Clear Braces vs. Invisalign: Which is Right For You?

If you need to have your teeth straightened, you have options. While you can go the traditional braces route, you can also choose between two systems that don’t stand out as much: clear braces and Invisalign®. At Millennium Park Orthodontics in Chicago, Howard Spector, DDS, and our team have treated many patients with both options, so we want to share some of our knowledge to help you determine if clear braces or Invisalign could be the right choice for you.

All about clear braces

Clear braces are made of clear ceramic that blends in perfectly with your natural tooth color. They have clear brackets that attach to your teeth, and the wires can either be silver or clear, so they will be less noticeable.

With clear braces, you’ll have checkups every 4-6 weeks, where your braces can be adjusted as needed. If you experience a broken bracket or wire, you’ll need to come into the office right away to fix the problem. Patients usually wear clear braces anywhere from 1-3 years.

While Invisalign can handle most general cases of teeth straightening, if your teeth issues are complicated ― such as needing to widen an arch ― clear braces may be the better choice. 

All about Invisalign

Invisalign is a system that uses clear plastic aligners to straighten teeth. After your teeth are scanned, you’re given a series of aligner sets, each slightly adjusted. Every two weeks or so, you replace one set of aligners with another. When you take out your last set, you have the smile you desire. 

Because they’re clear and don’t include wires, the aligners are generally more discreet than even clear braces. And because you switch out your aligners yourself, the only reason you go to the office every 4-6 weeks is to make sure things are progressing correctly. There’s no tightening or adjusting involved in your checkups. For adults, a course of Invisalign treatment runs about a year. The time is variable for teens.

One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign is that you can remove your aligners any time you want. We recommend that you only take out your aligners to eat, brush your teeth, and for special occasions. You should wear them at least 22 hours a day. If you wear them for less than that, your progress will be slower.

The bottom line

Both clear braces and Invisalign are great options for straightening teeth. Your choice comes down to what issues you’re facing and your personal preference. When you visit us, Dr. Spector will give you a thorough exam and go over your options. Rest assured, whichever option you and Dr. Spector choose, you’ll get the smile you’ve always wanted.

To learn more about clear braces and Invisalign and to see which choice might be the best for you or your child, book an appointment over the phone with Millennium Park Orthodontics today.

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