Which Are Better? Invisalign, or Traditional Braces?

braces or invisalign

Everyone loves a straight, even smile. I had braces as a child and while I might not have liked it at the time, I am grateful my parents made me do that now. When I was a kid, there was only one choice in braces. You know the ones, right? Metal braces with wires and little elastic bands. Well, these are now called “traditional braces”.

Parents these days a blessed with more choice, this includes the step of choosing between different teeth aligners for either their children or themselves. A popular product now is called Invisalign.

Invisalign teeth aligners are made with a clear plastic and can be almost unnoticeable at times.

So, which is the right option for you or your child? Let’s look at the main choice points and assess each option to work out the pros and cons.

1. Price

If the treatment cost is a main concern, then traditional braces win out here. Traditional braces are fitted once and are then adjusted, which keeps the costs down. With Invisalign, as the teeth are straightening, patients are given new “trays”. The cost of creating the new trays is one of the things that will almost always make Invisalign a more expensive option.

We do offer payment plans for our patients to make straitening teeth more affordable and some costs can be claimed through health funds, but every fund is different.

2. Appearance

Along with price, the appearance of traditional braces and Invisalign is one of the biggest differences. Invisalign is going to win out here every time. They can be close to invisible, hence the name.

Some people, mostly children do enjoy being able to pick different colours for the bands on traditional braces, but when it comes to the looks, almost everyone prefers Invisalign.

3. Effectiveness

You could say that traditional braces are more effective than Invisalign. But it is not really that simple. Traditional braces have stood the test of time and have straightened millions of smiles around the world. Invisalign is very effective too, but there are some shortfalls.

Firstly, patients almost always wear the trays less often than what is recommended. Therefor it can take longer for the desired result. This might be from forgetfulness, laziness, accident, or rebelliousness in a child.

Braces can also straighten more seriously misaligned teeth, twisted teeth or overlapping teeth better than Invisalign can.

4. Convenience

In some ways Invisalign can be more convenient than traditional braces, but they both have pros and cons. With Invisalign, you remove the tray when eating. This means you can eat any food you wish. But you must remember then to clean your teeth and put the trays back in.

With traditional braces they can’t be removed so you can’t forget them or lose them. Any parent who has had a child lose or break an Invisalign tray, will testify that this is inconvenient. Metal or ‘traditional’ braces can’t be removed though, so eating some foods is difficult and cleaning between all the bands can be hard, especially for kids.

5. Cleaning

With braces, you just brush your teeth as per normal. It can be trickier though, because of the metal parts and lots of places where food can get stuck. Some people like to use a smaller brush when they have braces to reach hard to get to places.

If you have Invisalign, brushing and flossing is also the same. The thing is you have the cleaning and sanitation of the trays. It must be done well to prevent bacteria from forming in the tray itself.

6. Follow Up Visits

Once either device is initially fitted, you will require follow up visits. With traditional braces this is a little more frequent.


So, what’s the final verdict?

In the end the choice of Invisalign or traditional braces to straighten teeth comes down to individual preferences. Thinking about the comparisons above and what is more important to you is what we would recommend.

A good dentist or orthodontist can help give you advice about which treatment might be more effective and may be able to help you choose the right option. If you would like to have a chat to an experienced dentist that has fitted many traditional braces and Invisalign in Koo Wee Rup, then contact us for a no obligation consultation today.