Choosing between clear aligners like Invisalign® and braces can be daunting when deciding how to straighten your teeth. You want to choose the best option for your lifestyle and appearance and get the job done correctly.

So, do the research and ask your orthodontist questions, then make the decision that’s right for you.

To help you with your decision, we will go through the pros and cons of braces vs Invisalign®.


Braces to Invisalign® – how do they compare?

Both clear aligners and metal braces aim to straighten your teeth over a period of time. This helps to improve your oral health and your smile. Metal braces have an established history of successful treatment. Clear aligners or “Invisalign® braces” are a newer option, developed and refined over the last two decades. Invisalign was the first brand of digitally customised clear aligners and are the most popular.  There are now many aligner options available for orthodontists to choose from. Similarly, there are various braces options.

Braces have metal brackets that attach to the teeth. These brackets attach to wires. You can get transparent braces that are clear (ceramic braces) or lingual braces (behind the teeth). Invisalign is almost invisible, being made of a smooth, clear plastic. This is placed over the teeth and removed for eating up to 2 hours per day.

As for the decision between Invisalign® or braces, we will look the pros and cons of each. We will also address the Invisalign® vs braces cost.

Invisalign braces

Invisalign® Advantages

  • Aligners like Invisalign® are discreet because the aligners are made of a clear plastic. Since it looks better, many adults and teens choose Invisalign®. Acquaintances won’t notice you’re having orthodontic treatment. And, you won’t have people asking about your braces.
  • You can eat what you like – for best results, you should wear the aligners 22 hours a day, removing the aligners for eating. So, you can continue to enjoy the foods you always have.
  • Aligner treatment is more hygienic as they are easier to keep clean than braces. You can remove the aligners to brush your teeth and clean the aligners and pop them back in your mouth. Aligner treatment has a lower impact on your oral health than metal braces, clear braces or lingual braces.
  • Aligners are more convenient too. You change your aligners every one to two weeks. And, at Fine Orthodontics, we can review your progress via an app on your Smartphone. That means you don’t need to visit as often for adjustments.
  • Comfort – there may be a certain amount of discomfort with tooth movement with braces. The smooth plastic surface of aligners makes them more comfortable to wear. Unlike braces, aligners generally do not cause cuts on the inside of the mouth, cheeks or tongue.
  • thesis released by Texas A&M University found that aligner treatment is more pleasant than traditional metal braces.

Check out Fine Orthodontics’ before and after photos or book an assessment appointment.

Invisalign® Disadvantages

  • Self-discipline.  The main advantage of Invisalign® is that you can take the aligners out. It can be a disadvantage if you’re not disciplined in putting them back in.
  • Attachments: Some may find the Invisalign attachments are a disadvantage. For those that want them hidden, Fine Orthodontics offers an option: Place them behind the teeth so they are not visible.
  • Are braces cheaper than Invisalign? Invisalign® Cost can be higher than Braces Cost at many practices. At Fine Orthodontics practices there is little difference in the cost for Invisalign and the cost of Braces. So, the cost of Invisalign does not need to be an issue.

Woman with brackets

Braces Advantages

  • Braces are glued to the teeth, so there’s no temptation to remove them or forget to put them back in.
  • Braces have options – they are not limited to just the conventional metal brackets and wires. You can now have the choice of ceramic braces (braces that are clear), so the braces are less noticeable.
  • Coloured braces or even gold braces are available to give you the special look you want.

Feel free to Book an assessment at Fine Orthodontics to explore your options.  Alternatively, check out our transformations at before and after photos.

Braces Disadvantages

Braces are glued to the teeth, so there’s no temptation to remove them or forget to put them back in.

  • Braces have options – they are not limited to just the conventional metal brackets and wires. You can now have the choice of ceramic braces (braces that are clear), so the braces are less noticeable.
  • Coloured braces or even gold braces are available to give you the special look you want.
  • Even clear braces are still more noticeable than aligners like Invisalign. Inside or lingual braces are significantly more uncomfortable to the tongue. They also affect speech more than other types of treatment.
  • Braces for teeth require a higher level of maintenance. It is much more difficult to clean teeth when braces are attached to them.
  • Care needs to be taken not to “break” the braces. When this happens there are significant delays as well as inconvenience.
  • More frequent visits to the orthodontist are needed when you wear braces. As the teeth align, stiffer wires will be placed.
  • Wires and brackets can result in some irritation to the cheeks.
  • If care is not taken while cleaning, there can also be discolouration or even decay. This can happen to teeth in the places around where the brackets were attached.
  • More care when eating is needed – it’s harder to eat certain types of food as you risk damaging the braces. Extremely hard or sticky foods as these foods can cause the arch wire to break or a tooth bracket to come off. Once this happens, the braces will stop working or even regress until you have the breakage repaired. Multiple breakages often increase your time in braces.


Invisalign® and Braces Similarities

  • Both techniques may result in a small degree of discomfort as the teeth begin to move.
  • Some treatments are more efficiently done with braces, and others with Invisalign®.
  • Both Braces and Invisalign treatment require retainers once your treatment is complete.
  • Check with an experienced orthodontist, who works with both systems. This is the best way for you to get individualised advice and fair comparison of both systems.

Making the Right Decision for your Treatment

There’s a lot to consider when you are weighing up orthodontic treatment options. Many like the benefits of Invisalign®. However, if the idea of removing your aligners to eat and drink sounds a nuisance, then teeth braces may be better for you.

But if you do want the ability to remove them for eating and special functions, Invisalign® might just be the virtually invisible braces you are looking for.

We hope that this post has shed some light on Invisalign® vs braces – the pros and cons of each.

Dr Martin Fine has been creating smiles with braces in Sydney for over 25 years. He is also an experienced Invisalign® doctor. He has been using Invisalign® in Sydney since 2001. You can be sure he will be able to help with your decision. Either way, you will get a great smile.

Q and A

Q: Does Invisalign work faster than braces?

A: For some patients, Invisalign® will be faster than braces. In others braces will be. It depends upon your case type and orthodontic problem. Dr Martin Fine will help guide you at your consultation.

Q: Is Invisalign better than braces?

A: That is an interesting question. With either braces or Invisalign®, the quality of the treatment is dependent upon the expertise of the doctor, rather than the system itself. A good orthodontist will be able to get good results with either. Having said that, certain cases are best treated with aligners, and others with braces. 

Q: How does the Invisalign vs braces cost compare?

A: The cost of braces vs Invisalign® varies between providers. At Fine Orthodontics, we are aware that the cost difference for Invisalign® vs braces makes it harder to make the decision that’s best for you. So, at Fine Orthodontics we keep these costs very similar. Now you can choose the treatment you prefer without costs getting in the way.

Find out about our flexible payment plans.

Feel free to Book an assessment to find out the treatment suited best to you. Alternatively, check out our before and after photos to see the amazing transformations.

*Always read the label and follow the instructions for use. All treatments are not necessarily suitable for you.

*Invisalign® aligners are a registered medical device, you should always read and follow the label and the instructions. All treatments are not necessarily suitable for you.