The differences between Invisalign and clear braces

There are many options available when it comes to visiting the orthodontist and having a malocclusion fixed.  The choices available to you depend upon the diagnosis given to you, as well as its severity.  These options include regular metal braces, braces with colored brackets and/or colored rubber bands, lingual braces wherein the brackets are placed on the back, tongue side of the teeth, wireless braces, clear braces and Invisalign.   Many people believe that clear braces and Invisalign are the same things.  They could not be more wrong.  In fact, they are not even used to fix the same problem and replacing one with the other may create more problems than are fixed by wearing the device.  Therefore, it is best to discuss all of your options with an orthodontist before deciding which one is right for you and will take the least time to fix what is wrong with your mouth. Clear braces are often referred to as ceramic braces because the brackets are made out of ceramic material.  They can either be made clear or they can be made to match the exact color of your teeth, thereby camouflaging them and making them less noticeable.  Clear braces work the same way metal braces do.  The brackets are bonded to the teeth and connected by a wire.  The wire puts pressure on the teeth and pushes them into proper alignment.  Those that wear either metal or ceramic braces need to return to the orthodontist every month or so in order to have the wire tightened.   Invisalign, on the other hand, is a product that is similar to a clear retainer which shifts the teeth into place.  You wear the device for approximately 22 hours each day and only remove it to eat and brush your teeth.  You will get a new aligner approximately every two weeks in order to properly align your teeth.  Treatment can take up to a year to complete.   Both products are transparent.  However, since Invisalign does not have brackets, it is a bit less noticeable than clear braces.  Be that as it may, you have to be disciplined enough to leave it in your mouth for 22 hours a day and not take it out except when eating, brushing, and flossing.  Ceramic braces have been known to stain teeth when mixed with foods and drinks such as coffee and curry.  In addition, ceramic braces can cause irritation to the lips and cheeks until scar tissue is developed and may seem brittle to the touch.   Furthermore, while Invisalign can treat some minor issues of crowded, crooked teeth, as well as gapped teeth and a minor over, under, or open bite, there are a number of problems it cannot treat.  Braces, whether ceramic or metal, need to be used if you suffer from cross bites, malocclusions, very crooked teeth, and many other issues that plague the mouth and jaw.   Both Invisalign and clear ceramic braces are good options for those not looking to call attention to the fact they are trying to fix their teeth. However, there are big differences between the two treatments. Depending on your diagnosis, one treatment may be more appropriate than the other.  A consultation with an orthodontist can help determine what type of treatment might be best for you.