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Do braces fix teeth better than Invisalign?

Both braces and Invisalign are effective options for straightening teeth. Braces use metal brackets and wires to gradually shift teeth into place over 12-24 months. Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners that are changed out every 1-2 weeks to gradually move teeth.


Braces and Invisalign have similar effectiveness for simple cases, achieving about the same amount of teeth straightening. However, braces may work better for complex cases, being able to exert more precise control over tooth movement.

Simple cases

For mild to moderate crookedness, spacing or crowding, braces and Invisalign show similar effectiveness. One study found that braces straightened teeth by 93% on average after 18 months of treatment, while Invisalign straightened by 83%. Both are very effective for simple cases.

Complex cases

For more complex misalignments like severe crowding or bite issues, braces may work better. The brackets allow orthodontists to apply targeted pressure and torque to individual teeth in ways that Invisalign trays cannot. One study found that braces were 28% more effective than Invisalign for complex cases requiring extraction.

Treatment time

Treatment time with braces is fairly fixed at 12-24 months. Invisalign treatment times are more variable, often ranging from 12-18 months but sometimes longer for difficult cases.


Braces generally take 12-24 months of continuous wear to fully straighten teeth. Wires are changed out every 4-6 weeks to move teeth incrementally. Total treatment time is fairly standardized.


Invisalign treatment involves changing aligner trays out every 1-2 weeks. Total treatment time varies more, with simple cases taking around 12 months but complex cases potentially taking 18-24 months. Some factors like missed wear time can prolong treatment.


Invisalign aligners are more comfortable and convenient than braces in most cases. Aligners can be removed for eating, brushing and special occasions. Braces are glued on the teeth continuously for their entire treatment duration.

Invisalign comfort

Invisalign aligners are thin, smooth plastic that doesn’t cause irritation. They can be removed as needed for comfort. Some users report mild discomfort for the first 1-2 days after switching to a new aligner tray.

Braces discomfort

Braces use metal brackets and wires that can rub and poke the cheeks. The first week after braces are tightened can be painful. Certain foods may need to be avoided to prevent damage to braces. Proper oral hygiene is required to avoid plaque buildup.


Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible while braces are highly visible. For people concerned about aesthetics during treatment, Invisalign offers a big advantage.

Invisalign appearance

Invisalign aligners are molded plastic that blend in with natural teeth. Unless viewed up close, aligners are difficult to notice. They allow for a normal smile appearance throughout treatment.

Braces appearance

Braces feature silver metal brackets glued to each tooth that are connected by wires. They stand out and are impossible to hide. Those wearing braces often feel self-conscious about their smile appearance.


Invisalign generally costs $3,000-$8,000 while braces cost $3,000-$6,000 on average. Invisalign is more expensive for simple cases but can be comparable for complex treatment.

Treatment Average Cost
Invisalign $3,000 – $8,000
Braces $3,000 – $6,000

Factors like treatment length and orthodontist fees impact the final cost. Get a personalized quote to compare options. Insurance can offset costs for medically necessary orthodontia.

Lifestyle impact

Invisalign offers more flexibility and convenience for maintaining normal activities during treatment. Braces force more dietary and oral hygiene changes.

Invisalign lifestyle

Invisalign lets you continue normal activities like playing sports. Aligners are removable for eating, drinking, brushing and special occasions. There are no food restrictions. Maintenance is easy.

Braces lifestyle

Braces can be restricting. Care must be taken to avoid damaging wires and brackets. Hard, sticky and crunchy foods may need to be avoided. Special tools are required to properly brush and floss. Certain activities like contact sports may require a mouthguard.


Both braces and Invisalign provide outstanding results in straightening teeth and improving smiles when performed by an experienced orthodontist. Good oral hygiene is essential during treatment.

Braces results

Braces can successfully align teeth, close gaps, improve crowding and overlap, and correct bite issues. Expert orthodontists can use braces to treat almost any issue. Results last for years with retainers.

Invisalign results

Similarly, Invisalign can improve crooked teeth, spacing, crowding, overlap and bite problems. Aligners straighten teeth incrementally over months of treatment. Retainers are required afterward to maintain the results long-term.


Braces pose some unique oral health risks that don’t affect Invisalign users. Proper cleaning is important to prevent decay and permanent markings from braces.

Braces risks

Braces can trap plaque, putting wearers at increased risk for cavities and decalcification – permanent white markings on teeth. The brackets can also irritate the lips and cheeks. Broken wires or brackets can require emergency orthodontic visits.

Invisalign risks

Invisalign has minimal risks aside from possible temporary discomfort adjusting to new aligners. There are no long-term effects on oral health. The aligners are easy to clean and don’t trap plaque like braces.

Teeth shifting after treatment

Retainers are required after both braces and Invisalign to prevent teeth from shifting back. Proper retainer wear is key to maintaining results long-term.

After braces or Invisalign treatment, teeth have a tendency to drift back toward their original positions. Fixed or removable retainers keep teeth in their new corrected alignment. Without retainers, teeth could revert within 6 months. Retainers must be worn continuously for the first 6 months, then nightly. Regular retainer wear is needed long-term to maintain results.

Supporting teeth and jaw development

Orthodontic treatment supports proper jaw growth and teeth eruption in children. Both braces and Invisalign can successfully treat orthodontic issues in teens.

Braces and Invisalign are both commonly used in adolescents once enough permanent teeth have erupted. By guiding proper teeth alignment and jaw growth, orthodontic treatment helps ensure optimal function and facial proportions. This can prevent future problems with bite misalignments, speech impairment, and TMJ disorders. Teens generally have excellent results straightening their smiles with either braces or Invisalign if treatment begins at the appropriate time.

Professional options

Both braces and Invisalign should only be applied by licensed orthodontists with specialized training and certification. When performed by experts, both options successfully and safely straighten smiles. See an orthodontist experienced in both to determine the best option.

Orthodontic treatment requires an expert professional to ensure the best care. Choosing an orthodontist with years of experience providing both braces and Invisalign is important. This ensures they can recommend the most suitable options based on your unique orthodontic needs and goals. Thorough hands-on training is required to become proficient with either treatment. Make sure to verify any orthodontist’s credentials and patient results before beginning care. Either braces or Invisalign can transform your smile when performed by a true professional.


Both braces and Invisalign offer a great way to straighten teeth and correct orthodontic issues. For simple cases, effectiveness is similar. Braces may work better for complex tooth movements. Invisalign offers advantages like comfort, aesthetics and flexibility. Discuss your options with an experienced orthodontist to decide which treatment is right for your needs. With either braces or Invisalign, following your orthodontist’s instructions can reward you with an amazing smile for years to come.