Invisalign or braces, that is the question

If you have been advised by your dentist that your teeth ought to be straightened, how do you choose between traditional braces and the modern Invisalign system (under the MiSmile brand)? Here we set out the main pros and cons of each method to help you decide on either Invisalign or braces.


This is the traditional method of straightening teeth: metal brackets are glued to the teeth and joined by wires and rubber bands, which are gradually tightened over time.

Pros of braces:

  • The metal brackets that give that ‘mouth full of metal’ look are now available in different colours
  • They stay in all the time, so there’s no chance that they will get forgotten

Cons of braces:

  • Coloured brackets cost extra, on top of NHS standard fees
  • Wires and brackets can make your mouth sore
  • Teeth can become discoloured or even break
  • Braces are fixed to your teeth and cannot be removed except by your dentist
  • Average time to work is two years
  • Food becomes lodged in the wires easily
  • Unsuitable for anyone who plays contact sports
  • Can affect speech

Invisalign retainer system

This modern method of straightening teeth was born in response to patient requests for a discreet alternative to braces. An Invisalign retainer system uses BPA-free transparent plastic that is worn over your teeth a little bit like a sport gum shield (only more comfortable and far less bulky).

Pros of Invisalign

  • Invisalign isn’t just discreet, it is designed to be invisible
  • No difficulties with eating
  • Removable, making eating easier
  • No uncomfortable wires
  • Usual treatment is for six to 18 months – a shorter time than braces
  • Easy to clean
  • Does not affect speech

Cons of Invisalign

  • Invisalign is generally more expensive than standard braces (though flexible payment options are available)
  • Retainer must be removed before eating or drinking (except water)
  • May not be suitable for anyone who has more complex problems (though it is always worth asking a MiSmile dentist for advice as each case is different)
  • Self-discipline is required to remember to wear your retainer after removing it to eat

Summary: Invisalign or braces?

The removable and invisible nature of the Invisalign system makes it ideal for anyone who is conscious of their appearance. It also takes less time to be effective than traditional braces. The pros and cons above certainly balance in favour of Invisalign.

If you feel that Invisalign is best for you, you can make enquiries at any of the MiSmile dental practices, of which there are over 100 in the UK. It is easy to find a MiSmile practice near you, just click here and enter your postcode.

One of the best things about the MiSmile brand in particular is that all practices offer a wide range of finance options, to help make the system affordable – the cost can be as low as £28 per month.

MiSmile practices offer a free consultation so you have nothing to lose and can ask any questions about how an Invisalign system can help you.

Find your local Invisalign provider

Over 120 MiSmile Network practices across the UK