Braces vs. Invisalign or 3M Clarity (Clear Aligners)

What’s the difference?  Think Batman vs. Superman.  Both are Superheroes, and both get the job done, just in different ways.  Read on to see which one is right for you!



  1. Braces are super effective.  They can fix even the trickiest tooth problems like crowding or crossbites.
  2. Orthodontists have been using braces for a long time, so they know they work well.
  3. With braces, the orthodontist can control exactly how your teeth move to make them straight.
  4. Braces stay on your teeth, so you don’t have to remember to wear them or worry about losing them.
  5. Braces are often less expensive compared to Invisalign.
  6. Each month when at your orthodontic appointment, you get to choose cool ties (colored rubber bands that hold your wires in) to match your outfit, school colors, or just because!


  1. Traditional braces are visible, so they might affect the way your smile looks.
  2. Keeping your teeth clean can be a bit harder with braces, which means you have to be extra careful to avoid cavities.
  3. Some foods, like sticky candies or crunchy snacks, might damage the braces, so you have to avoid them.
  4. Sometimes, the braces need to be tightened or changed, and that can cause some discomfort.
  5. Brace treatment usually takes longer than Invisalign, often 1 to 2 years.

Invisalign or 3M Clarity


  1. Invisalign aligners are clear and almost invisible, so nobody will notice you’re wearing them.
  2. You can remove the aligners when you eat, drink, or brush your teeth, so it’s super convenient.
  3. Invisalign aligners are made of smooth plastic, so they won’t hurt your gums and cheeks.
  4. In some cases, Invisalign can give you straight teeth faster than braces.


  1. Invisalign only works if you wear the aligners for 20-22 hours a day. You have to remember to wear them!
  2. Invisalign might not be the best choice for very tough tooth problems or if you need special movements.
  3. If you’re not careful, you might lose or damage the aligners, and that can cost you more money and time.
  4. Young kids or those with certain dental issues may not be able to use Invisalign.
  5. Invisalign treatment can be pricier compared to braces, depending on how much work needs to be done.

Whether you choose braces or Invisalign, both are amazing tools to help you achieve a straight and healthy smile.  If you are unsure about what is right for you, AB Orthodontics is here to guide you on the right choice for you!  Give our office a call so that you can get started on your smile journey today!  (412) 828-3223

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