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Invisalign vs. Braces: Which Is Better?

Family and Cosmetic Dentist Located in Brooklyn, NY

Braces and Invisalign aligners are excellent choices to achieve a healthy, happy smile. While traditional braces are ideal for solving complex malocclusions, Invisalign offers pluses that patients love. To find out which is a better option and how it would help achieve your orthodontic goals, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ella Dekhtyar at Broadway Family Dental. Dr. Dekhtyar examines your teeth, discusses the diagnosis with you, recommends the treatment option that is best suited for your needs, and ensures you get that perfect smile you long for.

Traditional braces and Invisalign are two popular orthodontic treatments for straightening teeth gradually. They work by exerting pressure to realign the teeth and jaw and correct a malocclusion, sometimes called a bad bite, to improve the look and feel of your smile. As both are FDA-approved devices that yield amazing results, choosing between clean aligners and traditional braces can be a tough decision.

The type of orthodontic treatment suitable for you depends on several factors, such as the level of correction needed, your age, lifestyle, and appearance.

Comparing the pros and cons of Invisalign vs. braces is not only about which one you prefer. Invisalign may not always be the best option for some people. Your orthodontist can help you determine the right treatment for your smile makeover and get the job done correctly.

Read on to learn the benefits as well as the pros and cons of Invisalign and braces to make a more informed decision. With the correct information, you can find the best option for you.

Invisalign vs. Braces


Invisalign is a brand of clean aligners, an orthodontic device for correcting misaligned or crooked teeth. Also known as invisible braces, Invisalign are custom-made mouthpieces made from medical-grade plastic. These clean aligners apply consistent pressure to the teeth and guide them into the desired position in small steps over some time.

Invisalign has become a popular choice as they are less noticeable, and are a great alternative to traditional braces. These clear, removable aligners were created some time back to address some of the problems associated with traditional braces.

Take a look at the pros and cons of Invisalign to know if they are appropriate for your orthodontic needs.

Pros of Clear Aligners


Aligners like Invisalign are virtually invisible. They are custom-made to fit your teeth and mouth and look like clear retainers. The trays are unnoticeable, even from short distances away. Their discrete style is one of the main reasons many people choose them over traditional braces.


Invisalign may take some time to get used to, but they are more comfortable than traditional braces. The retainers are made of a special plastic and fitted to each patient’s mouth. While you may experience some discomfort as the teeth reposition, there is no other pain as Invisalign do not rub or scrap the inside of the cheeks like traditional braces. They have a softer, smoother feel.

Also, they can be taken off when you are eating or caring for your teeth, which makes them easier to wear.

Less Treatment Time

The average length of an Invisalign treatment is around 12 to 18 months, but some people may only need them for six months.

Make brushing and flossing easy

As Invisalign aligners are removable, it is easy to brush and floss your teeth after every meal or snack. Research also supports that people who choose to straighten their teeth with clean aligners experience fewer cavities, less tooth decay, and have fewer gum problems.

There is no need for a lengthy and challenging dental care process as with traditional braces. However, to prevent calcium and bacteria buildup, you must wash clear aligners with the provided cleaning solution after every meal.

No Food Restrictions

People who wear aligners do not have to give up on any food items, including hard, chewy, or sticky foods that people wearing traditional braces are advised to avoid. You can eat whatever you like, as long as you continue to wear the aligners 22 hours a day and only take them off for eating.

Fewer Orthodontist Visits

Invisalign treatments usually require a visit every four to six weeks. It is because, with Invisalign, much of the orthodontist’s work is done before you wear the aligners. A 3D scan of your teeth is used for creating the customized retainers in the laboratory, and you are required to change the multiple sets of retainers on your orthodontist’s directions.

There is no need to visit the orthodontist for adjustments as frequently with aligners as with braces.

Cons of Clear Aligners

Not the Best Choice Always

Invisalign is not always the best treatment option, especially when it comes to correcting severe or complex misalignment. They are usually recommended for people who need minor straightening. It is essential to check with your orthodontist if Invisalign would work for your specific orthodontic situation.

May Require Attachments

Some people who opt for Invisalign may require attachments to help the aligners grip and move teeth into place by controlling their movements. You may only need a couple, or you may need them on most teeth. The button-like attachments are similar to the color of your teeth, and it appears as if you are wearing clear braces.

Putting on and Removing Aligners Is an Inconvenience

Putting on the aligners and removing them repeatedly becomes an inconvenience. Doing this in public is not easy, as you want to be discreet and not lose them too. Also, before replacing your aligners, you must brush your teeth as food particles can stain your teeth, stop your teeth from moving, and even increase the risk of cavities and bad breath.

Must Remove Them to Eat or Drink

Aligners need to be taken off before eating and drinking anything other than water. It is because the plastic is soft and can be easily damaged by food. Also, the clear plastic can warp with heat or become stained if you do not take them off before consuming hot or colorful beverages and meals.

Require Self-discipline

You must learn and discipline yourself to wear the aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours daily. Wearing them less often may slow down progress or even affect the final results. As it is easy to take them out, only people who are disciplined enough to wear them for the required number of hours should opt for them. Losing aligners is also a big concern, which not only increases cost but extends treatment time too.

Needs Better Brushing

Clean aligners are not for people with poor dental hygiene, as they can cause bad breath and cavities. You need to clean your teeth with thorough brushing and flossing each time after eating and drinking. People who snack throughout the day will have to double or triple their daily brushing time when using Invisalign.


Traditional braces typically consist of brackets attached to a wire and fitted to your teeth. They are made of metal and attached to the outside of the teeth, although there are now different options for braces, including ceramic and lingual (behind the teeth) braces. Metal wires and rubber bands are attached to the brackets that manipulate teeth to correct orthodontic problems.

Braces can fix even the most difficult dental and facial issues and finish the treatment with an incredible smile. They are the most powerful treatment method for moving teeth into a desired position. Braces have remained the most popular straightening device due to their high success rate.

Braces were the most effective teeth-straightening option due to several benefits, but multiple downsides have led people to consider clear aligners. Here are some pros and cons of traditional braces to help you better understand what they are and how they work.

Pros of Traditional Braces

Ideal for Complex Corrections

Braces are a universal treatment that helps to treat even the most complex orthodontic cases. As they focus on each tooth, braces are more powerful than clear aligners, resulting in an incredible smile even in the most difficult circumstances.

Several Options to Choose From

Metal braces are the most affordable option, but you can also go for behind-the-teeth or lingual braces and ceramic braces if you seek a more discrete appearance. You can look forward to excellent results without wearing traditional brackets and wires.

Cost-effective option

While the cost of orthodontic treatments depends on many factors, traditional metal braces are a more cost-effective method for straightening teeth or correcting a bite problem. They are slightly more affordable than Invisalign.

Straightforward Treatment Approach

Braces are fixed to the teeth and cannot be removed with the help of an orthodontist. This permanent attachment requires less responsibility, and you don’t have to remember to remove them before eating or make sure it is in for at least 20 hours daily. Kids and teens particularly benefit from this aspect and get quick and effective results within the given timeframe.

Resistant to heat and stains

Braces don’t stain and are heat resistant. You can drink tea, coffee, or other beverages throughout the day without worrying about taking off your braces, aligners, or other attachments for fear of staining or damaging them.

Cons of Braces

Pain and Discomfort

Metal braces are not so comfortable. It takes some time to get used to their presence in the mouth. As the metal wires and brackets rub against the soft, inner cheeks, they may cause irritation or grazes, which can be painful.


Traditional metal braces are comprised of brackets and archwires across the teeth, secured by elastic ties that are easily noticeable. Lingual and ceramic braces are less visible, but they are more obvious than a clear aligner.

Food Restrictions

When you are wearing braces, it is harder to eat certain types of foods as you risk damaging the braces. Extremely hard or sticky foods can cause the archwire to break or a tooth bracket to come off. If this happens, the braces stop working or even regress until they are repaired by the orthodontist. Multiple breakages can prolong treatment time.

Frequent Visits to the Orthodontist

You will have to make frequent visits to the orthodontist to get the progress checked and the braces adjusted. Your orthodontist may call you at least once every month to see how much your teeth have moved and make changes so they continue to move your teeth in the desired position.

Increased Risk of Dental Decay

Brushing and flossing your teeth becomes difficult with braces. If you don’t clean your teeth carefully, you are at increased risk of having plaque built up around the braces, which can lead to staining and dental decay. You must follow the orthodontist’s instructions on how to brush and floss correctly with the braces on.

Which Is a Better Option – Invisalign or Braces?

Both Invisalign and braces can straighten teeth, improve your smile, and correct common dental complaints, such as an overbite or underbite. If you are self-conscious about wearing braces, especially as an adult, you might prefer a more discreet orthodontic device like Invisalign.

However, Invisalign are not the best solution for everyone. If you have had orthodontic treatments in the past, you may not benefit from them.

Clear aligners are not the right choice for you if you have orthodontic issues, such as:

  • Rotated teeth
  • Severe overbite
  • Severely crowded teeth
  • Large gaps between the teeth
  • Dental intrusion or extrusion

Braces are more effective in complex cases of tooth displacement or severe misalignment. There are many other factors too that help you decide which option would be better for your specific dental needs. Remember, no matter which option you choose, the most crucial part of your smile transformation is your orthodontist. The specialist will make the best recommendations to ensure the best outcomes and a long-lasting smile.

Prices and Payment Options

Invisalign aligners and traditional braces have comparable pricing, averaging around $5,000. The final cost depends on the level of correction needed and any delays or complications along the way.

Many factors also affect the final cost of treatment.

They include:

  • The severity of your condition
  • The orthodontist you go to for treatment
  • The experience of your orthodontist
  • Insurance coverage
  • Promotional savings, such as family discounts or seasonal price-cuts
  • Monthly payment plans/financing

Invisalign is typically more expensive than braces because of the lab fees involved in creating the aligners and the use of the highest quality material and technology. However, with advances in 3D scanning technology and flexible material involved in making aligners, the price of Invisalign treatment has come down significantly in recent years.

Fortunately, most people don’t have to pay the total price as many dental insurance plans cover some of the cost of braces or invisible aligners, set at either a specific dollar amount or a percentage. Check with your orthodontist or insurance company before finalizing your treatment.

If your insurance does not cover your treatment cost, ask your orthodontist about financing options and monthly payment plans. Instead of paying everything at once, you can make monthly payments for 12, 24, or 36 months.

Invisalign and braces work similarly to correct problems with alignment and spacing of your teeth. They improve your appearance, make speaking and smiling easy, and help avoid serious dental issues like gum disease and tooth decay. If you are self-conscious about your teeth alignment, and spacing or seek a more beautiful smile, call Broadway Family Dental today and schedule an appointment with our board-certified orthodontist. Dr. Ella Dekhtyar ensures you understand the pros and cons of each orthodontic treatment and figure out which one is most appropriate for your misaligned teeth.

Page Updated on May 17, 2024 by Dr. Dekhtyar (Dentist) of Broadway Family Dental

Broadway Family Dental
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(Bushwick, Williamsburg, Bedford-Stuyvesant)
(718) 455-4400

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