Braces are practically a rite of passage as we grow up, as teeth often naturally grow in crooked and need a hand being straightened out. However, traditional braces as we know them—wires and bits of metal glued to the teeth—are often dreaded for being uncomfortable and unflattering. For this reason, clear aligners such as Invisalign have been growing in popularity. But what are the advantages of Invisalign? Here are the five benefits to consider.

Greater Comfort

With traditional braces, the metal can dig into your gums and leave your mouth feeling unbearably sore. With Invisalign, the aligners are custom made to fit your teeth and created with a resin that has no sharp edges that could dig into your mouth. When you’re trying to eat or brush your teeth, you can remove the aligners so that they’re not in the way, unlike traditional braces, which are completely attached to your teeth until the time comes for your orthodontist to pry them off.

Easier Hygiene

Traditional braces can make it difficult for you to properly clean your teeth, as food and plaque can build up around the braces. Getting to this debris with a toothbrush or with floss is difficult when braces are in the way. If left alone, this buildup of plaque can lead to other issues such as tooth decay or gum disease. However, the removable nature of Invisalign makes it much easier for you to keep up with oral hygiene.

Boost in Self-Confidence

When you’re considering the advantages of Invisalign, the most obvious and common one is the boost to self-confidence that these invisible aligners provide. Subtle and clear, Invisalign stands out far less than braces do—in fact, most people won’t even notice you’re wearing aligners. This is ideal for patients who may feel self-conscious about their braces—especially teenagers, who are going through the period of their lives where they feel the most self-conscious in general.

No Food Restrictions

With traditional braces, there are some food restrictions—such as foods that are too chewy—because they could potentially damage or affect the braces in some way. Invisalign doesn’t have that problem, not only because you can remove the aligners but also because they don’t have any wires to gum up or metal bits that could come unglued.

Shorter Treatment

Thanks to the custom fit of Invisalign, treatment is often shorter in comparison to traditional braces, provided you’re wearing them correctly and as much as possible. Traditional braces typically take anywhere between one and a half to two years before they come off, since they don’t have as precise movements planned for the teeth as Invisalign does. When worn correctly, Invisalign can have your teeth well-adjusted within a year.