Which is Better: Invisalign or Braces?

When it comes to tooth straightening options like Invisalign and traditional braces, how do you know which is better? Both Invisalign and braces are successful at creating beautiful smiles. But understanding the pros and cons of each option will help you determine which is best for you. 

Unpacking the differences between Invisalign and braces

About Invisalign treatment


As the name suggests, Invisalign are nearly invisible from a distance. They are made of clear plastic and closely fit to the teeth. 


All teeth alignment tools do cause some discomfort as the teeth are repositioned. Aside from repositioning, because Invisalign has no brackets and wires and doesn’t dig into the inside of the mouth. 

Brushing and flossing

Brushing and flossing with Invisalign is easy, since the mouthpiece can be removed to brush. With that said, those who opt for Invisalign should expect to brush every time they eat or drink. That means that the amount of daily brushing increases from the normal twice a day routine to more frequently. 


There are no restrictions in what you can or cannot eat when using Invisalign. Why? Because Invisalign must be removed whenever eating or drinking anything other than water. Many people also wonder if they can chew gum with Invisalign. It’s a tricky question, because you’d have to remove Invisalign to chew gum, but most patients are required to wear Invisalign for 22 hours each day. 

Types of Corrections and how long is Invisalign treatment

Invisalign works best for people who require only minor teeth straightening. Most people are treated with Invisalign for between 6-24 months. The amount of time depends on the amount of correction needed.

About Braces


Braces come in different materials but all types of traditional braces are visible. Metal braces, behind-teeth (also called lingual) braces and ceramic braces all come with brackets and wires and are worn permanently. 


Metal braces in particular aren’t very comfortable and can cause cuts and irritation to the inside of the mouth. Whenever braces are tightened or adjusted, this causes temporary discomfort for the user. 

Brushing and flossing

With braces, the number of times and length of time to brush your teeth remains the same. Dentists recommend brushing twice a day, for about two minutes. Flossing is a little trickier with braces. Your doctor will teach you how to maneuver past the wires to allow you to floss as usual. 


When eating, braces are more restrictive than Invisalign. To prevent damage to the brackets and wires. It’s best to avoid hard and chewy foods like popcorn, nuts, bagels, hard candy and gum. But, braces wearers can any hot and cold beverages without a problem. 

Types of Corrections and how long are braces worn

Braces are the go-to for both minor and severe tooth straightening. There is almost no limit to the results that braces can bring to restore a beautiful smile. But, because braces can be used for more difficult alignments and straightening, many users find they must wear braces for approximately two years. 

How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign is a clear, custom-made plastic mouthpiece that is molded to fit to each patient’s mouth. Patients are given new aligners every few weeks with the Invisalign mouthpiece working to gradually and gently guide teeth into new positions. 

How much does Invisalign cost? 

If you are considering Invisalign, you are probably wondering how the cost compares to that of braces. You may be surprised to hear that they are priced similarly, with an average cost of between $3,000-$6,000 for treatment. Of course, out-of-pocket costs will vary due to insurance. 

Most comprehensive dental insurance plans pay for some of the cost of Invisalign for those up to age 19. The coverage is usually either 50% or a fixed amount. It’s always best to check with your insurance provider, to find out any coverage and age restrictions. 
Remember, here at Dr. Frahm’s office, our knowledgeable staff is always available to assist you. We will contact your insurance company on your behalf, and we offer all patients the option of a payment plan that is manageable for you. Contact us today via our webform or give us a call at 831-372-8011. We are conveniently located office at 660 Camino Aguajito #201 in Monterey, CA 93940.

About Dr. Frahm

Dr. Frahm received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 2003. She completes more than 100 hours of postdoctoral training each year; earning recognition from dental experts around the country for her knowledge in the areas of cosmetic, general and restorative dentistry. Dr. Frahm is committed to providing you with excellent, comprehensive dental care. Dr. Frahm uses advanced dental techniques and technology to ensure your comfort and lasting results.

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