Pitching braces and Invisalign against each other is a difficult task as they both have their pros and cons. Typically, metal braces are cheaper but they can cause a lot of discomfort and can alter a person’s appearance due to their smile being barely visible. Invisalign are essentially the opposite as they're more expensive but they leave the wearer's ability to smile unhindered. This invisible appearance is what puts Invisalign above the rest because most patients don't want to lose their smile to dental treatment for a series of months.
Braces, besides being cheaper, also offer the ability to correct other aspects of the wearer’s oral health on top of correcting aligned teeth. For example, with metal braces, there is the capacity to introduce other components such as elastic bands which connect to the top and bottom rows of brackets. By applying these, they are able to adjust the jawline and positioning of the jaw to further improve alignment. As Invisalign consists of a top and bottom retainer, there isn't the capacity to introduce elastic bands. If jawline alterations are needed, a different treatment should be considered.
Invisalign on the other hand offers more benefits in the way of appearance and comfort. Whilst the plastic retainer isn't completely comfortable, because it is still something that is strange sitting in your mouth, it's far more comfortable than metal brackets and wires crowding your mouth. In some cases, Invisalign can even work faster than braces delivering desired results in a much shorter time. When you put all that alongside the fact that they are invisible, it's easy to see why they've become so popular amongst patients of all ages.
There are different types of braces, such as lingual braces, which offer an alternative to Invisalign as a seemingly invisible treatment. However, the main drawback is that they're perhaps the most uncomfortable of all the options. From the outside, it may appear as though you don't have braces at all but inside your mouth, it can feel pretty cramped. This is because the braces occupy the same area as your tongue, creating a lot of discomforts. Consequently, lingual braces have been decreasing in popularity. As a result, Invisalign, and Clear X Aligners, provide the same benefits without discomfort.
Upkeep and maintenance are a big factor when wearing braces. It's important you clean them properly to stop bacteria from building up, or food getting caught in between the brackets. As the brackets are fixed to the teeth, there's no way to clean them other than brush around them. If you don't clean your braces properly, once the brackets are removed it can leave a coloured ring around where the brackets used to be. Invisalign, however, can be removed during times of eating and drinking which helps keep them clean. They can also be taken out and cleaned making it much easier than trying to navigate a set of braces with a toothbrush and floss.