Invisalign vs Braces – Which is Better?

smiling girl holding invisalign

When it comes to teeth straightening, there are several options available. While Braces vs Invisalign have always been a topic of debate, there are pros and cons to both of them. Let’s take a look at several factors to keep in mind while choosing the perfect one for you:

Invisalign cost vs Braces cost: Is Invisalign cheaper than Braces?

When it comes to cost, both traditional Braces and Invisalign costs are almost similar. The factor that differentiates them from each other is the cost of treatment. In general, getting Invisalign will cost you more than traditional braces. The Invisalign price depends on the number of trays required, and the number of trays will depend on the severity of changes your teeth needs.

Invisalign vs Braces: Appearance

The most significant difference between braces and Invisalign is their appearance, and in terms of appearance, hands down, Invisalign is clearly winning this category. Staying true to its name, Invisalign is virtually invisible, while braces are more noticeable. Invisalign trays are made from transparent plastic material, whereas braces are made from metal or ceramic. Most children prefer to go for braces because of the variety of color bands available, and most adults prefer Invisalign because of its discreet nature.

Braces vs Invisalign: Comfort

Shifting the alignment of your teeth will be painful, regardless of whether you have braces or Invisalign. But if there is a point of comparison arising in matters of comfort, Invisalign takes the cake. Invisalign applies less pressure to your teeth overall. Braces have sharp edges that risk cutting your inner lip and tongue, and if you play sports, braces pose a risk of accidental contact. However, over time, you will get used to both braces or Invisalign.

Invisalign vs Braces: Effectiveness

In terms of effectiveness, braces are more effective than Invisalign. The effectiveness of Invisalign depends on the amount of time you wear it for. Since they are removable trays, you do not comply with wearing them constantly. People wear them less than the recommended amount, which lengthens the total time to complete the treatment. With braces, you comply wearing them every day at all times of the day. Thus, this increases the effectiveness of the treatment. Braces are also more effective in treating severely misaligned teeth, while Invisalign cannot always straighten rotated or overlapped teeth.

Braces vs Invisalign: Convenience

In terms of convenience, both braces and Invisalign have their pros and cons. It depends on what you will prefer ultimately. Some people might say braces are convenient because you won’t have to take them out, but that restricts you from eating certain foods. While with Invisalign, you can eat your favorite sticky or hard food. But you will go through the hassle of remembering to take them out before eating. Also, If you are habitual to misplacing things, Invisalign is not the ideal choice.

Braces vs Invisalign: Care and Cleaning

Cleaning and caring for your teeth should be your priority regardless of whether you have braces or Invisalign. With braces, the cleaning process comprises only brushing and flossing. Even with Invisalign, the cleaning process includes brushing and flossing, but you also require cleaning the trays. Every time you eat, ensure that you clean the trays using warm water, a brush, and a special Invisalign cleaning solution. Cleaning the crevices of the Invisalign tray can be a hassle, and without proper cleaning, there can be a build-up of food and bacteria around.

Not Ideal For

Braces are not ideal for people who play vigorous sports regularly, as there can be a safety risk. Invisalign is not recommended for people with back tooth bite issues, the need to rotate their canines or molars, the need to move teeth vertically, and people who lack the discipline to keep them for at least 22 hours a day.

Invisalign vs Braces: Pros and Cons

Pros of Braces:

  • They are more effective for complex issues.
  • You will need less self-discipline as they are irremovable.
  • It does not require you to follow any other cleaning procedures besides brushing and flossing.

Cons of Braces:

  • There will be some discomfort and pain from the wires, brackets, and tooth movement.
  • You might see a slight discoloration in your teeth because of difficulty maintaining good oral hygiene and bracket breakage.
  • You will have difficulty eating hard and sticky food.

Pros of Invisalign:

  • Invisalign are not visible and are removable.
  • There is no issue of getting food stuck in them.
  • There is no difficulty in eating and no discomfort from wires.

Cons of Invisalign:

  • You must remove them before eating and drinking anything besides water.
  • You may have discomfort from tooth movement.
  • Brush after each meal to avoid staining.

Follow-up and Post-Treatment

Whether you have braces or Invisalign, you will need to visit your orthodontist regularly. Visit Follow-up with your doctor for braces every month and for Invisalign every five to six weeks. After your treatment completion with braces, you will need to wear retainers to ensure your teeth stay in position. With Invisalign, after treatment, you will need to wear a tray at night.

Is Invisalign faster than Braces?

Time duration of treatment depends upon your specific case. In general, Invisalign tends to be faster than braces, as braces treatment require retainer to be worn after braces are removed.

Which is Better: Invisalign or Braces?

The ultimate decision comes down to your personal choice. While making a choice, keep the above points in mind. There are pros and cons to both options, so you need to think about the long run while deciding for yourself. In certain scenarios, there is a possibility that Invisalign stays entirely out of the option for you. In this matter, consult your orthodontist before concluding.

Braces vs Invisalign
Infographic on Invisalign vs Braces

Dr. Satish Pai, M.D.S

Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Brite Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth along with good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with his family.

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