Hidden Braces vs. Invisalign

When most people imagine orthodontic work, they envision being a teenager with unattractive braces. However, you can receive treatment that can be hidden to the public. Invisalign and lingual braces are both options that can safely correct your malocclusion and are discreet. What are the differences between the two? Here is a guide to help you make your decision about whether to have invisible braces or Invisalign.


Invisalign is an excellent choice if you do not want the hassle of wearing metal braces. Invisalign is composed of a set of upper and lower clear aligners. These aligners are worn 22 hours a day and can be removed for eating and brushing. Invisalign can treat many conditions such as:

  • Spaced Teeth
  • Overly Crowded Teeth
  • Crossbite
  • Underbite
  • Overbite

There is a common misconception that Invisalign cannot treat complicated issues and is used only for minor adjustments, but that is completely incorrect. Invisalign can straighten a wide variety of conditions. Talk to your orthodontist about wearing Invisalign. Your orthodontist can analyze your smile and bite and determine if you are candidate for Invisalign.

Getting Invisalign Clear Aligners


The first step to starting your Invisalign, a preliminary consultation in which your healthcare professional will discuss your treatment goals and see if Invisalign is the right treatment for your conditions. They may image or x-ray your mouth for diagnostic purposes.

3D Scan

In order to create your Invisalign aligners, your orthodontist will need to take a 3D scan of your teeth and gums. These will be sent to Invisalign and then your orthodontist will customize your clear aligner treatment plan.

Wearing your aligners

You should wear your aligners each and every day for at least 22 hours for them to effectively work. The plastic material of the aligners is made out of is soft and clear to reduce irritation and discomfort. You should only remove them to brush and eat. When you are not doing either, they should be in your mouth straightening your smile. Because they are transparent, no one will be able to tell if you are wearing Invisalign.

Regularly change your aligners

You’ll wear each set of aligners for about one week before progressing to the next stage of your treatment plan. As you replace each aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will gradually move – little by little, week by week – until they have shifted to their final positions as prescribed in your Invisalign treatment plan.

Treatment time

The amount of time you need to wear Invisalign differs based on each individual case, but your orthodontist can create an estimated time of treatment during your consultation.

Hidden Braces (Lingual Braces)

These special kind of braces are an excellent choice if you do not want the responsibility of remembering to wear and put in Invisalign. Back of the teeth braces are like regular braces but they are glued on the back side of the upper and lower teeth. This way, your treatment is hidden from public eye. These braces can treat the same conditions that Invisalign does including:

  • Closely spaced teeth
  • Crowded Teeth
  • Crossbites and Underbites
  • Overbites


The first step to having lingual braces fit, is a consultation where your doctor will determine if lingual braces are right for your case. He or she will take pictures, 3D models, and x-ray to assist them in decision making.

Having your braces placed

On the day you have your back braces placed, your doctor will place a cement on the back of your teeth. Then they will glue each metal bracket to the inside. By placing them on the inside, the braces are hidden from public view. Only you can see and feel them. The process is similar to having regular frontal braces placed.

Regular checkups and adjustments

Every eight weeks, you will return to have the braces adjusted and a new wire placed. Your orthodontist may extend or shorten this interval depending on your case.

Treatment time

The amount of time that you be in braces depends on your condition and your doctor’s opinion.

More information

Please see Pros and Cons of Braces.

Finding an orthodontist that is right for you

It is important that you have a doctor assist you in making the decision of whether to having lingual braces or Invisalign. This guide is not a substitute for a professional orthodontic assessment.