If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past fifteen years, then you’ve no doubt heard of Invisalign. But just in case: Invisalign is a type of orthodontic device that straightens and realigns teeth using clear plastic aligners that patients wear for 20 or so hours per day and swap out every two weeks, instead of traditional metal braces (or other options). Invisalign has been around for more than twenty years already, and millions of people use the product (including me!) every year: it’s easy, it’s convenient, it’s often cheaper than regular braces, and it’s more aesthetically pleasing. In fact, most people won’t even be able to tell you’re wearing Invisalign when you’re talking to them.


From 2012 to 2014, there was a 16% increase in the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment (braces and/or Invisalign) in the US and Canada. That’s because it’s easier than ever to discretely straighten your teeth while still killing it in the boardroom meeting flashing your winning smile. Did you know by 2025, the American Association of Orthodontists believes over 50% of consumers seeking a more improved smile will use clear aligners over braces? Now that being said, you may have heard that Invisalign is only for adults—and while that used to be the case, Invisalign is available for children as young as six years old. According to a study in 2018, Orthodontists nationwide agree that Invisalign clear aligners are the future of modern teeth straightening for kids and teens.[1]

So why are so many people opting for Invisalign these days, rather than traditional braces, and other Wanna-Be’s on the market?

[1] Data from a survey of 78 orthodontists conducted by NA, EMEA, APAC experienced in treating teenagers (minimum of 40 cases, prior 8 months) with Invisalign clear aligners, regarding teenagers with permanent dentition.


First, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: what’s it like? After the first time you put in your clear aligners, it may take a couple of days to get used to wearing them—you’ll feel them in your mouth, and you may have to adjust how you speak slightly. But very quickly you’ll be so used to wearing them that you won’t even realize they’re in. You can drink water and clear liquids, but if you pound back coffee with them in, the aligners may yellow slightly during the period you’re using them (they’re still clean, though). However, you can take them out for 2-4 hours every day, to eat and drink as you please. You may also find that you’re brushing your teeth more often than you used to (c’mon, did you really brush and floss twice a day and after every meal?), so your teeth will be stronger, healthier, and brighter. In fact, according to research,[2] patients who use Invisalign have “significantly better gingival health” than wearers of braces, as well as less dental plaque. The report also found that Invisalign users have greater satisfaction than patients with braces.

Why? Well, braces are more annoying than Invisalign. You have wires and metal permanently fixed in your mouth, so they’re far less aesthetically pleasing. They’re a bloody mouth nightmare in high-impact sports compared to Invisalign which feels more like a protective mouthguard, too. It’s harder to brush and floss with braces because when you wear Invisalign, you take them off to brush. The same goes for eating — if you wear them properly, you will not get food stuck in your Invisalign aligners. You also don’t need to visit the dentist every month to check on your braces or tighten your rubber bands. Once you get going, as long as you wear them 20-22 hours a day, you just keep changing them out as your smile improves. Finally, it’s important to remember that braces aren’t necessarily cheaper than Invisalign. For those of you who are cost-conscious, Invisalign can actually be cheaper at some places you go and insurance may be accepted, too. Better yet, many providers offer free consultations for you to get a scan and check what insurance coverage will be before finalizing treatment.

[2] “Braces vs. Invisalign,” conducted by BMC Oral Health (2015).

For skim readers, here's my quick pros and cons breakdown:

Length of Treatment

Speed Counts!
(Up to 50% faster treatment)

18 months to 3 years.

Food Restrictions

No limits on food
(You remove the trays to eat)

Limits on food
(Can’t eat hard foods)

Hassle (Miss Work or School)

Fewer, and shorter, office visits

Long, Drawn Out, Office Visits


(Because it’s virtually invisible)

Classic “Brace Face” Look


$3,000 – $5,000
(Much less with insurance)

$4,000 – $6,000

Ages Served

All Ages Eligible
(modern, digital process)

All Ages Eligible
(traditional, analog process)


So, you’re probably convinced that Invisalign is the best option — or at least worth exploring. Now what? Well, you may have also noticed that there are a ton of online-only, virtual “clear aligner” companies out there that claim they can get you the product more cheaply than the next—but use caution with these offers. Like anything else that seems too good to be true, the truth is that these websites save you money by cutting out what is arguably the most important part of your Invisalign treatment; that is, your consultation with a fully licensed orthodontist.

Orthodontists have spent extra time, beyond dental school, specializing in moving teeth, and you will feel much more secure and comfortable knowing that an expert has helped you determine how far your teeth can be realigned safely. Ideally, you want an orthodontist who’s been doing Invisalign for a long time, as they’ll have more experience with different types of adjustments, from crooked teeth to overbites to underbites to gaps, as well as working across the wide spectrum of ages that can benefit from Invisalign. If you’re a parent, it is even more critical to find a fully licensed orthodontist for your kids and teens since they deal with more complex dental issues like crowding, spacing, and narrow dental arches. Imagine that Invisalign is a tool, like a hammer or a screwdriver: anyone can wield it, but if you want someone to build you a chair that you’re sure isn’t going to break when you sit down, you’ll probably look for a skilled carpenter who has actually built chairs before.


With all of these considerations, it’s pretty obvious that whatever your age, Invisalign, administered by a licensed orthodontist, is the best choice to make for your orthodontic treatment. And guess what? The Unbraced Invisalign Studio, one of ten exclusive providers, is the best bet in your local neighborhood. Unlike those online smile clubs, Dr. Ron Maddox with over 30 years of orthodontics experience will personally assess your smile with his team of Invisalign specialists, review your scans, and monitor your progress.

Join me on my Invisalign journey, and check him out for yourself with a free consultation. On the fence with price? Check out their insurance savings calculator to find out how much you’ll save on your smile here.

VIA Phillip Mandel is a local writer in Austin, TX partnering with Unbraced for content. He is currently unbracing his best smile using Invisalign.


Unbraced is proud to be one of ten national providers tabbed as an Invisalign Studio, and is the closest elite provider in your neighborhood. Walk-in, get your scan and have a consultation with ease with Dr. Ron Maddox and his experienced team of Invisalign specialists. All ages welcome. Affordable financing offered and insurance accepted, too.