Braces vs. Invisalign; A Comparison of Treatments

invisalign treatment

Are you dissatisfied with your smile? Then you might want to consider braces or Invisalign, two dental treatments that are used to fix malocclusion. These treatments help fix multiple issues such as any crookedness, crowding, or protrusion in your bite.

Braces are a classic favourite, but Invisalign treatment is a world leader in its field. As it’s such an important decision, how can you tell which is best for you?

One of the main benefits of Invisalign Clear Aligners is that they are clear and virtually invisible. But, like all things, there’s a downside to wearing Invisalign trays. When you’re wearing them, it’s important to make sure that they’re clean, so that you can keep your teeth healthy and avoid any problems with your dental treatment (and we don’t want that!).

Luckily, there are several ways to ensure that your aligners stay clean during treatment. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to keep your Invisalign® retainers clean during your treatment.

If you want to know more about the comparisons between braces and Invisalign, read our article below. It’s also worth booking an Invisalign open day to take advantage of incredible discounts and free consultations with your dentist.

Appearance and aesthetic

A top priority for patients is how they look at the treatment. Fortunately, our team specialise in cosmetic dentistry and can give you that winning smile with aesthetically pleasing, inoffensive treatment.

Braces and Invisalign have different appearances, and it’s up to you to choose the one that suits you best.


Braces appearance

Classic “train-track” braces are typically made from metal and are arranged across the front of your teeth. Small square-shaped brackets are fitted to each tooth and linked together with a metal wire.

Aside from the silver metal, patients can usually choose a colour for the braces. You can select from whatever the orthodontist has available, which might be blue, pink, or clear.

Lingual braces are another form that attaches to the back of your teeth. This makes the braces almost invisible while retaining the same level of function.


Invisalign appearance

Invisalign was created to address issues that emerged from regular braces, including their appearance. As such, Invisalign consists of a clear retainer that attaches over your teeth to reduce visibility of the treatment.

Like its name suggests, Invisalign treatment is practically invisible. Most patients find it more aesthetically pleasing, allowing them to feel more comfortable and self-confident during their treatment.


How long does braces or invisalign last?

A likely question to ask when considering teeth realignment treatment is how long will it take to get results. While these types of treatment are never instant, they do produce long-term results over an extended period of time.

Braces are typically a longer form of treatment, while Invisalign tends to produce quicker results. Nevertheless, in both cases, effects are not fully felt without months of treatment.


Braces duration

Braces are the most common form of malocclusion treatment but constitute a lengthy process. Typical adult braces can last anywhere between 12 and 36 months – that’s up to three years in some cases!


Invisalign duration

Invisalign treatment works a lot quicker than braces, but it isn’t recommended for more severe malocclusion cases. For mild to moderate cases, however, patients can see results in as little as six months. Typically, though, Invisalign treatment lasts for about a year.


What are the expected results?

End results are similar for both braces and Invisalign; your teeth will end up looking gorgeously straight whichever treatment you choose. Results do not come at the same rate, however, as braces tend to be a longer-lasting form of treatment.


Braces results

Braces can be used for any form of malocclusion, from adjusting a few crooked teeth to realigning rotated teeth. This is why many patients need to wear braces for longer periods of time, but the results are exceptional.

Your whole mouth can be changed dramatically over the course of a few years with braces – for the better. Your teeth will emerge completely realigned and in place, as braces can fix even the most crudely aligned bites.


Invisalign results

As with braces, Invisalign can produce tremendous results. Working over a shorter timespan, Invisalign fixes crooked teeth and protruding bites easily and effectively. Gaps close, teeth are straightened, and your mouth feels less crowded, resulting in a more confident you.


How comfortable is each treatment?

Comfort levels vary between patients, with most experiencing some form of discomfort at some stage of each process. Braces typically create more discomfort than Invisalign, but again this varies.


Braces comfort

Most users experience pain during the first few weeks of braces, and again whenever they are tightened. This is normal, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating, especially when trying to eat. The metal wire and brackets can also scrape the inside of your mouth, giving rise to further discomfort.


Invisalign comfort

With Invisalign, gentle pressure is exerted on the teeth via a retainer. This means that, while not entirely avoidable, the pain is much less than those with braces experience.

Nonetheless, you might find that it takes some time to adjust to the Invisalign retainer. Some people experience excessive salivation in the first few weeks and you might find you talk with a slight lisp initially. Fear not, though, these tend to disappear after a few weeks.


How much do these treatments cost?

Costs of both treatments can vary depending on your location, duration, and specific requirements. Medicare does not cover orthodontics, but some private health insurance plans do. Braces are far more likely to be covered in these plans than in Invisalign.


Braces cost

Braces can cost quite a bit of money, particularly if you go to private orthodontists. Metal braces can range from around $6,000 to $9,000, but many dentists offer payment plans to ensure the cost is spread out over the duration of the treatment.


Invisalign cost

The cost of Invisalign is comparable to that of braces but is again determined by varying factors. You’ll need to contact your dentist and arrange a consultation to find out the full cost of Invisalign, as it depends on the duration and intensity of the treatment you need.


Diet and food: What you can and can’t eat

There are certain foodstuffs that you can and can’t eat with orthodontic treatment, and you should aim to stick to this as rigidly as possible. Braces are particularly restrictive, whereas Invisalign is not.


Braces diet

Orthodontists will explain that you can’t eat certain hard, sticky, or chewy foods with braces. This is to avoid damaging the brackets and breaking the wire. Foods that should be avoided include apples, toffee, sweets, nuts, raw carrots, and popcorn. You should also avoid chewing gum with braces.


Invisalign diet

One major advantage of Invisalign is that the retainers are removable. This means you can eat virtually whatever you want, as long as you remember to clean your teeth well before putting the retainers back in.


Effort and patient input

A certain level of patient input is required with orthodontics, and this varies depending on the treatment. With both braces and Invisalign, the level of personal effort needed is minimal and often only involves typical hygienic procedures that don’t take up much time.



With braces, you’ll have to revisit your orthodontist every so often to have them tightened. They don’t require much personal maintenance apart from that, aside from regularly brushing your teeth. Take care not to brush too hard, as this could damage the braces.



There is perhaps slightly more effort required to maintain Invisalign, but it’s nothing strenuous at all. You should regularly wash your retainer with the cleaning solution that Invisalign provides, as well as ensure you clean your teeth after each meal and before you put your retainers back in. This helps prevent bacteria buildup and keeps your breath fresh.