Santa Cruz Smiles

Invisalign vs. Braces: Which Option Is Right for You?

invisalign vs braces

In the United States, 57% of people are insecure about their smile and are often self-conscious of the color or alignment of their teeth. To achieve straighter smiles, many choose to use Invisalign rather than braces. 

However, it is important to understand the pros and cons of Invisalign vs braces before making a decision. Do you want to learn more about metal braces vs Invisalign and find the option that works best for you? 

Keep reading this guide to learn more about the differences between each of these teeth straightening treatments to see which option is best. 


Both Invisalign and braces are treatments that will give you a straighter smile and improve your oral health. However, they differ in the treatment process. 

Metal braces use brackets that are adhered to each of your teeth and connected by wires. These wires are gradually tightened to slowly shift your teeth into place. 

On the other hand, Invisalign uses clear, removable aligners to straighten your teeth. These are customized to fit your mouth so they will gradually move your teeth over time. You need to switch out these aligners every few weeks to make sure your teeth are continually shifting. 


It is also important to consider Invisalign vs braces cost before you choose your treatment method. 

Invisalign treatment will vary depending on how much your teeth need to be shifted. If your teeth are only slightly crooked, you will not need to use as many trays for your treatment and it will cost less. 

The price range for both Invisalign and braces typically costs somewhere between $3,000 and $8,000 and will differ depending on the severity of the changes you need to make. 

To learn more about the cost of Invisalign and braces, it is best to talk to your orthodontist to find the option that will fit your budget. 


One of the biggest differences between braces and Invisalign treatment is the appearance of the treatment. As was mentioned before, braces use metal brackets to straighten your teeth while Invisalign uses clear aligners. 

These clear aligners make the treatment nearly invisible, while braces are more noticeable. 

If you want to straighten your teeth without changing the appearance of your smile, Invisalign is the best choice as it is more discreet. It is also a great choice because you can remove the aligners for special occasions, pictures, and more. 


When it comes to comfort, you will find that both Invisalign and braces can cause discomfort in your mouth. Because your teeth are gradually shifting, you may find that your mouth gets sore. 

However, Invisalign is a less painful process than braces. Because braces have metal edges, you may find that they cut the inside of your mouth and may cause sores to develop. 

Invisalign also applies less pressure to your teeth to shift them, so people find that it is easier to get used to wearing your clear aligners with Invisalign. 

Because both Invisalign and braces are equally effective, the decision may come down to which option is more comfortable for you. 

Treatment Length

Next, you should consider the treatment length before choosing your teeth straightening treatment. 

The average person will have braces for 1-3 years. This will depend on your individual situation, the current state of your teeth, and other factors. 

Invisalign treatment is usually faster than braces. It can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Again, this will depend on many outside factors and the severity of your misalignment. 

Care and Cleaning

Finally, it is important to learn more about the care and cleaning of both braces and Invisalign before you make your final decision. 

Because Invisalign aligners are removable, they are typically easier to clean and maintain. You need to remove your aligners when you eat and you will also have to regularly brush and clean your aligners to keep them in good shape and to remove bacteria. 

While they are removable, Invisalign aligners still need to be worn for about 22 hours each day. You can remove them for meals, but they need to be replaced and worn all day and night. 

Braces can be much more difficult to care for. Because it is so easy for food to get stuck in the metal brackets, you will likely need to get special brushes to keep your braces clean. It is also important to regularly visit your orthodontist. 

You also need to avoid certain types of food when you have braces. These include things like popcorn, hard candy, gum, and even things like raw fruits and vegetables.

As was mentioned before, you can remove your aligners when you have Invisalign. This means you will not have to make any changes to your diet. 

Invisalign vs Braces: Find the Best Solution Today

When it comes to teeth straightening treatments, it can be difficult to know which option is best for you. While both braces and Invisalign work to create a straighter and more beautiful smile, they differ in the treatment process, cost, appearance, and more. 

Invisalign is a great option if you want to straighten your teeth without changing the appearance of your smile and without having to alter your routines. 

If you are interested in learning more about Invisalign vs braces, Santa Cruz Smiles can help! We are an Invisalign dentist and also offer Invisalign alternatives.

Contact our team today to learn more about our orthodontic services and to see which teeth straightening treatment will work best for you.

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