Invisalign v Braces – How to decide which is right for you

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If you would like to have straighter teeth or have a child that wants straighter teeth, two options that you can look into are Invisalign and traditional braces. While both options can improve your smile and oral health, how they straighten your teeth differs. They also don’t cost the same, have their own set of advantages, and will vary in comfort depending on the wearer.


Invisalign vs Braces – Preparation and during

Traditional braces include brackets and archwires placed on each tooth with elastic ties to keep them secure. The brackets are usually made of metal but can be composite, ceramic, or a hybrid combination of materials. Brackets are attached to the teeth with cement which is hardened with a high-intensity light. The archwires attach to the brackets and apply pressure to help with the repositioning of the teeth. The duration of the treatment can range from 6 months to over 2 years. Usually, a dental retainer is required after braces are removed for a certain period of time, determined by your orthodontist.

Invisalign is a brand that uses clear aligner trays made out of BPA-free plastic to imperceptibly and slowly move your teeth. A dental specialist will use pictures, X-rays, and impressions to make a 3-D image of your teeth to make sure that the aligner trays fit just right. The duration of the treatment is on average between 6 to 18 months. This is based on the patient wearing the aligners for at least 20-22 hours every day. You’ll need to wear a retainer every night after Invisalign treatment is completed.


Pros and cons of braces and Invisalign


Traditional Braces

Braces can correct a variety of dental issues including crooked, crowded, protruding, and irregularly spaced teeth. Typically, children under the age of eight are not eligible for braces due to their lack of permanent teeth. You can select different colour options for your brackets. In some cases, people can have the brackets attached to the back of their teeth. Braces also stay in place, so you don’t have to worry about losing them. Visible signs of improvement can appear earlier with traditional braces.

In terms of cons, braces are more noticeable and less aesthetically pleasing than Invisalign. You will also have to avoid certain drinks and foods – like hard or sticky foods that could break a wire or dislodge a bracket. Brushing and flossing will be more difficult and due to the more challenging hygiene, you could develop tooth discolouration or plaque around the braces.



Invisalign benefits adults and teenagers in many ways. The aligner trays can be used to treat overbite, widely spaced teeth, a crossbite, or overly crowded teeth. They are practically invisible. No one will know you are undergoing orthodontic treatment and you won’t have to feel self-conscious about smiling in photos. The aligners are also removable so you can take them out when you’re eating. You don’t have to avoid consuming certain foods or drinks. You can also brush and floss normally!

Since the aligner trays are removable, you could potentially lose them. If you are not disciplined enough – not wearing them 20-22 hours a day – the treatment may fail or not produce the best results. Lastly, Invisalign may not be able to treat complex dental issues, so you have to make sure you’re a good candidate for it.


Read more

Emergency dental care tips | Your child’s first visit to the dentist | Achieving the dream smile


Do traditional braces or Invisalign hurt more?

Neither braces nor Invisalign should cause pain, but there may be some discomfort associated with both, especially in the initial stages. With braces, the brackets may rub against the inside of the mouth. With Invisalign, you may experience discomfort with trays pushing against the teeth, since you do have to get new trays about every two weeks. The comfort level will depend on the wearer but generally, both treatments are pain-free.

Can’t decide if braces or Invisalign are right for you or for your child? Visit your nearest Dawson Dental office to speak with a dentist. When you choose Dawson Dental you have the peace of mind that a patient care team is available to respond to any questions and concerns every day of the week.