What is the difference between invisible braces and invisalign?

Mothers everywhere are asking: “Should my child get braces or invisalign?” And for a good reason too! The possibilities and pros/cons are endless between the two! Some children play sports, some read books, and some climb trees, but no matter what hobby or activity your child chooses to do, either orthodontic treatment should adhere to your child’s specific everyday needs. Cosmetic appearance, comfort, responsibility, maintenance, and price are all very important decisive factors to consider when deciding what works best for you, and understanding how each device works can help with that!

So, what’s the difference?

Braces are an effective form of oral treatment that include an irremovable device attached to your child’s teeth with brackets glued to each tooth attached to each other with wires and rubber bands. In essence, braces are made up of four parts: brackets, bonding material (typically glue), an arch wire, and ligature elastic (or an o-ring). The arch wires place continuous pressure on each bracket which begins to slowly force the tooth into a certain position or direction. On average, this treatment costs around $3,000 to $8,000 total, and will require monthly visits to the Orthodontist for checkups.

Invisalign is a form of treatment that is custom-made for the patient. The alignment trays are molded over the patient’s teeth. They fit snugly over the teeth and will shift them slowly to the proper position. The trays are made of a very malleable plastic: a multilayer SmartTrack material and will glide onto your teeth snug and show off an invisible appearance over the teeth. Trays will need to be changed every two weeks and attend checkups every four to six weeks. This form of treatment will cost an average of $3,000 to $8,000.

Both treatments have their pros and cons, and each can be found to align with your specific lifestyle needs and the complexity of the situation. The end goal of both treatments are to improve oral health and to straighten smiles everywhere. The difference can be found in the process and how you would like to achieve the end goal, and either one can help get you there! Ask your orthodontist about which treatment best fits YOUR needs!