Invisalign vs. Braces: Which Option Is Right for You?

Braces and transparent aligners, such as Invisalign, are orthodontic procedures used to correct malocclusion (crowded, protruding, or crooked teeth) and improve the appearance and feel of your smile. Both teeth-straightening treatments use pressure to realign the teeth and jaw, correcting a malocclusion, sometimes known as a "bad bite."

Traditional braces are typically made of brackets attached to a wire and fitted to your teeth. Clear removable aligners, like Invisalign, were developed more recently to solve some of the issues associated with traditional braces.

This article compares the advantages and disadvantages of Invisalign and braces, covering procedures, costs, aesthetics, comfort, effectiveness, and care. Using this information, determine which one best meets your needs.

Comparing Invisalign vs. Braces

Invisalign and braces work similarly to fix tooth alignment and spacing issues. Examine the differences between these orthodontic devices in cost, appearance, comfort, efficacy, speed, and more.


According to research, those who wear traditional braces report more pain and discomfort than those who use Invisalign, particularly in the first few weeks of therapy and whenever their orthodontist tightens them.

Clear aligners, like Invisalign, may take some getting used to. In the first few days of treatment, patients may experience increased salivation and speak with a lisp.

Braces can also be painful because the metal scratches or rubs against the inside of your mouth. Invisalign provides a smoother, softer feel.

Effectiveness and Speed of Straightening

The FDA has approved both Invisalign and braces for the orthodontic treatment of malocclusion.

Invisalign is primarily used to address mild to moderate dental issues. Braces are frequently preferred and more effective in challenging circumstances, such as rotated teeth, wide gaps, or significant crowding.

People usually wear Invisalign for 12 to 18 months. However, some may only need it for six months. Fixed braces, on the other hand, can take one to two years to work correctly. The length of time depends on various characteristics, so speak with your orthodontist about what to expect for your case.


Avoid foods that may stick to or damage the brackets if you have braces. Avoid hard foods such as apples, pears, carrots, popcorn, nuts, and sticky foods like chewy candy and gum.

One advantage of clear aligners, such as Invisalign, is that they are removable. You can (and should) take them out while eating or drinking. Remember to brush and floss before putting them back in to prevent tooth decay.

Care and Cleaning

Brush your teeth after every meal or snack, and floss daily if you have braces. To reach all the crevices, use an interdental brush (a small brush that fits between the teeth).

According to research, persons who use clear aligners to straighten their teeth have fewer cavities, tooth decay, and gum problems than those who use braces. Clean your aligner with Invisalign's cleaning solution after each meal to avoid germs and calcium accumulation.


Traditional braces require a complete dental checkup and X-ray imaging. Your orthodontist will attach the brackets to your teeth using bonding adhesive, thread a wire through them, and fasten the wire and brackets with a series of bands.

Traditional braces may necessitate further follow-up visits to the orthodontist for tightening and adjustments. After removing your braces, you may need to wear a retainer for one to three years to keep your results.

Getting fitted for Invisalign begins with a comparable procedure that includes a dental exam and imaging. Then, your orthodontist will develop a mold of your teeth to create a series of custom-fit aligner trays. They can be temporarily fitted to your teeth using little attachments. You'll transition to a new pair of aligners every one to three weeks to gradually straighten your teeth.

To observe results, use Invisalign for at least 22 hours every day. If you frequently forget to put your aligners back on, they won't work.

Which Option Is Best for Me?

Invisalign and braces can straighten your teeth, improve your smile, and treat common dental issues, including an overbite or underbite. If you are self-conscious about bracing, particularly as an adult, you may prefer a more inconspicuous orthodontic device such as Invisalign.

However, Invisalign is not suitable for everyone. If you have previously received orthodontic treatment, you may not be eligible.

Clear aligners may not be effective if you have specific orthodontic issues, such as: 

  • Severely crowded teeth
  • Severe overbite
  • Rotated teeth
  • Dental intrusion or extrusion (tooth displacement)
  • Significant gaps between the teeth

Braces are frequently more beneficial in more difficult cases. But if you are a candidate for Invisalign, you may want to search “Invisalign dentist near me” to find a specialist.

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