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Invisalign versus Traditional Braces: What’s the Difference?

traditional braces vs invisalign

It is not unusual for people of all ages to get braces even though they are typically thought of as something that teenagers need. There are lots of reasons that people may need orthodontic care. 

Common reasons include:

  • Needing to straighten the teeth and close any gaps
  • Overcrowding, which occurs when multiple teeth are sitting on top of each other
  • An overbite or an underbite
  • An issue with the alignment of the jaw
  • Needing to make a gap larger so that an implant can be placed

Like many other medical and dental issues, there are multiple options that people can invest in to fix these problems. Two of the commonly mentioned choices are braces and Invisalign

While many people are familiar with braces, some people may not have heard of Invisalign before. It is important to understand the basics of traditional braces vs invisalign so that people can make an educated decision about what is best for them and their children.

An Overview of Braces and Invisalign

Most people know the goal of both braces and Invisalign treatment is to gradually straighten teeth over time. Depending on the severity or need for orthodontic care, both solutions can resolve the issue over a period of multiple weeks to months. After that time, people can enjoy a beautiful smile and overall improved oral health.

When someone invests in braces, they will have metal brackets attached to the front of the teeth. These braces are connected using small wires and tiny rubber bands which will pull on the teeth and place them into proper alignment. People can select the color that they desire so that they can demonstrate their own personal flair.

On the other hand, Invisalign consists of clear aligner trays. These are made from a smooth plastic material and are worn on top of the teeth. A combination of x-rays and impressions are used to mold these clear plastic trays to fit the three-dimensional shape of the teeth. Over time, these trays gradually push the teeth into the right position.

Comparing and Contrasting Treatments

There are a few notable differences that people need to remember when they are considering traditional metal braces vs invisalign.


Braces are a staple in many people’s childhood, traditionally marking the beginning or end of their “awkward” phases. However, people of all ages can get braces and take advantage of their teeth-straightening capabilities. Braces prioritize the function over the style, so some people have trouble adjusting to their new aesthetic. However, many young users enjoy the opportunity to choose their own color.

Some of the features associated with braces can fall in the pro and con category, depending on the user’s personal preference. For example, braces cannot be removed. This means that they cannot be lost; however, they can make it difficult to eat as well.

It’s also important to note that if you get braces, you’ll have to visit the dentist about every six weeks to change out bands and adjust the wires. Here are some of the important takeaways to remember when you are considering whether to invest in braces:


  • Customization options are available (i.e. colored bands for kids)
  • Can fix complex issues with teeth
  • Compliance – They cannot be removed


  • Braces cannot be removed
  • Can injure or irritate gums or cheeks
  • Cleaning of gums and teeth is challenging; people may require special flossing and might need advanced equipment, such as a WaterPik
  • Certain foods and drinks need to be avoided with braces
  • Usually, longer treatment time
  • 1 month checkups

Clearly, the braces have their pros and cons; however, for those who can handle the style issues, the care and the slight discomfort after a visit, braces can provide solid results in a short amount of time.


One of the major upsides of investing in Invisalign is that the trays are virtually invisible. This means that the style issue with braces rarely comes up. However, since the trays are removable, users must remember to keep track of the tray’s whereabouts and wear the trays when they aren’t eating, or it will take longer to straighten their teeth.

In addition, everyone needs to remember to show up for their follow-up dental appointments because the trays need to be changed out as their teeth move. Some points that people may want to remember regarding Invisalign treatments include:


    • Nearly invisible to the naked eye
    • Can be removed for eating
    • Users do not have to sacrifice their favorite foods and drinks
    • Easy dental care
    • Smooth and comfortable
    • Check up every 6 weeks to receive new trays


    • Removable, therefore easy to lose
    • Requires discipline to always wear trays
    • Trays should be cleaned on a regular basis to avoid staining
    • Cannot fix complex issues

As you can see, the Invisalign trays have their pros and cons as well. People won’t have to worry about sacrificing their diet, style or comfort with Invisalign but, at the same time, people need to remember to clean the trays, change them out on schedule and not lose them.

There is an option for everyone and it is important to sit down with a trained oral health professional to discuss the choices on a case by case basis. At Modern Family Dental Care, we offer Invisalign treatment to our teen and adult patients who desire a straighter smile. If you have any questions about Invisalign or any of our dental services, please schedule an appointment or call to receive a free consultation today!

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