Do you have overcrowded, crooked, or overly spaced teeth? Or do you have a teen with a less-than-perfect smile? Are you wondering if it’s time to invest in metal braces or Invisalign?

Both types of orthodontics can give you the straight smile you need. It can help with confidence and even improve dental health!

Yet what is the difference between traditional braces vs. Invisalign? Are there factors other than visibility that you should consider?

Here’s what you need to know.

1. Cost

Traditional metal braces are often considered the least expensive option. In fact, they usually cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000.

Invisalign, by contrast, can start at $4,000 and run higher than $7,000. Braces type, however, isn’t the only factor that will influence the final cost of orthodontics.

The length of treatment will also have an impact on the cost of braces. You will also end up paying different amounts depending upon your insurance coverage and area of the country.

Before you decide to go ahead with orthodontic treatment, speak to your orthodontist about options. Dental insurance will also cover part of the cost.

Some orthodontists may offer payment plans where you pay the treatment off a little each month and others may give you a discount for paying for the whole thing upfront. You may also get a discount for being a military member, police officer, or firefighter.

Some people make braces affordable through Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs.) These allow you to put aside tax-sheltered money each month that can be used to pay for cosmetic dental care.

Before you decide on braces, you’ll want to carefully consider the best way to make them affordable.

2. Appearance

The reason so many older teens and adults opt for Invisalign over metal braces is appearance.

Invisalign involves a series of clear aligner trays that are replaced every two weeks as your teeth gradually shift into place. Unlike metal braces, Invisalign is less noticeable and many folks won’t even notice you’re wearing them.

Those who are concerned about the obvious appearance of metal braces choose Invisalign because it’s more subtle. Younger teens, however, often enjoy the fact that they can replace wires on their braces in different colors depending upon the season. They also may not be as self-conscious about others knowing they’re wearing them.

3. Dietary Restrictions

There are a number of foods people with metal braces won’t be able to eat. These include popcorn, gum, sticky candy, and ice. You’ll also need to stay away from hard or crunchy snacks like pretzels and corn chips.

Those who use Invisalign, however, will notice that there are much fewer dietary restrictions. This is because aligners can be removed when they eat. You will, however, need to keep them in for at least twenty-two hours each day for the best results.

You’ll need to remember that Invisalign wearers will need to keep their coffee consumption in check. Too much can quickly cause them to become discolored. Cutting back on java may be a good idea during the time you’re undergoing treatment.

4. Maintenance

Both traditional braces wearers and Invisalign patients will need to see orthodontists every five to six weeks to make sure the treatments are progressing as planned.

Invisalign, however, will require a bit more responsibility for the wearer, which is why they’re often recommended for mature teens and adults. Since they’re removable, it’s up to the wearer to make sure that Invisalign aligners are worn for the required amount of time each day. Otherwise, they won’t see the results of their investment.

Many Invisalign wearers also like to brush their teeth after every meal. This is because bits of food can become stuck in aligners and appear unsightly.

With both traditional braces and Invisalign, it’s important to maintain basic oral hygiene while you’re wearing them. Flossing can be a bit more challenging with metal braces.

Your Invisalign aligners will need to get rinsed under warm water regularly. Brushing and flossing, however, can be done as usual.

5. Comfort

In general, Invisalign treatments are considered to be more comfortable than braces. This is because the pressure they apply to teeth is gentler. There’s also less of a risk of cutting your gums than there is with traditional metal braces.

6. Time

Traditional braces are usually worn for about eighteen months to three years. Invisalign treatments, however, will last on average a year to eighteen months.

If a faster treatment time is important to you or your child, Invisalign could be a better option.

Traditional Braces Vs. Invisalign

Many choose traditional braces for younger teens because they’re more affordable. They also require less complicity from the wearer when it comes to making sure the treatment works.

Others, however, prefer the comfort and flexibility of Invisalign. They are confident that the wearer will have the maturity and dedication to wear them when required. Invisalign users also prioritize comfort and style.

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing the right orthodontic treatment for you or your child. In both cases, you can look forward to improved appearance and self-confidence.

Braces can also reduce cavities and the risk of periodontal disease as the wearer matures. They can correct speech impairments and make chewing easier. Orthodontic treatment is an investment that many wise adults and parents are willing to make.

Smiling on

Deciding between traditional braces vs. Invisalign requires a little research and consideration. With the right plan and the right orthodontist, you could have a beautiful smile that will improve your lifestyle for years to come!

Don’t stop getting mouth-savvy now. For more information on professional cosmetic dental treatments, contact us today.