Can I Switch from Braces to Invisalign Mid-Treatment?

can i switch from braces to invisalign mid treatment
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After months or even years of wearing traditional metal braces, the prospect of ditching them for practically invisible aligners may seem tempting. Clear aligner brands like Invisalign promise straighter teeth without the visible wires and brackets associated with braces. However, transitioning between orthodontic treatments halfway through can get complex.

Whether you want to switch due to esthetic concerns, discomfort from braces, or some other motivation, you’re likely wondering: can I switch from braces to Invisalign mid treatment? The answer involves assessing factors like the progress made so far, costs incurred, and options moving forward. While each patient’s case is unique regarding candidacy, many orthodontists allow aligner conversion if braces treatment has successfully resolved bite issues.

In this article, we’ll cover the key considerations around changing course from braces to Invisalign or another clear aligner system mid-way through treatment. We’ll explore potential costs, best timing, the necessity of dental imaging, treatment plan adjustments, and tips for broaching the subject with your current orthodontist. If you’re curious whether transitioning from train tracks to barely visible trays is feasible and sensible, read on for advice.

When You Should Consider Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are gaining popularity as a discreet and convenient alternative to traditional braces, which have long been a popular choice for orthodontic treatment. With several benefits including enhanced aesthetics, improved comfort, and greater flexibility, it’s no surprise that many individuals are considering making the switch. In this paragraph, we will explore some of the top reasons why you may want to consider switching from braces to aligners.

Your Braces Are Taking Away Your Confidence

Braces can hinder your confidence in many ways, including with their appearance. They can be uncomfortable to wear, leaving the wearer with insecurity and even self-consciousness due to the metal covering the mouth. The bars and brackets on the braces can make speaking normally difficult in some patients and even make them shy away from social engagements.

Braces Complicate Your Life

Braces can complicate your life by causing oral discomfort and limiting the foods you can eat. In addition to this, there will be a need for numerous appointments throughout treatment requiring extra time from family members or work-related commitments.

Additionally, those who play sports or musical instruments may find braces to be an inconvenience, as they can pose a risk of injury or interfere with playing ability. With clear aligners, many of these complications are eliminated.

You Want to Come Back to a Normal Diet

Adhering to dietary restrictions is a common requirement for people with braces, as it helps prevent damage to the orthodontic devices. Patients are often advised to avoid chewy and hard, crunchy foods, which can cause harm to the braces. Additionally, some fruits and vegetables have a tendency to become lodged in the braces, posing challenges to oral hygiene and comfort.

See our article: Can You Eat with Clear Aligners?

You Have a Problem With Maintaining Oral Hygiene

For people with fixed braces, the presence of wires and brackets introduces complexities in maintaining oral hygiene. Flossing around each bracket and wire can be difficult, and brushing effectively becomes more challenging as food particles tend to get caught in the braces. This situation can increase the risk of bacteria growth and impact overall dental health.

Braces Irritate the Mouth

Braces often lead to irritation in the mouth, with the brackets and wires potentially causing discomfort by rubbing against the gums and cheeks. This friction can result in sores, complicating everyday activities such as eating and drinking.

Additionally, orthodontic treatment with braces includes regular appointments for tightening, which are necessary for the alignment process but can lead to temporary increased discomfort following these adjustments.

Teeth Demineralization

Braces are the leading cause of teeth demineralization, which is why many people are opting to switch from braces to aligners.

Demineralization can occur when bacteria in the plaque build up against brace brackets and wires, and the acidic saliva leaked from their mouth corrodes the enamel and causes discoloration. This acid attack can weaken tooth enamel and lead to cavities if left untreated.

See our reviews of the best invisible aligners.

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When You Can’t Change the Treatment

Switching from traditional braces to Invisalign during orthodontic treatment isn’t always possible, primarily due to the specific dental challenges some patients face. Certain complex dental issues, such as severe malocclusion or the need for extensive tooth rotation or vertical movement, are often better addressed with braces. The precision and control provided by traditional orthodontic appliances can be crucial for these intricate adjustments.

The stage of treatment also influences the possibility of transitioning to Invisalign. If a patient has already made significant progress with braces, changing to a different treatment modality could potentially disrupt the established course of treatment and extend the overall duration required to achieve the desired results.

Furthermore, patient compliance is a critical factor when considering a switch to Invisalign. The effectiveness of Invisalign is heavily dependent on the patient wearing the aligners for at least 22 hours a day. This level of commitment may not be suitable or achievable for all patients, making it a significant consideration in determining whether a change in treatment is advisable.

See our article: Which Takes Longer Invisalign or Braces?

Before Making a Decision Contact Your Orthodontist

If you’re currently undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces and are considering switching to clear aligners, it’s important to first consult with your orthodontist. While aligners offer many benefits, including improved aesthetics and convenience, they may not be the best option for every case. 

Your orthodontist can evaluate your individual case, taking into account factors such as the severity of your orthodontic issues, the progress of your treatment, and any other considerations specific to your case. Based on this evaluation, they can recommend the best course of action to achieve the desired results, whether that be continuing with braces or switching to clear aligners. 

By discussing your options with an orthodontist, you can ensure that you are fully informed about the benefits and limitations of each treatment option. Additionally, consulting with a professional can provide peace of mind and help you make the best decision for your oral health. 

Ultimately, switching from braces to aligners mid-treatment should only be done after careful consideration and with the guidance of an experienced orthodontist.

Clear Aligners are the Other Way to Achieve the Same Goal

Clear aligners offer a discreet and convenient alternative to traditional braces for achieving a straighter smile. While there are certain cases where aligners may not be suitable for mid-treatment switching, consulting with an orthodontist can help determine the best course of action for each case. 

Ultimately, whether you choose to continue with braces or switch to clear aligners, the end goal is the same: achieving a healthy and beautiful smile that you can be proud of.


Ke, Y. et al. A comparison of treatment effectiveness between clear aligner and fixed appliance therapies. BMC Oral Health. 2019. doi: 10.1186/s12903-018-0695-z Available online at:

Alajmi S., Shaban A, Al-Azemi R. Comparison of short-term oral impacts experienced by patients treated with Invisalign or conventional fixed orthodontic appliances. Medical Principles and Practice. 2019. Available online at:

Buschang, P.H., Shaw S.G., Ross M., Crosby D., Campbell P.M., Comparative time efficiency of aligner therapy and conventional edgewise braces. Angle Orthod (2014). DOI: 10.2319/062113-466. Available online at:

NEAL D. Kravitz, N. D., Miller, S., Bowman, S. J., Wilmes, B., Hybrid Aligner Treatment; Journal of clinical orthodontics: JCO 57(1):9-15, 2023. Available online at:

Outcome assessment of Invisalign and traditional orthodontic treatment compared with the American Board of Orthodontic objective grading system; American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics 128(3):292-8; discussion 298, 2005, DOI: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2005.06.002. Available online at:

Iza Wojnarowski

Content contributor

Iza is a dedicated content contributor for Toothific. Having worn braces twice and currently using Invisalign to correct a mild overbite, Iza brings a unique perspective to her writing. She spends her time staying updated on the latest dental trends and treatments, ensuring her readers have the most current information for their dental care needs.

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