Are you considering having your teeth straightened? You probably already know about your two main options: traditional braces and Invisalign. What do you need to know in order to make up your mind on which to choose? Efficacy, affordability, comfort, convenience — these are some of the factors that you need to consider.

While both work to straighten your teeth, in the process improving both your smile and oral health, there are some distinct differences. These will ultimately dictate your choice.

Remember that Invisalign is a recent innovation, so it doesn’t have the track record that traditional braces do and we can’t really compare their success rates with each other.

Appearance-wise, braces traditionally consist of metal brackets glued to the teeth and connected together with a wire and tiny rubber bands. Of course, these days, there are clear braces with brackets closer in color to that of the teeth’s enamel so that they’re more discrete.

Invisalign, on the other hand, was really designed to be invisible. It’s composed of clear aligner trays made of smooth, comfortable, BPA-free plastic.

Both are obviously effective, so you’ll just have to pit one against the other and see which one is able to meet more of your requirements. What are the pros and cons of each one?

On the plus side, braces can deal with really complex dental issues. They work well for younger people who might not have the discipline of more mature patients in keeping their aligners on. They don’t need extra cleaning steps beyond the usual brushing and flossing. The deciding factor for many patients in Fort Worth, TX, however, is the cost. As a rule, braces are cheaper.

On the negative side, you may experience sores and discomfort from the wires, brackets and teeth movement. You would also be limited in terms of the food you may consume. For instance, you’ll have to avoid hard and sticky foods. Besides these, braces may cause tooth discoloration and even breakage.

The advantages offered by Invisalign, meanwhile, include freedom to enjoy every kind of food you want because the aligners can be removed at will. The smooth and comfortable plastic is also kinder to your gums and the insides of your cheeks. Besides these, Invisalign allows you to clean your mouth properly without impediment. It also requires fewer visits to the dentist, and treatment time is shorter at just 6 to 18 months compared to the average two years with braces.

Invisalign obviously has more pros, but it has its own disadvantages, such as you have to go through the ritual of removing and replacing it to accommodate meals. To avoid staining, you have to religiously brush after meals and the only beverage you can drink while wearing it is water. If you’re not particularly organized, you could also lose your aligners. Fortunately, Invisalign Teen allows up to six free replacement aligners. It’s just for Teen, so it’s good that mature patients tend to be more responsible anyway.

Both braces and Invisalign work really well, but if you can afford it and your dental issue isn’t very complex, Invisalign is clearly the more convenient