Invisalign vs Braces: Which Orthodontic Option is Right for You?


The two most popular forms of orthodontic treatment for straightening teeth are Invisalign and braces. These treatment options can provide a straight, perfect smile, and can correct overbite/underbite and other orthodontic problems. Your friendly and affordable orthodontist provides both forms of treatment, but which one is right for you? Here’s a look at the pros and cons of both types of treatment.

Invisalign vs. Braces

Traditional metal braces use a series of brackets attached to the teeth, an archwire, and elastic bands. Ceramic braces which are tooth-colored are another option. Braces like these are adjusted several times per year at orthodontic appointments, so that they keep adjusting the teeth in the desired direction.

Invisalign is a system of custom-fitted, plastic, clear aligners that fit over the teeth. The clear aligners shift the teeth over time, similar to braces. The main advantage to Invisalign is that it is nearly invisible, so no one needs to know you are receiving orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth.

Invisalign Pros

Invisalign’s clear plastic aligners should be worn for up to 22 hours per day. One major advantage of this system is that the aligners can be taken out for a couple of hours per day, in order to eat a meal and then brush and floss your teeth. Speaking of which, it’s much easier to brush and floss your teeth with the aligners removed than it is with metal braces attached. You simply brush and floss your teeth as you normally would. You also don’t have to change your diet with Invisalign.

Another advantage is that Invisalign is more comfortable to wear than braces. They are custom-fitted to your teeth. They still do apply mild pressure, which you will be able to feel as your teeth are moving, but it’s much more comfortable than what you would experience with braces. A 2015 study published at the National Library of Medicine found that people wearing Invisalign were less likely to experience gum inflammation than patients wearing braces. You will also need fewer appointments with your orthodontist while being treated with Invisalign.

Invisalign Cons

The number one reason why Invisalign treatments can fail in patients is because they lack the discipline to keep the aligners in for at least 22 hours a day. If they forget to put the aligners back in after brushing, the aligners can’t do the work of shifting the teeth. Invisalign is also less effective than braces when it comes to correcting more complex orthodontic problems, so they don’t work for all patients.

Braces Pros

Orthodontic braces have been around for more than 200 years, so they have a long and established track record of effectiveness and safety. The technology has also improved a lot over the years. There are also several different types of braces, including regular metal braces, ceramic braces, and lingual braces. There are more treatment options available, thanks to the different types of braces.

Metal braces are suitable for all types of orthodontic problems, whether they are mild or severe. Undergoing treatment with braces also shifts your teeth faster than Invisalign in most cases. You’re able to achieve more dramatic results in a shorter amount of time. In fact, you are often able to achieve a perfect result with braces. Invisalign is limited in what it can do when it comes to straightening teeth. With braces, there are no limits.

Braces Cons

Braces are visible. Everyone can see them and will know you’re having orthodontic treatment. This can be a drawback for adults who don’t want others to know. It’s harder to brush and floss your teeth with the brackets and archwire of braces installed. There are also strict dietary guidelines that you will need to follow for the duration of treatment with braces. Wearing braces will also require more frequent visits to your orthodontist.

Contact Us about Braces or Invisalign

Every patient is different, so the determination of whether you will be better served by Invisalign or braces will depend on an examination and consultation at Valderrama Orthodontics. Contact our office to schedule your first orthodontic appointment with us.