Invisalign vs Braces


If your child is ready for orthodontic care, one of the first discussions to have with your orthodontist is which procedure is right for him or her and there might be more options than you had ever imagined.Read below to learn more about your treatment options and find out all the pros and cons of Invisalign vs braces.

Invisalign vs Braces, Which Should I Choose?

When most people think orthodontists, they think braces. Others may be considering Invisalign, but few are really sure which would be best.

There are times that one option is clearly the best treatment for your child, while other times it may just be a personal choice.

We will break down the Invisalign vs braces debate and show the pros and cons of each option.

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Metal Braces

The fact is, metal braces for kids still have a valued place in the orthodontic world, and despite advances and breakthroughs of products like Invisalign and even clear braces for kids, they aren’t going extinct anytime soon!

This is because metal braces are very strong and can withstand most types of treatment. But like I said at the start, today’s metal braces are smaller, sleeker, and more polished than ever before.

Additionally, most kids still prefer metal braces to the alternatives.

Actual patients treated with metal braces at Premier Orthodontics.

invisalign vs braces

patient with overbite treated with braces

patient with underbite treated with braces

patient with crowding treated with braces

Benefits of Metal Braces for Kids

  1. Durable and strong
  2. Kids can’t “take them off”
  3. Tried and tested
  4. Most kids prefer the look of metal braces
  5. Most often are the most affordable option
  6. No changes to speech
  7. Customizable and can be decorated with different colors at each appointment

Potential Drawback to Metal Braces for Kids

  1. You must be diligent with cleaning the braces and with oral hygiene
  2. Hard, crunchy, and sticky foods should be avoided
  3. There may be minor discomfort to the cheeks during the first week
  4. A mouth guard is required when playing sports
  5. They are noticeable… which for some kids is a benefit!

But hold on, metal braces aren’t just for kids!

More adults than ever are choosing metal braces to get their perfect smile. For example, check out Gwen Stefani of No Doubt on the red carpet proudly showing off her braces.

Gwen Stefani in braces

Clear Braces for Kids and Adults

Ceramic braces are very strong and generally do not stain. Adults like to choose ceramic because they “blend in” with the teeth and are less noticeable than metal. That’s why actor Tom Cruise most likely went with ceramic.

Tom Cruise in clear braces

Older types of ceramic braces require white or clear ligatures (tiny rubber bands) to hold the wire on to the braces. These little rubber bands would sometimes start clear but over time would stain.

Today the problem is solved with clear self-ligating braces!

Clear braces

Clear self-ligating braces are a revolutionary system that combines efficient tooth movement with a nearly invisible look. These braces don’t require a rubber band as they now use a small clip instead.

Patients choosing clear self-ligating braces no longer have to decide between metal braces or clear braces that could stain.

Actual Patient of Premier Orthodontics Treated With Clear Braces

Patient with open bite treated with clear braces

Patient with crowding treated with clear braces

Female patient with crowding treated with clear braces

Benefits of Clear Braces for Kids

  1. Less noticeable than metal braces
  2. Kids (or adults) can’t “take them off”
  3. Tried and tested
  4. Great for kids or adults who want to show less metal when they smile
  5. No changes to speech
  6. No staining to worry about (when you choose clear self ligating brackets)

Potential Drawback to Clear Braces for Kids

  1. You must be diligent with cleaning the braces and with oral hygiene
  2. Hard, crunchy, and sticky foods should be avoided
  3. There may be minor discomfort to the cheeks during the first week
  4. A mouth guard may be required when playing sports


Invisalign is a widely advertised, well-known, and popular braces product. Often kids know about it and ask parents and doctors for it by name.

For many, it’s as good an option as any other and sometimes even the best option.

Invisalign uses advanced, proprietary 3-D computer imaging technology to “map” the entire span of treatment, from the present teeth alignment to the desired positioning, alignment, and smile.

Invisalign has many features that have helped make it such a popular choice…

…the aligners are removable for snacks and meals as well as for general hygiene.

There are no metal brackets or wires. Office visits for adjustments throughout the treatment process are fast, easy and painless.

Justin Beiber with Invisalign

Many celebrities, actors, and musicians have undergone Invisalign treatment without anyone noticing!

Over five million patients have been treated with Invisalign, and there is a special Invisalign system for teens and children.

Because Invisalign is computer mapped, there’s sometimes the idea that anybody can install Invisalign and that all practitioners go about treating with Invisalign the same way……

We have an important warning about this: during each stage of the complete treatment, you need to know how teeth move (and in what order) in order to get this right.  

One must take into consideration the amount of time (days/weeks) needed for each successive set of aligners, plus in what order to move the teeth. This is why you must rely on an expert specializing in tooth movement for Invisalign treatment. (In other words, an orthodontist)

At the start, we determine whether your son or daughter is a good candidate for the Invisalign approach, or if they would be better served with different braces.

You have to rely on somebody to tell you. I promise you, there are kids who’ve been hurried to Invisalign who were not good candidates for it.

Actual Patients of Premier Orthodontics Treated With Invisalign

Patient with crowding treated with Invisalign

Patient with spacing treated with Invisalign

Patient with deep bite treated with Invisalign

Benefits of Invisalign for Kids

  • Nearly invisible
  • Can be removed for eating and oral hygiene
  • Less discomfort or emergency visits compared to braces
  • Fewer office visits and shorter appointments compared to braces
  • No dietary restrictions

Potential Drawbacks to Invisalign for Kids

  1. If the aligners are not worn your teeth won’t move
  2. Your speech may be affected slightly during the first week
  3. May not be ideal for kids or adults who are forgetful or not responsible
  4. Invisalign may not be the best appliance to fix certain tooth or bite problems
  5. It may be the more expensive option compared to traditional braces for kids

Invisalign for Teens and Pre-Teens

Much like the standard adult version, the Invisalign Teen System and Invisalign First System allows children and teens correct tooth and bite problems without the need for metal braces.

Treatment can begin even in young children who don’t have all their permanent teeth.

Invisalign Teen and Invisalign First allows for permanent teeth to grow gently and continuously moves these growing teeth into the correct position.

Invisalign Teen and Invisalign First really works. It helps correct a broad range of dental and orthodontic issues.

Even kids can get a confident smile without metal bands, brackets, or wires. It works on many kinds of conditions, including overly crowded or widely spaced teeth, crossbites, overbites, and underbites.

Invisalign vs Braces: Which Option is Best For My Child?

Premier Orthodontics is not “in the pocket of” any of these providers of different braces products and technologies. We select and recommend what we believe is the most appropriate and beneficial choice for your child.

We are happy to discuss the pros and cons of different ones, and together decide the best option for your child.

The dirty truth of the matter is that, these manufacturers often vary in price to the orthodontist (or dentist) based on volume purchase benchmarks, incentivizing high concentration of one product to conserve costs.

Awards are even given out to the highest volume buyers and users. It’s borderline unseemly…

…and it introduces temptation into the overprescribing or overdiagnosing.

The number-one question when considering Invisalign vs braces is: what is absolutely best for the patient?

That is what we will discuss and what will ultimately determine our decision when choosing between Invisalign vs braces.

Now that you understand more about your treatment options, let’s talk about other orthodontic appliances your child may need.

Click below to continue reading in Chapter 7.

Schedule a Free Orthodontic Consultation For Your Child
You can schedule a 100% free consultation for you or your child with Premier Orthodontics to find out if and when your child needs braces or Invisalign.

At your initial exam and consultation you’ll discover:

  • Does my child need braces or Invisalign?
  • What costs should I expect?
  • How long will the treatment take?

Click Here to Schedule Your Free Consultation With Our Online Scheduling Tool


"I just started taking my 5yo here and he needed a lot of work. The staff here has done an awesome job of making him comfortable during some tough procedures. After 3 pretty intense visits, he still walks right in with a smile."

Curt S.

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"Dr. Coles is a fantastic orthodontist who cares about his patient well-being. It’s a great feeling to look forward to every appointment. I have complete confidence in Dr. Coles and his staff and have recommended him to my friends. My mom recommended orthodontist, Dr. Coles to me and it was the best decision of my life. I am highly satisfied with my care and treatment!"

Ruben F.

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"I can’t say enough good things about premier orthodontics. The staff and orthodontists are amazing. They explain step by step procedures and I completely trust them. I can’t Thank them enough for what they’ve done for me!"

Annette P.

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"Dr. Coles and his staff are caring and professional! I would definitely recommend this office for any orthodontic needs. My son, daughter, and myself are former and current patients. State-of-the-art office with wi-fi, water and cookies in the lobby. It’s a pleasure coming here!"

Dana P.

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"From the consultation until the completion of my daughter’s treatment, everyone at Premier was awesome to deal with. They even squeezed us in when we showed up on the wrong week for our appointment. There was literally no issues during the entire process. They communicated everything clearly and we’re always very professional, supportive, and flexible. I can’t recommend them enough, they are the best!"

Kevin M.

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*The reviews listed are from actual patients of Premier Orthodontics. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.

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Chandler / Gilbert, AZ Orthodontists For Braces
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Arizona (AZ) Orthodontists, Dr. Dustin Coles, Dr. Tyler Coles, Dr. Daniel Coles, Dr. Hemali Kothari, and Dr. Prashansa Sharma-Makwana of Premier Orthodontics offer the most advanced braces for children, teens and adults, including metal braces, clear ceramic braces, damon braces, Invisalign and orthodontic treatment. With 7 convenient orthodontic offices located in Chandler AZ, Maricopa AZ, Casa Grande AZ, and Phoenix AZ, there is sure to be an office convenient to you. Call us today for a free consultation for braces at any of our seven conveniently located orthodontic offices in Arizona!

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