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Train Tracks vs Invisalign: Which is Better?

There are various treatments that your dentist can use to realign and straighten your teeth, some of the most popular being train track braces and Invisalign braces. Many patients do get a choice as to which treatment they would prefer, while for other people, their dentist will recommend a treatment for them.

If, like many people, you have a choice between the two, it’s important you know the differences as well as the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision for yourself. While both braces work in similar ways to gradually move your teeth into the desired position, there are still various factors you need to consider.

From how they look and how visible they appear, to the ability to remove them and even hygiene. To find out which is best for you and the main differences between these two popular braces, read on.

What Are Invisalign and Train Tracks?

Invisalign and train tracks are two different methods of teeth straightening and are very popular treatments that dentists use to treat people of all ages. Each has its own pros and cons and employs different methods to straighten your teeth.

Train tracks are the more visible option, in which your dentist will permanently attach train tracks to your teeth. Using metal and bands, they will slowly but constantly put pressure on your teeth, to ensure they gradually realign themselves, so they look straight and uniform.

Invisalign uses a plastic aligner tray that fits snugly over your teeth and is removable. This method also needs to be worn most of the time in order to have effective results and also work in much the same way. With constant pressure that is often unnoticeable, they gradually move your teeth into the correct position over time.

Depending on how old you are, how much realignment your teeth need, your lifestyle and many other factors, you may be more suited to one of these treatments.

What Are the Differences Between Train Tracks and Invisalign?

One of the main differences is that train tracks are permanent until the treatment is complete. They are removed by your dentist, while Invisalign can be removed as and when you want and although there is a difference in appearance too, the removability of Invisalign is another. 

The plastic trays that Invisalign braces use are also changed weekly, unlike train tracks which will probably remain the same until the end of your treatment. Picking up your new Invisalign each week from your dentist surgery might also be an important factor for some people to consider. 

How Long Does it Take to Straighten Your Teeth?

Whichever method you decide to use, it usually takes around 6 months to 2 years to fully straighten your teeth. For train tracks, this will mean wearing them permanently 24/7 for you to see the full effect of this treatment.

For Invisalign braces, on the other hand, you will need to wear them for 22 to 24 hours per day to see their full effect. If you wear them for less time than this, then your teeth will take longer to get to their desired position. So although they are removable, they still need to be worn the majority of the time, during sleep and throughout the day.

Which Braces Are Removable?

Traditional, train track braces are not removable and will be permanently present in your mouth, until your dentist removed them after treatment. Invisalign braces on the other hand are removable and you can do so swiftly and easily, whenever you want to. 

Many people like to remove Invisalign braces when they are eating or drinking particular foods, this can also help to keep them clean, ensuring that your braces remain hygienic.

What Material Do Invisalign and Train Track Braces Use?

These two forms of braces use quite different material and for many people, this makes a huge difference in terms of feel and appearance. Traditional train track braces use metal fixtures along with rubber bands to apply pressure to your teeth, and gradually move them into position.

These metal braces don’t feel heavy and will not make your mouth feel colder, they are still quite comfortable, although they may feel a little bulkier in your mouth. Once you have adjusted though, train tracks will feel at home in your mouth and you won’t even notice them.

Invisalign braces use an entirely different material. The trays which fit neatly over your teeth are made from plastic and because of this, they are much less noticeable. Their appearance is see-through and very light when they are in or out of your mouth. Although they use plastic, they are very durable and strong, just like metal braces. 

Are Invisalign or Train Tracks More Discreet?

When most people are choosing their braces, how they look and how discreet each brace is, plays a huge role in which brace people choose. Adults and working professionals often prefer to have the Invisalign braces, as they are made from see-through plastic, making them much more discreet when worn.

The Invisalign plastic tray resembles your teeth and appears to be much more natural, which is one of the main selling points of this brace. When this brace is worn, it is barely visible as it is custom made to fit the shape and appearance of your teeth, making them incredibly discreet.

Train tracks are more visible and because of how they are fixed to the teeth, they can often be seen when smiling and sometimes talking. For some people, this is not an issue, but for others, the appearance of metal and rubber bands can be a problem. This is usually down to personal preference.

Are Train Track Braces or Invisalign More Hygienic?

Whatever type of brace you have, it is very important to make sure you brush with an electric toothbrush, floss and care for them, to make your treatment as effective as possible. However, both braces are slightly different when it comes to hygiene, although it is of course possible to keep both braces clean without any problems.

Many people find that Invisalign ends up being the more hygienic brace, compared to train tracks. Because train tracks are permanently fixed into your mouth and various attachment points, food and debris can often get stuck in between these points more easily.

There are special utensils you can use to remove them, so although bits might get stuck, it is easy to remove these and keep your braces clean. Invisalign braces are removable and because of this, they tend to be the more hygienic option. If you are eating certain foods you can remove them, so flossing your teeth is often enough to keep on top of them.

The actual plastic trays can also be rinsed when you remove them from your mouth if you need to, although because Invisalign fit your teeth very snugly, much less food and debris can get trapped in these braces.

To learn more about Invisalign and train track braces and discuss which one is right for you, contact us at our St Helier Dental Surgery, today. You can also register as a new patient if one of these treatments are right for you.

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