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  • Dr Vidya Varathan Dental Care

Invisalign Clear Aligners Vs. Braces

Despite the age of an individual, the smile is a classical facial expression of joy and positivity. It communicates someone's feeling of being happy to others and creates a positive vibe in other people too. When it comes to smiling, the teeth become a more important part of it. A perfectly aligned teeth line makes a smile to be perceived more positively than a poorly aligned tooth.

Improperly aligned teeth cause several other complications. For example, an increased chance of getting cavities due to overlapping teeth, chronic inflammation of gums, and fracture of abnormally positioned teeth are to name a few. There are various reasons behind orthodontics treatment, including realigning the teeth and correcting space or overlap of teeth, or preventing premature erosion. Subsequently, this procedure results in functional improvement of your teeth and gives a pleasant smile.


Orthodontics is focusing on correcting teeth alignment to optimize and improve function and appearance. Even though it is common to see kids engage with orthodontics, more and more adults undergo orthodontic treatment to align their teeth. Despite their age, the treatment process will be similar between an adult and a kid.

Numerous techniques were in use since ancient times to align the teeth. Pierre Fauchard is a French dentist famous for inventing modern orthodontics. He is the first person to use a device to treat poorly aligned teeth by a device called Bandeau. Bandeau used for this purpose resembled a horseshoe, except that it was used to expand the palate.

Conventional braces vs. clear aligner

The two types of orthodontic treatments available in the market right now are conventional braces and clear aligners.

Conventional braces

Braces were a well-known technique for a long time. Braces are made of archwire connecting the metal or porcelain brackets anchored to the outside surface of the teeth. The archwire is held under tension by the brackets to create slight pressure on the teeth. With time, the constant pressure created by this archwire will be adjusted by changing the thickness of the wire until the teeth shift to the desired position.


Your orthodontist will schedule frequent and regular follow-up appointments to adjust your braces and assess your treatment progress.

Dental hygiene

Braces come with its mandatory requirement of exceptional oral hygiene. Since food particles might get trapped in the braces, following some regular measures would help you maintain oral hygiene.

You would need to use an appropriate brush to brush and to clean the orthodontic appliances. Do not forget to brush your teeth and gums following every meal. You should make sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly with water if you cannot brush after your meals.

Doing dental flossing at least once daily, preferably at night before going to bed, using a floss threader to clean the space in between your teeth to prevent dental plaque remaining on or between your teeth. Mouthwash containing fluoride is commonly prescribed to patients with braces.


Usually, poor oral hygiene can result in cavities, gingivitis, discolored teeth, and periodontal disease. The food particle stuck in the orthodontic appliances increases the risk of getting them. Poor compliance with appointments will make it more complicated.

Clear aligners

Clear aligners like Invisalign are the latest addition to orthodontic appliances, and many other companies are also making them. Since they do not use brackets or archwires like conventional braces, they are a more discrete treatment option than traditional braces. They do the alignment like the braces while being nearly invisible. This article is to give some additional information about the Invisalign clear aligners.

In contrast to conventional braces, Invisalign is faster in making progress. Compliance with wearing the aligners regularly and according to the dentist's plan is essential for effective treatment outcomes.

Invisalign corrects a variety of conditions, including some mild and moderate bite issues (overbite, underbite, open bite, crossbite) and crowding (crowded teeth), and spacing (gap teeth).

Usually, a three-dimensional model of your teeth is created with the aid of computer software to determine the treatment process. The aligners for the treatment are produced based on the 3D model. These aligners are designed to provide shifting force to gradually shift teeth from the original position up to the desired final alignment.


On average, every two weeks, these Invisalign aligners are replaced with another set. Each new aligner adjusts your teeth position by applying pressure. You might need to visit your dentist regularly, but that is not a compulsory visit as you might do for braces.

Invisalign needs proper oral hygiene as well. It is essential to remove your aligners during your meals only, and you should take extra care of those aligners to prevent staining, cracks, etc.

Pros and cons

Pros of Invisalign

The appealing factor is apparent - less visibility compared to the braces. It is the very first reason for choosing clear aligners.

You can physically remove the aligner whenever you feel so. You can maintain oral hygiene by brushing and flossing without struggling to clean around the brackets and wires of the braces.

Removable aligners can improve your periodontal health by reducing the collection of harmful bacteria around your teeth and gums.

Conventional braces might have problems like a loose or detached bracket or broken wire; meanwhile, the Invisalign does not cause such trouble.

Cons of Invisalign

Less applicable for complicated conditions. Clear aligners have limitations in terms of applications. They may be best suitable for people whose teeth are less complex. It should be discussed with your treatment provider.

Compliance. You should wear these Invisalign aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day. If you are a person who tends to take them out frequently, then the outcome will not be as effective or quick as you expect.

During your meals, you should remove your aligners out. Keeping them in your mouth would result in the collection of food and drink particles stuck into them. Eventually, this will cause bacterial growth around your teeth and lead to cavities. Also, it will cause discoloration of your teeth and the aligners.

Since these aligners exert pressure on your teeth to shift them, you will feel the soreness of your teeth after removing the aligners. Eating hard food would worsen the soreness. Hence you need to avoid such foods which aggravate your pain.

Invisalign's website reveals that the cost of treatment will be similar to conventional braces. There may be other factors influencing the price, such as the complexity of your condition, which needs treatment, the duration of your treatment, etc. If you have any dental insurance plan, you can discuss with your insurance company regarding the aligners. Even if you do not have insurance coverage for aligners, do not worry. Payment plans are available with most orthodontists and dentists. You should ask them before you agree with your treatment.

Deciding on Orthodontic appliances

Are you thinking about choosing Invisalign?

Firstly, think about whether you have a bite or crowding issue with your teeth. If there is a genuine concern, think about whether wearing braces are comfortable with you or the aligners. If you chose Invisalign, you should consider the duration to wear the aligners. Since it is a prolonged duration to wear and you need to stick to a routine of removing them before meals, cleaning them on time, etc., you should think of that. Taking good care of those aligners is essential. If you are a forgetful person who usually misplaces things, then rethink about going for Invisalign. Another most important factor to consider is affordability. Try to know about the payment plans too.


Braces and Invisalign are orthodontic appliances used to correct your teeth' position. Invisalign is a solution for less complicated spacing, crowding, and bite issues involving your teeth. Invisalign gives you a less visible treatment compared to braces, so many prefer clear aligners like Invisalign. Still, the type of treatment appropriate for your condition should be decided and planned by an orthodontist or a dentist.

Set up a meeting with your doctor. Discuss your concerns with them to get the perfect smile you wanted.


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