Invisalign Vs Braces

Invisalign vs. Braces Questions

This is the question we get most often when someone is in the market for teeth treatment. Weather for your child, or yourself, everyone should do research to arm themselves for the best option. Questions about the pros and cons between Invisalign vs braces? Ideally, you’ll want the kind of care that will do the best job and is most able to get your smile where you want it to be. Read about the differences between the options so you can make an informed choice. As always, we recommend talking to an orthodontist or dentist for a consultation who can give you detailed and personalized information. After all, they are the ones who will be able to design and execute a treatment plan.

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It’s in the name, and part of the reason people gravitate towards this more discreet treatment option: it’s invisible! It is also less likely to produce issues with speech or communication. These custom trays slip right over teeth and fit like a glove. Issues with self-esteem or embarrassment are considerably less with Invisalign since the trays are far less noticeable and made without any metal. These invisible trays are popped in every two weeks generally speaking.

Invisible sounds good?
Try this for size too, they come off really easily. While they do require to be worn for 22 hours out of the day, this reserved time goes towards enjoying any kind of meal your stomach desires. Unlike braces, your diet will not be impacted and you can continue enjoying all the sweet, crunchy, chewy foods you desire.

The tradeoff does come with a downside though.
You can’t eat with the trays on, and the time they are spent off are generally dedicated to mealtime. There is a heavy regiment involved in making sure your teeth are spotless before putting the trays back on as you must brush and floss your teeth and give the trays a good cleaning too. Failure to do so can lead to a pretty gnarly set of trays that get discolored and fuzzy teeth. Invisalign® trays end up trapping and containing a lot of the plaque and germs that grow on your teeth. Snacking tends to get thrown out the window due to the effort it takes between meals, and while you can eat whatever you want, the time in which you can do so gets severely limited.

If for some reason your trays get damaged, this is not the end of the world and requires no emergency visit to your local dentist or orthodontist. Cracks and damage sometimes occur with use, but because you will shift through a set of trays and will generally have several on hand at once, you can reorder new ones and use old sets in the meantime.


Braces work with a series of metal bands, wires, hooks, and sometimes rubber bands to shift and loosen teeth into a new position. Ceramic or metal brackets are attached to teeth while the wire puts pressure on the teeth and moves them into the desired location and posture. Hooks may be attached to specific brackets to attach rubber bands and help provide extra pressure.

Emergency visits for repairs might be needed if something goes wrong. A broken wire or hook might cause extreme discomfort if they happen since they can cut or drag on the teeth. Foods and eating becoming limiting, although there is no limit to when you can eat. The extensive hardware installed in the mouth also makes it harder to brush and care for teeth. Chewy, sticky, crunchy, hard foods are definitely not an option. However, you can eat whenever you want!

Cost of braces can vary pretty widely. They often will come priced underneath an Invisalign treatment plan heading anywhere between $3,000 to $6,000 for traditional metal ones while ceramic braces will cost $4,000 to $8,000.

Because braces make plaque and tartar more likely to build up, you may need to visit 2-4 times per year for cleaning while wearing braces. There are tons of tools to help clean around braces but it is difficult and takes some time getting used to. Speaking also can be impacted, with the protruding wires but in time patients often adjust and learn to get used to the new feeling of their lips and tongue.

Braces are great for more complex work. Any dentist or orthodontist will be able to take a look and provide a medical opinion about what kind of changes need to be made and what an appropriate route would take.

Invisalign: What you need to know

One downside to Invisalign® is the amount of discipline involved. Freedom does come with a cost, and that means adhering to your dentist or orthodontist instructions for use. Progress associated with Invisalign comes down to the patient. If you are considering treatment options for a teenager, make sure they will be prepared to care for their trays and keep them on for the recommended 22 hours.

Invisalign® does cost more in most cases. There are a lot of elements to the treatment that come into the price and is worth considering. Make sure to check your insurance provider if you have one for potential coverage. The cost of a treatment plan will run in the thousands, Invisalign® cost will run an average of $5,000 but fluctuate between $3,500-$8,000.

Getting towards a good set of chompers luckily does not mean sacrificing activities like contact sports or playing instruments. This is a wide concern for students or professionals who are players or performers in the music scene. Rest assured that Invisalign trays have a sturdy record of allowing patients to continue enjoying such activities on their way to that bright smile. You don’t have to sacrifice someone’s extracurriculars that will look great on any resume or application.

There is less history of use with Invisalign, having been prescribed in 2000. That being said, there is plenty of research and development on the market and new ways to use Invisalign is being produced with each passing year. There are limits to what Invisalign® can do and a dentist or orthodontist will best be able to determine what is a good option. Generally speaking though, deeply complex cases are not optimal with Invisalign®.

Both Options

There are some considerations that both treatment options present.

-First off, seeing your local dentist or orthodontist is essential for checkups and adjustments. Building a good relationship with a trusted provider is key to the communication about your progress and feedback.

-Secondly, there will be discomfort with either option. At the end of the day, your teeth don’t magically lift up their skirts and move to the left. It takes skill and design to ensure a safe transition to a future smile.

-Third, a positioner or retainer will likely be used at the end of treatment and is common for both options. Their use is to ensure that teeth don’t shift back to their former position and stay in their new spots.

-Lastly, our teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions when patients follow instructions for wearing the appliances as prescribed. Regular brushing, flossing and other oral hygiene habits are vital while teeth undergo changes!

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