Braces vs. Invisalign: Pros and Cons

Braces vs. Invisalign: Pros and Cons

Teeth realignment may seem like it’s primarily cosmetic, however, it comes with a variety of benefits beyond aesthetics. Straight or aligned teeth not only make your smile beautiful but also preserves the overall health of your teeth and jaw. Because of this, more people have become interested in having their teeth straightened.

Their primary concern now is whether to opt for traditional braces or Invisalign. The world of difference between braces and Invisalign makes this choice no small feat. Before you consult with your dentist, here’s some idea of these options along with their advantages and disadvantages.

Importance of Proper Teeth Alignment

Need multiple visits for checks and adjustments

Braces and Invisalign are both orthodontic devices that serve to align the teeth and promote a healthy bite. This simply means that the upper and lower teeth fit together properly.

Malocclusions (teeth that are not properly aligned) can result in various issues including:

  • Difficulty biting and chewing
  • Breathing problems
  • Speech impediments, like a lisp
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Atypical facial structure

However, properly aligned teeth:

  • Are less likely to develop tooth decay and gum disease
  • Means less strain on the jawbone and jaw muscles

Dental Braces

You can choose the colour of the bands

The common type of dental device is the traditional metal braces made of stainless steel. A traditional brace is not removable. Depending on the condition of your teeth, this treatment can take about half a year to 2 and a half years. You need multiple dental appointments when using traditional braces since they need to be adjusted in-office every 3 to 6 weeks. Here are some pros and cons of metal braces:

Advantages of Traditional Braces

  • Effective – It can address almost all issues including the more complex ones.
  • Steady progress – Traditional braces enforce a steady and stable pressure 24/7
  • Useful for people who tend to forget – It’s impossible to miss wearing your braces since it isn’t removable except with the help of a dentist.
  • No additional steps in cleaning – For upkeep, regular brushing and flossing will do.
  • Proven track record – Being the traditional one, it already has numerous cases of successful treatments

Disadvantages of Traditional Braces

  • Multiple visits – Metal braces need to be checked and adjusted by the dentist every 3 to 6 weeks.
  • Pain – Wearing braces presents some pain and discomfort, especially during the initial stage.
  • Food restriction – Having braces limits your diet since eating hard or sticky food can damage the components of your braces.
  • Difficulty in cleaning – Brushing can be difficult since certain areas are inaccessible with the braces on.
  • Teeth discolouration – Because there are plenty of hard-to-reach areas, wearing braces can lead to tooth stains.
  • Noticeable – The metal brackets and rubber make them stand out when you speak or smile.
  • Not advisable for contact sports – Contact sports expose your braces to a high risk of damage.


Invisalign isn’t as noticeable as traditional braces

Invisalign is a type of clear aligner. It is made of a patented flexible plastic and resembles a mouth guard that you wear over your teeth. Invisalign is a removable dental device. However, you need to wear it at least 22 hours a day. The treatment usually takes 6 to 18 months.

The dentist performs a dental scan to create a treatment plan tailor-fit to your teeth. This plan uses a set of trays that gradually move your teeth in place. Once you receive your set of aligners, you can change them yourself at home every 2 weeks. You only need to visit your dentist every 3 months so they can check the progress and give you the next batch of aligners.

Invisalign has various pros and cons, for older adults and kids alike.

Advantages of Invisalign

  • Not noticeable – Because it is made of clear plastic, it’s nearly invisible; people won’t know that you are wearing one.
  • No food or beverage restrictions – You can eat and drink anything since you can remove it whenever you need to.
  • Minimal or no pain or discomfort – The adjustments are small and gradual, you will barely feel a thing.
  • Easy to clean – All you need to do is take it off so you can clean them.
  • Brushing convenience – To brush your teeth, simply remove the aligners.
  • Seeing the result beforehand – Because the progression is digitally mapped out, you’ll see the end result clearly.

Disadvantages of Invisalign

  • May cost more – Creating clear aligners requires specific machines, which adds to its cost.
  • Not for forgetful individuals – Because it is removable, it’s easy to forget to wear them and just as easy to lose them.
  • Hassle during eating or drinking – You need to brush your teeth after eating or drinking beverages (except water) to avoid stains and plaque buildup. It can also be inconvenient when you’re eating or drinking in public since it may be difficult to remove discreetly.
  • Needs a special solution – It has its own specialized cleaning solution.
  • Not ideal for complex dental issues – The existing technology is not recommended for severe malocclusion.

Invisalign vs Braces Cost

 See if your dentist has flexible payment options

The cost of these alignment treatments vary depending on how. For traditional braces, complex issues may sometimes need additional materials like titanium. In Canada, the price range for traditional braces is usually around $3,000 to $7,000. Invisalign, however, typically costs between $4,000 and $8,000. Check if your insurance covers these treatments. Otherwise, speak with your dentist regarding flexible payment options.

Invisalign vs Braces Effectiveness

Consult with your dentist to know the best option

In terms of effectiveness, both have the equal ability to restore your smile. The only difference lies in how much time the treatment takes, cost, and convenience. Traditional braces, while suitable for more serious malocclusion, can be inconvenient and stand out. Invisalign has its limitations since it can’t be used to treat severe misalignment issues, it is convenient and has a more discreet appearance. However, it’s worth noting that more people are opting for the Invisalign treatment.

It all comes down to preference and the recommendation of your dentist. The Lambton Family Dental team here in Sarnia is ready to assist if you want to know more about braces, Invisalign, and other treatment options. Call us now at (519) 344-5747 and book an appointment or you may email us at