Invisalign vs. braces: Which is the best way to straighten your teeth?

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So, you’ve made the big decision to straighten your teeth — but now comes an even *bigger* decision:

Invisalign vs. braces

While both are effective tooth straightening options, one may be better suited to your lifestyle and budget than the other.

Before making your decision, there are a few pros and cons of Invisalign and braces that you should consider first. Read on to explore the differences between Invisalign vs. braces.

Invisalign: Pros and Cons

Invisalign uses clear plastic aligners to gradually move your teeth into the perfect position. Invisalign aligners are also removable, offering more flexibility than traditional braces.

With Invisalign, your dentist uses special software to plan out your treatment and customise a series of aligner trays that you must replace every few weeks under their guidance. Since the trays can be changed without your dentist’s assistance, you’ll only need to attend in-person check-ups every 6 to 8 weeks to monitor your progress.

Pros of Invisalign:

  • More discreet and barely noticeable in the mouth
  • Trays are smooth and fit snugly to the teeth so you’ll barely feel them in your mouth
  • Easier to keep up good oral hygiene as trays are removed for brushing and flossing
  • No need to avoid certain foods or beverages as aligners are removed for eating and drinking
  • Flexibility to suit your lifestyle, giving you the freedom to remove your trays for important social or work events
  • Fewer check-up appointments required

Cons of Invisalign:

  • You must be very disciplined about putting your aligners back in after removing them — trays must be worn for at least 20 to 22 hours a day to be effective
  • You must remove your aligners every time you eat or drink anything other than water and brush your teeth before putting them back in again which can inconvenient, especially when out in public
  • Aligners may be accidentally lost or thrown away when removed
  • You are responsible for replacing your trays every few weeks to keep your treatment on track, which may be difficult to manage (especially for teens)

Braces: Pros and Cons

Braces use wires and metal or ceramic brackets to gently straighten your teeth. Unlike Invisalign, braces are permanently fixed to the teeth for the duration of treatment and cannot be removed intermittently.

With braces, you will need to make more frequent visits to the dentist — typically every 4 to 6 weeks. This is because only your dentist can make the necessary adjustments to your braces to ensure your teeth are moving correctly.

Pros of Braces:

  • Can be easier to manage (especially for teens) as braces are permanently fixed to the teeth and the dentist handles all adjustments
  • No need to remove when brushing, flossing, eating or drinking
  • No chance of braces getting accidentally lost or thrown away

Cons of Braces:

  • More noticeable in the mouth
  • Wires and brackets stick out from the teeth and can cause irritation to lips, tongue and gums
  • More difficult to maintain good oral hygiene as it can be hard to properly brush and floss around braces
  • May need to avoid certain foods or drinks to reduce risk of cavities and prevent staining or wire breakages
  • More frequent visits to the dentist for monitoring and adjustments

What is the cost of Invisalign compared to braces?

If you’re tossing up between Invisalign vs. braces, you’re probably wondering how much Invisalign costs. Many people assume that Invisalign is more expensive than braces. But the truth is that there are some cases where Invisalign may end up costing less. On average, the cost of Invisalign is Australia is roughly $3,500 to $8,500.

Meanwhile, the cost of braces can vary greatly depending on the different types. Traditional metal braces typically range from $5,900 to $8,000, while ceramic braces can cost anywhere between $6,00 to $8,500 and lingual braces start from $8,000.

Is Invisalign better than braces?

There’s a common misconception that braces are better for more complex or severe cases. However, Invisalign is just as effective as braces for most dental concerns, such as overcrowding, bite issues and tooth gaps. In adults, it is very rare to see a case than cannot be treated with Invisalign.

Another benefit of Invisalign is that it offers a lot more precision in the movement of your teeth than braces. This is because your customised Invisalign trays are designed to move each tooth individually. Braces, on the other hand, apply the same pressure to all teeth and require more adjustments by your dentist to control the movement.

The takeaway

When it comes to deciding between Invisalign vs. braces, both have their own pros and cons you must consider. Ultimately, the best way to determine which teeth straightening option is right for you is to speak to your dentist for personalized advice.

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