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Invisalign vs. Braces: How to Decide Which One’s for You

Thanks to modern orthodontics, we now have more teeth straightening options than ever before. There are traditional braces, which now come in metal, ceramic, and behind the teeth, and then there are clear aligners like Invisalign. While both braces and Invisalign are extremely effective at targeting teeth misalignment and overbite—depending on your orthodontist, of course—they’re not created equal. Both have their own strengths and weaknesses or pros and cons. So which one is better, and which one is the right teeth straightening solution for you?

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Factors to Consider

The decision of whether to get Invisalign or go the traditional braces route can be a deeply personal one. On top of the overall cost and length of treatment, you’ll also need to consider factors that affect your day-to-day life.

To make this decision process a little bit easier, we’ve put together a quick Invisalign vs. braces comparison guide. Here you’ll see some of the most important factors and questions to consider, as well as how Invisalign and braces fare in each category. Because preferences and lifestyle choices vary, some features may be more important to you than others. So instead of telling you which one is better, we’re here to give you all the facts, so that you can decide the best teeth straightening option for you.

Invisalign Clear Aligners vs. Braces Comparison

How much do they cost?

Invisalign Clear Aligners:
$$

Braces:
$$

What do they look like?

Invisalign Clear Aligners:
Clear, nearly invisible

Braces:
The most common option features metal or ceramic brackets connected by a metal wire. There’s an option to get clear or colorful rubber bands, which can be appealing for kids. There’s also an option to place the brackets at the back of the teeth, making it invisible. However, these tend to be extremely uncomfortable

How effective are they?

Invisalign Clear Aligners:
Effective even for more complex or severe cases

Braces:
Effective even for more complex or severe cases
How fast can I see the results?

Invisalign Clear Aligners:
Most cases range from 6-18 months, depending on complexity

Braces:
Most cases range from 6-18 months, depending on complexity

How easy are they to use?

Invisalign Clear Aligners:
You’ll need to wear them for 20-22 hours a day, and to remember to lightly rinse and put them back after every meal. You’ll also need to keep track of where you place them so you don’t lose them.

Braces:
Brackets are permanently bonded so you don’t have to worry about removing or losing them. But you’ll still need to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly after every meal as brackets can be a trap for bacteria.

How comfortable are they to wear?

Invisalign Clear Aligners:
Moving teeth can be uncomfortable, but because aligners are smooth and trimmed to your gum line for comfort, you won’t have to worry about cuts and gum irritation.

Braces:
Aside from the discomfort that comes from the teeth movement, wires and brackets may poke and irritate your mouth and gums, which can be painful and uncomfortable.

How do I clean them? How do I clean my teeth?

Invisalign Clear Aligners:
Soak the Aligners in a cleaning solution, or scrub them gently with a toothbrush. And, brush and floss your teeth as you normally would.

Braces:
Brush at an angle and use a specialized floss threader. You may also need an interdental brush to clean hard-to-reach areas.

Are there any food restrictions?

Invisalign Clear Aligners:
No restrictions since you can remove them during meals.

Braces:
You can’t eat hard or sticky food.

Will they damage my teeth?

Invisalign Clear Aligners:
Invisalign attachments are removed after your treatment and cause no damage to your teeth.

Braces:
If you don’t have perfect hygiene during treatment, you may develop permanent white spots (or decalcification) around the brackets.

How many times do I need to visit the orthodontist?

Invisalign Clear Aligners:
You’ll get your trays in advance, so you won’t need to visit your orthodontist as often. Checkups can also be done virtually.

Braces:
You’ll be required to visit your orthodontist often for adjustments (and occasional broken bracket emergencies).
What’s post-treatment like?

Invisalign Clear Aligners:
You’ll get a set of clear retainers, which you’ll wear full time for another 3 months and then just every night thereafter.

Braces:
You’ll get a set of clear retainers, which you’ll wear full time for another 3 months and then just every night thereafter.
Overall, Invisalign and braces are equally effective at straightening your teeth in a similar amount of time and at an identical cost. That said, we tend to recommend that our patients use Invisalign because of its hygiene benefits and due to the notable difference in patient comfort throughout treatment when compared to braces.

Choosing Your Orthodontist

Once you’ve decided the right course of action for you, the next step is to find a provider and orthodontist you can trust. Your orthodontist plays a huge part in the process because they’re the ones who will strategize how your teeth will fall into their ideal position, and orthodontists are the only dental specialists who are trained to properly straighten your teeth and fix your bite.

Getting Invisalign at Clover

If you think Invisalign is the better option for you, consider getting it done at Clover. We are the biggest provider of Invisalign in LA, with some of the most experienced and renowned orthodontists in the area. Our personalized approach to orthodontic care, coupled with our zen-inspired West Hollywood space, makes the Invisalign process at Clover a more streamlined, convenient, and pleasant experience. Come visit us at Clover to get started!

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