Cosmetic Dentistry |5 min read

Invisalign vs. Braces: How Clear Aligners Stack Up to The Competition


young woman inserts her clear aligners.

So you want a straight smile? You want teeth you’re proud to showcase.

You have two options: braces or Invisalign®This link leads to Invisalign page.

Which one do you choose?

Which one is more effective?

At Harbour Pointe Family Dentistry, we offer Invisalign and would like to give you a breakdown of Invisalign vs. braces to help you decide.

The advantages of Invisalign

First, let’s talk about the benefits of clear aligners.

Invisalign looks better

If you’re talking about esthetics, Invisalign takes the cake!

The aligners are discreet. Since they’re clear, they don’t draw attention to your mouth.

People won’t even know you have them on unless you tell them.

Imagine improving your smile without telling a soul.

You can smile confidently in business meetings and social settings

Teens around their peers can get the best of both worlds with Invisalign. It gives them straighter teeth and no reason to feel self-conscious.

With Invisalign, you won’t have to hide your smile in family photos, at major events, or for a random selfie.

With Invisalign, you get a straighter, brighter smile without the metal.

You can take the aligners out to eat

Braces require you to give up chewing gum, popcorn, hard candy, and caramel, to name a few.

With Invisalign, you remove your aligners to eat and drink. So, you can eat foods you love, including the goodies.

How it works: you wear your clear aligners for 20 to 22 hours each day, giving you time to remove them for meals and snacks.

It’s easier to brush and floss your teeth

Braces restrict your dental care. You can’t clean behind them, and they make flossing hard.

Wearing braces can increase your risk of gingivitis. This is because you can’t keep your teeth and gums as clean as before.

Being able to remove your aligners makes good oral health easier.

You can brush and floss your teeth as before. You could not do that with braces.

Fewer consultations required

You’ll receive an initial consultation for both Invisalign and traditional braces.

During this visit, a dentist will check your teeth. They will tell you if you qualify for Invisalign or braces.

For Invisalign, you’ll get a 3D scan to create your clear aligners.

With braces, you’ll need to undergo X-rays and possibly have a mold made of your mouth.

You’ll need to have an orthodontist place the brackets and wires for braces.

But, with Invisalign, you’ll receive your aligners and get to take them home.

You don’t need to return until it’s refit time for your next set of aligners.

Braces require office visits every four to six weeks.

Comfortable to wear

In the battle of Invisalign vs. braces, you may wonder which is more comfortable.

Both braces and Invisalign have an adapting period.

You may also experience discomfort after every braces adjustment or aligner change.

Invisalign usually causes discomfort for only one or two days. Where with braces, the discomfort can last for several days.

Invisalign users don’t have to worry about cuts from sharp edges common with metal brackets or wires.

Invisalign trays are rounded and made from soft plastic that gently molds to your teeth.

Invisalign disadvantages

You must also consider the drawbacks of clear aligners when choosing between Invisalign vs. braces.

Patients need to be disciplined

Dr. Kris JohnsonThis link leads to Doctor’s page will ask you can follow Invisalign’s requirements. You must wear your aligners every day for 20 hours or more.

You have to follow these guidelines for the treatment to work. If you don’t, you may slow or stop the treatment.

Taking your aligners in and out can be inconvenient

You must remove your aligners to brush and floss your teeth or eat or drink anything besides water.

This is even the case when you’re in public.

Remember to put them back in your mouth when you remove them. Don’t leave them behind by accident.

This is especially true if you’re out enjoying life with friends. Or you won’t get the full treatment benefit.

Keep in mind that if you eat with Invisalign in, you could damage the aligners.

Additionally, both drinks and foods can stain your aligners.


The prices between braces and Invisalign are similar.

However, a dentist may need to use braces after Invisalign to fix your problem. This could get costly.

Invisalign effectiveness vs. braces

Photo of a dark-haired woman showing her braces

Not everyone qualifies for clear aligners.

For instance, in more complex cases, only braces will be effective.

Invisalign is quicker. It usually takes an average of one year. Some see full results in as little as six months, with the maximum being 18 months.

Braces, on the other hand, tend to take 20 to 24 months.

Harbour Pointe Family Dentistry offers Invisalign to teens and adults.

Each has its share of benefits as well as drawbacks.

We recommend doing your research and visiting us so we can further assist you in choosing.

Not sure if Invisalign is right for you?

Ready to start your treatment?

Either way, give us a call or send us a message today!

You can also learn more about Invisalign hereThis link opens a new tab to YouTube.


Don’t worry if you’re not from Mukilteo, WA! We accept patients from the neighboring cities of Everett, Martha Lake, Mill Creek, Alderwood Manor, Lynnwood, Marysville, Snohomish, and Edmonds.