One of the primary questions that comes up when people are considering this treatment is what are the comparisons with Invisalign vs. braces. While both of these teeth straightening options have the same basic function of moving your teeth to their desired placement, Invisalign is different in a lot of ways. For one, braces are a permanent fixture on your teeth until the entire treatment process is over. They are periodically tightened, which increases the pressure on your teeth and forces them to move.

The plastic aligners used with this procedure can be removed at any time, though they are supposed to be worn for 20 or so hours every day for maximum effectiveness, and are switched out for new ones every two weeks. By switching out the aligners for new ones, they don’t have to be manually tightened when on the teeth, which can create a lot of pain in the mouth. Braces also make use of metal wires that connect each bracket. The brackets are glued to the front of each tooth. In contrast to this, clear aligners are comprised entirely of plastic and act as simple trays that fit around your teeth. There are no wires to speak of. Metal braces can be unsightly at times, while clear braces forego this issue.

It’s also important to understand that brushing and flossing your teeth can be difficult with metal braces, as they can’t be removed and are tricky to maneuver around when cleaning your teeth. As aligners are taken out for brushing and flossing, this isn’t an issue. You also get to avoid the discomfort that can come with eating certain types of foods when wearing braces, like popcorn, pizza crust, nuts, candies and a whole host of additional foods. The wires used in braces can cause mouth sores, as well as a general pain that lingers. The costs are relatively similar between the two options.