Clear braces and Invisalign may sound similar, and these words tend to be used interchangeably – but they aren’t the same thing! They’re both high-quality, aesthetically-appealing treatments – but they have different features, benefits, and commitment levels.
Here’s everything you need to know about clear braces vs. Invisalign, so you can make the best decision for your smile.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign, sometimes called “invisible braces”, is a modern orthodontic system that uses custom-made clear aligners to straighten teeth and align the bite. Each set of aligners is designed to guide the teeth one step closer to their end position, over a course of 18 months or so.
(While the average treatment period is around 12 to 18 months with Invisalign for adults, your treatment may be shorter or longer depending on your case!)
Invisalign aligners are worn for at least 22 hours every day, and can be removed as the patient needs. This is one of the main differentiators between Invisalign and braces—Invisalign can be removed and placed back in, and braces are non-removable during your treatment.
What are clear braces?
Many people want to transform their smile with braces, but they prefer a more discreet treatment option than traditional metal braces. This is where clear braces come into the picture!
We’re proud to provide 3M™ Clarity™ Ceramic Braces as a more esthetic alternative to metal braces.
Clear braces use ceramic brackets that are relatively transparent and blend in with the natural color of the teeth, making them virtually undetectable from a short distance.
Ceramic braces work similarly to traditional braces, using brackets and wires to place strategic pressure on the teeth to guide them in the right direction. Your orthodontist will bond the brackets to your teeth, then connect them via a strong archwire to apply the right pressure to the teeth.
When it comes to appearance with clear braces versus Invisalign, the right option for you depends on your preferences!
Who can wear clear braces?
Clear braces can be used for people of any age! Our experienced orthodontists in South Florida can treat a number of different conditions with clear braces, including:
- Crowded or crooked teeth
- Gapped teeth
- Open bites
- Cross bites
In general, clear braces will most likely be an ideal alternative if you’re not a good candidate for Invisalign.
Clear braces versus Invisalign: Commitment Required
Patients will need to invest time and energy into whatever solution will work best for them, but Invisalign does require more commitment in order for patients to experience the best results.
Invisalign needs to be worn for at least 22 hours a day, and they’re removable, which means you have to commit to keeping them for as long as your orthodontist advises.
If you neglect wearing your clear aligners for too long, we may have to adjust your treatment plan to allow for a longer process.
If you feel you are too forgetful or can’t commit to at least 22 hours of wearing Invisalign every day, you may need a more hands-off approach to creating your best smile.
Clear braces cannot be removed, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to put them back in your mouth. However, you will need to be extra diligent with brushing and flossing, as the brackets and archwire collect food particles and plaque.
Which is better? Clear braces or Invisalign?
The best treatment option for you will depend on your preferences and the severity of your condition. There are pros and cons to both Invisalign and clear braces. The best option should be determined on an individual basis.
If you want to find out which option is best for you, please schedule your complimentary exam with us! We’re here to guide you through your treatment process, from your very first visit, to your last appointment.
If you’re looking for a top orthodontist in Royal Palm Beach, Lake Worth, West Boca Raton, East Boca Raton, Margate, Pembroke Pines, North Ft. Lauderdale, or Downtown Ft Lauderdale, we’d love to meet you! Request a complimentary exam for you or your child today.