Tired of keeping your mouth closed when you smile? If you’ve made the decision to finally straighten your pearly whites, you could still be confused about what’s the best way to go about it. Braces or Invisalign? What’s more practical, what gives better results, and what is ultimately more affordable? The answers vary from case to case and both options are actually pretty great, it just depends on your specific needs and habits. So, how do you know what to pick? Well, we’re here with the info that will help you get a clear picture.

Braces vs. Invisalign

What do they look like

Braces are tiny metallic or ceramic brackets that are glued to your teeth and connected by a wire. They are usually silvery, but you can ask the doctor to match your enamel colour and make them more discreet. Invisalign, on the other hand, is completely invisible on the teeth because they are trays created from smooth, transparent plastic. The doctor models them after your teeth with a 3D program, so you’ll always have the perfect match.

Cost

It really depends on what the doctor’s dealing with, and what needs to be fixed. Very simple cases are usually cheaper if you pick braces, so the price varies from $1500-$5500. It also depends on whether you pick metal or ceramic braces. Invisalign costs anywhere from $3500-$8000, depending on the manufacturer. Bear in mind that your insurance can cover a portion of the cost.

Treatment period

Braces vs. Invisalign

On average, braces need to be worn 24/7 for about two years for the treatment to stick, and you will need to have your doctor monitor the progress and change the wires occasionally. Invisalign, however, can take anywhere from 6-18 months, and you can take them out when eating and brushing your teeth. It needs to be worn 22-24 hours every day, but Invisalign results show patient satisfaction because it’s very discreet and  perfect for those who want to feel more comfortable in social situations.

Maintenance and comfort

Invisalign is very comfortable to wear, but you might experience some soreness due to your teeth shifting and realigning themselves. They need to be worn for the most of the day and the trays have to be changed out every two weeks, but they are easy to clean and you don’t have to worry about food getting stuck anywhere. Braces can cause initial discomfort and pain due to the wires rubbing against your mouth, but after that adjustment period, they are usually very well-handled. You will generally forget that they’re there, but you do need to be careful when eating sticky foods.

What’s better for kids

As children generally lack the discipline to keep Invisalign in their mouth almost the entire day, braces might be a better option. Braces on children are also not an unusual sight, so they’re less likely to suffer negative social consequences. Teens, on the other hand, usually pick Invisalign because it’s invisible and won’t make them as self-conscious.

What’s better for adults

Adults generally almost always go for Invisalign and have great success with it. It works to fix the problem quickly and it’s discreet, but bear in mind that if you have a complicated problem, like needing to have your canines rotated, you will probably need braces. So basically, complex orthodontic problems will require braces, but more simple things can be fixed with Invisalign and you’ll be more comfortable wearing them.

There you have it, those are the basics. We recommend that you write down any question you may have and talk to your dentist about any concerns. You want to make sure you know all the details and that both of you are on the same page, and then you can start your journey to a nice set of straight teeth and a charming smile!