeth. The braces are also tied together with small wires and rubber bands. Originally, braces were all the color of the metal, but technology has given us more options. Today, you can get braces that come in a color that matches tooth enamel, so they’re less noticeable. Other colors are also available for those interested in using their braces as a fashion accessory.
You won’t get those same choices with Invisalign, because this corrective device is intentionally designed to be unseen. The aligner trays that shift your teeth gently and gradually are made of a clear plastic, so it won’t be noticeable to others. The plastic is BPA-free, so it’s safe for long-term use. Impressions, along with X-rays and photos will help the dentist form aligner trays that precisely fit the patient’s mouth, so the device can be configured for the best results.
Treatment times also vary between the two products. Braces are worn 24 hours a day for a period of up to two years. Some patients may wear braces for a shorter time, while others may have to wear braces longer than the two years. It will depend on the specific circumstances of each case. Invisalign is also worn up to 24 hours a day, though some patients may be able to remove the device for two hours per day. Invisalign works faster, so it’s typically only necessary to wear them for six to 18 months. Again, this will depend on the specific condition of each patient’s oral health.
Maintenance also varies between the two products. Since braces aren’t removable, they must be brushed along with the patient’s teeth. A water pick can help get to hard to reach crevices. Typically, Invisalign comes with its own cleaning system. Conversely, the patient can also brush and rinse the aligner trays in lukewarm water.
Patients wearing braces must return to have them adjusted once per month. Invisalign patients have to change their aligner trays every two weeks and will need to schedule office visits every four to six weeks, until the aligner trays are no longer needed.
Braces: The Pros and Cons
- Predictable results since it doesn’t rely on the compliance of patients.
- They aren’t removable, so the temptation to stop wearing them is eliminated.
- Pain and sores may develop, as the brackets and wires cause tooth movement.
- Challenging hygiene may cause tooth discoloration
- Eating sticky or hard foods may not be possible.
- Braces are not recommended for individuals who play rough contact sports (In this case, mouthguards are highly recommended)
Invisalign: The Pros and Cons
- They are invisible and removable.
- There’s no concern for food getting caught in the device.
- There’s also no difficulty with eating.
- The device doesn’t cause discomfort or pain.
- There is a chance that patients will lose aligners
- The aligner must be removed to eat or drink, except in cases where the patient is drinking water.
- Treatment can be less than ideal if patient does not wear aligners as instructed.
- Invisalign is not recommended for patients who will not have the discipline to keep the trays in place for 22 hours per day.
Invisalign is not recommended for patients with bridgework, back tooth bite problems, or those who will not have the discipline to keep the trays in place for 22 hours per day. Additionally, those who need vertical tooth alignment or need to have their premolars or canines rotated should consider more traditional braces.
In some cases, Invisalign may be the more attractive option, but it’s not without its drawbacks. The ability to remove the trays at will can be as much of a curse as a blessing, particularly because the patient will have to remember to remove it before every meal. Additionally, the discomfort cause by tooth movement can make it tempting to not wear the device for prolonged periods. This can disrupt the process of correcting the teeth and lead to more expenses for the patient, or for parents of the patient.
When you’re trying to decide between braces and Invisalign, it’s important to weigh all of the factors carefully. A consultation with Austin Orthodontist, Dr. RJ Jackson will help you better understand the process for each method, so you can make a more informed decision. Since the goal is to only have to correct one’s teeth once, you want to make the choice that’s going to be the most effective for your unique circumstances.
1. The Referral
The first person to be aware of your need for braces will likely be your dentist. It’s important to visit your family dentist regularly. They will always spot potential trouble and help you to keep a healthy, attractive smile. Your dentist can let you know when you need an orthodontist. They will generally be able to recommend a good Austin orthodontist for you. Your dentist may even do the first X-rays at this stage of the process.
2. Your Consultation
When you meet with your orthodontist, they will examine your teeth. They may need to take X-rays of your mouth unless your dentist has sent along some recent ones. At this point, they will diagnose any issues. Braces may be necessary for a variety of reasons. Crowding, gaps, overbites and cross-bites are just a few of the reasons braces may be prescribed. The orthodontist will come up with a treatment plan and provide you with all of the necessary information.
3. The Treatment Process
For traditional braces, you will first have your teeth cleaned and conditioned. This may take as little as fifteen to thirty minutes. Brackets are cemented to each tooth involved in the treatment. A wire is then inserted through the brackets. Each bracket has a door that is then closed to hold the wire in place. It usually takes one or two hours for the entire visit.
Ceramic and clear braces are a couple of the other options. These work in the same basic way. A dental adhesive is applied to each tooth to hold the brackets into place when these methods are used. If you receive Austin Invisalign braces, the process is a bit simpler. Clear aligners are made for you and worn for one to two weeks. You must return to the orthodontist regularly for new sets as they slowly correct your teeth alignment.
4. Living with Braces
Braces may be required for six months or up to two years. The average time for Invisalign is about a year. Braces will mean certain restrictions on what you can eat. Hard foods could damage the braces. Sticky or crunchy items may get stuck in them and cause cleaning issues. You will need to visit a dentist regularly to have your teeth cleaned. Regular orthodontist appointments will make sure that the process is working as intended. You may need minor adjustments to the braces as your teeth move and shift into place.
Before you know it, the day will finally come when your braces can be removed. You will often end up with a retainer after the braces are off. A retainer is a device worn on your teeth to prevent them from shifting back to their previous alignment. The retainer is normally worn at night while you sleep. In some cases, you may receive a fixed retainer that is cemented in, similar to how the braces were.
The typical time period for retainer use is equal to the length of time you wore braces. In any case, you will have follow-up visits with your Austin orthodontist to make sure the initial treatment is holding up. After everything is done, you can enjoy your new smile!
The holidays are just around the corner. This means the thought of food and delicious treats begins to fill our minds! But, don’t forget about those braces; you want them to stay intact and in good shape. That’s why RJ Orthodontics near Steiner Ranch/River Place wants to ensure that everyone has a fun and enjoyable season, while keeping your braces and orthodontic treatment in perfect order.
Just before the holiday season starts, make an appointment to come by and get your braces checked by Dr. RJ. If you are unable to make the trip, make sure you have plenty of rubber bands, toothpaste, wax and retainer cases, so you aren’t left without the necessities. Going without rubber bands might prolong your treatment. Taking care of your braces during the holiday season requires a bit of effort, including keeping both your braces and your mouth clean.
Things you might want to avoid
Popcorn is one of the things you most want to avoid; popcorn kernels can pose a huge problem to braces. They can become lodged in your brackets and wires, and it’s difficult to remove all the pieces. Popcorn kernels can also cause pain, and in some cases, may cause bleeding in your gums. The holidays are also known for cookies and candy — sweets no one can resist! You don’t want to have an excess coating of sugar sitting on your teeth, since it can cause decay. Make sure you brush your teeth soon after enjoying your sweet treats.
Tips for Braces Care
Brushing: After each meal and before bedtime, brush your teeth and braces with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. There are special toothbrushes for braces called “interdental toothbrushes” that help get to those hard-to-reach places like under wires, between brackets and in the back of your mouth.
Flossing: Floss at least twice a day or even after each meal. Floss the areas between your teeth — even the hard to reach places. Floss threaders can make navigating between the brackets and around the braces easier.
Elastics: If Dr. RJ has provided you with elastics, wear them at all times. The only time you shouldn’t wear them is when eating and when brushing your teeth. Make sure you have the correct elastic size as well as some extras just in case you misplace them. Failure to wear your elastics could increase the” risk of your teeth shifting, thereby prolonging your treatment.
Water Pik: In addition to flossing, you can try the oral irrigation device, known as Water Pik. This device is a water power system that mimics flossing. For some, this system minimizes pain and bleeding in the gums, compared to flossing.
Travel Kit: If you are planning to travel during the holidays, having a braces kit is a great idea. Within this kit, keep a small toothbrush, floss, mouthwash, wax, elastics and a small mirror to check your smile. These are great for the car, backpack, bag, or purse.
The holidays are meant to be enjoyed by all, even if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. By remembering just a few things, you can be sure your new smile stays healthy and your treatment time remains on schedule. For questions, feel free to contact RJ Orthodontics in Steiner Ranch / River Place area of Austin.
Happy Holidays everyone!
The month of October was designated as the National Orthodontics Month, and it is reserved for the recognition of the orthodontists’ contribution to society. More than a million people in the United States and thousands in Austin, TX have braces on their teeth, or other types of enhancement that is being installed on the dental area in order for them to showcase better smiles. These people seek the help of the orthodontists to have their teeth fixed. Orthodontists are professionals who specialize in diagnosing and preventing bad bites. They are also responsible for the intervention of the problem with biting, offering some ways on how to correct it. Orthodontic treatments are made available by these professionals so that a person having problems with biting or chewing their food can have theirs jaw realigned so that it could perfectly fit with each other. Having difficulty biting would make it harder for these people to chew their food, and it would give them an unpleasant feeling when eating. Their ultimate task is to straighten the teeth, making sure that each individual tooth is in place by using techniques which are native to the profession.
Orthodontists are dealing with all sorts of deformities in the teeth. They deal with people who are having crowded teeth, protrusive teeth, teeth that are spaced and are too far from each other, teeth having an abnormal way of growing, or teeth that do not meet at all. They do their best to correct these deformities in order to fix the smile on their patients’ faces. If someone is experiencing one of these problems, all they have to do is to visit their orthodontist, and they will be checking out which kind of treatment is good for the condition. If someone is having difficulty biting or chewing their food, the orthodontist can recommend putting in some braces to fix the alignment of the teeth. Other available orthodontic treatment can be recommended as well, in order to make sure that the teeth will be straightened. A set of teeth that is aligned properly is not just pleasing to the eyes, but it also promotes good oral health. People who are ignoring these problems with the teeth can develop further deterioration of their dental health, including tooth loss, tooth decay, bleeding gums and jaw problems.
The most common types of methods that the orthodontists use in order to fix the alignment of the teeth will be braces and retainers. Austin dental braces, as stated earlier, is a type of metal that is being place on the teeth in order for them to move and become straight. The process can initially be painful, but as the mouth and teeth copes with the instrument, pain can be lessened. The effect of the braces can be seen in a few weeks, and the patient who has a brace on their teeth must visit their orthodontist regularly so that the progress of the treatment can be recorded. Realignment and fixing of the braces is also important, which is why patients with braces must regularly have their orthodontist check their teeth so that no further problems can develop. Another method being used by orthodontists are retainers. Retainers stabilize and preserve the outcome of the treatment provided by the orthodontist.
To summarize, orthodontists are important because they promote good oral health. Without them, difficulty in chewing might arise, resulting to other complications. For those who are living within the Austin metropolitan area and are having problems with how they bite and chew, RJ Orthodontics Austin welcomes you for a new patient consultation.
Summer is almost over and the temperatures have calmed down. It is the season for sporting, and most of all its time for children to go back to school. Parents tend to get caught up with school uniform, books, school fees, and other essentials for bracing their kids to resume learning but they tend to forget about oral health. Indeed, your child’s teeth are as crucial as their overall health. Dr. RJ Jackson your Austin Orthodontist, has the best oral practices for kids with braces as you prepare for them to go back to school.
Oral Hygiene Routine
A part of maintaining healthy teeth is following the 2×2 brushing concept. This means you need to train your kids to brush twice a day and for two minutes each time. Brushing at lunch time is advisable since food debris tends to get trapped in the teeth and encourages the formation of plaque. This is one of the reasons your child should carry a braces care kit. Apart from keeping up with oral hygiene, the braces kit also keeps your child prepared for situations that arise from wearing braces. The braces care kit should have the following:
- Dental wax
- Dental floss
- Lip balm
Toothpaste, toothbrush, and floss will be handy for brushing after lunch. Dental wax will help if your child’s braces irritate their gums, cheeks, or lips. Wax reduces irritation whereas lip balm helps to moisten dry lips caused by wearing braces.
Carry a Water Bottle
Experts advise people to take 2 ½ liters of water every day. Water is not only refreshing it also supports many body processes. Drinking water is also necessary for ensuring you are hydrated. It also keeps the mouth clean, and fights decay and cavities. Drinking lots of water will also prevent your kid from taking sugary drinks to quench their thirst. These sugary drinks stain the teeth which result in white spots on the brackets. If your kid should drink sugary drinks or soda, then they should take it with a straw to prevent contact with the teeth.
Carry Extra Rubber Bands
Ensure you child carries an extra pack of rubber bands to school. If they have a locker, ask them to lock in extra rubber bands for emergencies. Elastics are important for moving the teeth and result in shorter treatment times. Since rubber bands wear out and loose elasticity in a short time, it is advisable to keep an extra set. Ask an Austin Orthodontist when and how often your child should replace rubber bands.
Watch Your Diet
Your diet is an important part of oral health. Chewy, hard, and crunchy foods are likely to damage your braces. Furthermore, sugary foods increase your chances of getting cavities and decay. Make teeth-friendly foods for your kids. These include foods like yogurt, eggs, fruit smoothies, cooked vegetables, and soft foods like spaghetti, lean meat, and macaroni and cheese. Bananas are also recommended for high fiber and potassium to keep the bones strong and for a healthy heart. If your child must take hard fruits like apples and pears, slice them into small pieces and instruct them to chew using their back teeth. Biting hard fruits directly is strongly discouraged because it can cause damage to braces.
As you plan to take your child back to school, remember not to neglect their oral health needs. Kids with braces need to pay more attention to their teeth. Apart from ensuring your kids brush their teeth 2-3 times a day, practices such as flossing should be encouraged. They should also carry a brace care kit for emergency situations. Braces are sensitive to foods and can easily get damaged; therefore, you should ensure your child eats the right foods. For more advice and for any queries about your child’s oral health as you prepare to take them back to school, feel free to contact our Austin Orthodontics practice. We’re always here to help!
Did you know, according to a 2000 study, adults are more likely to get a second opinion on major home repairs than they are to get a second opinion on orthodontic care. Patients often assume that all orthodontists will offer the same treatment plans at the same cost. This simply isn’t so. With the great advancements in technology, getting a second opinion is always beneficial. Doctors may have different approaches when developing your treatment plan. Before deciding on an orthodontist, make sure to speak to several doctors, and choose the plan that is best for you.
Cost is always an important factor when picking the best treatment option. There are some clinics which offer free second opinions. RJ Orthodontics in Austin, TX, for example, offers free second opinions and competitive pricing. Dr RJ Jackson offers payment options that fit your budget, so you don’t have to stress about paying the bill. Second opinions allow you to learn about different payment options. You don’t have to worry about the price of your orthodontic care. Taking the time to research payment options at several orthodontic clinics, allows you to get the care you need at a price that works for you.
Not everyone has the time to come into the doctor’s office every few weeks to get their braces tightened. Luckily, there are several alternative orthodontic options. Different clinics often different treatment options. Some doctors feel comfortable performing procedures that other doctors may not feel comfortable performing. Look for an Austin orthodontist which offers the procedure that works best with your lifestyle.
Have you ever had a negative experience at a doctor’s office? Have you noticed the the doctors and staff are a bit rude and unprofessional? This is just another reason why you need to get a second opinion. Patients can spend years in orthodontic care. You want to work with a staff that you feel comfortable with. Taking the time to find an office that you work will with, will pay off in the long run. Foster a good relationship with your Austin Orthodontist.