A Beautiful Smile is a Healthy Smile: Comparing Invisalign and Braces


Your ideal smile is achievable at any age.

It’s easy to envy those Hollywood smiles, but a brand new smile is attainable at any age. If you look in the mirror and wish you could improve your smile, you might be a great candidate for Invisalign or braces. More and more adults are exploring orthodontic options to straighten their teeth. And since straightening your teeth has more than just cosmetic benefits, it’s never too late to improve your smile!

Whether you had braces as a kid and your teeth have shifted, or you have never corrected problem teeth and think now might be the time, Tomasik Family Dental in Lakeway and Beehive, Texas, can talk you through your options.

The benefits of straightening your teeth as an adult.

As adults, we are conscious of the way our teeth look when we speak, smile for the camera, or when we present our best selves to the world. Aside from a boost of confidence and an increase to our self-esteem, improving your smile can correct problems with chewing and breathing, and can reduce wear and tear on your teeth. If your teeth are crowded or spaced unevenly, correcting the problem can improve overall dental health, lowering the risk of tooth decay.

There are the health risks associated with crooked teeth.

There is an increased risk of gum disease when teeth are overcrowded or crooked. An alarming 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease, and that percentage increases with age. Teeth can become sensitive and painful, chipped or broken, and can make dental cleanings and regular brushing difficult.

If you would love to correct your smile but don’t know where to begin, let’s explore the similarities and differences between braces and Invisalign.

How are braces and Invisalign similar?

Both braces and Invisalign straighten teeth. Braces use brackets and wires that are tightened and adjusted so as to move each individual tooth into place. Invisalign works towards the same result using removable appliances called aligners.  Both techniques can help you achieve your goal of a healthy and beautiful smile. Both Invisalign and braces will require regular maintenance: braces need to be adjusted every three to four weeks, while you’ll swap your Invisalign aligners every one to two weeks.

How do these two methods differ?

Invisalign is renowned for it’s clear, removable aligners. These aligners can be removed to eat, drink, brush and floss, but still need to be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day to achieve optimal results. Metal braces are fixed to your teeth, so they can’t be removed for you to eat or brush, and extra care needs to be taken to avoid foods that can cause damage, such as hard candy, popcorn, gum, and ice.

Because braces rely on brackets and wires to straighten your teeth, your oral hygiene routine can be more complex. Taking care of your teeth during this treatment requires a diligent at-home oral care regime to clean between the wires. As Invisalign aligners can be removed to brush your teeth, oral care is much simpler. The aligners themselves, however, require regular cleaning and care. Abrasive materials can scratch the aligners, affecting their near-invisible appearance, and too-hot water can cause them to warp.

Frequently asked questions about improving your smile as an adult.

Am I too old for braces or Invisalign?

It’s never too late to consider ways to improve your dental health and to upgrade your smile. Plus, since adult patients tend to be more compliant with their protocols than children and teens, you’re more likely to see improved outcomes.

Will I be in treatment for years?

Everyone’s mouth is unique, and each treatment plan is tailored to your individual situation. The time it takes to a straighter smile will depend on the treatment plan and method recommended by Dr. Tomasik or Dr. Clor. We would always recommend you get in touch with our team so we can discuss the right treatment for your mouth, your lifestyle, and your ultimate smile goal. As a general guide, the average Invisalign treatment time is 12 to 18 months, and traditional metal braces average around two to three years.

Will my insurance cover the cost?

The cost of dental procedures depends upon your specific treatment plan and what your insurance company will cover. Since cost can be a factor in your decision-making, we can provide you with an estimate, including a guide on how much your insurance will likely cover.

So which is the best option for me?

Invisalign is often the preferred option for adults, thanks to its near invisible appearance that offers minimal disruption to daily life. However, in many cases, patients will still get the best, long-term results from traditional braces. It all depends on your individual goals and needs.. The team at Tomasik Family Dental will help you decide which treatment is right for you. They will discuss the pros and cons of each procedure and consider your individual dental health needs. If you’re ready to start your journey to a straighter, healthier smile, we can’t wait to help you achieve your goals.