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Metal Braces vs. Invisalign: Which is Right For You?

Posted on February 4, 2021

braces vs invisalign

Take a look at the most recent photos you’ve taken. Are you showing off your teeth? Your gaps or crooked teeth are nothing to feel ashamed of. Instead, consider looking into orthodontics. You’re never too old for braces or Invisalign! In fact, about one in five patients is over the age of 18. Not sure whether to choose braces vs Invisalign?

What’s the difference, and what benefits can they offer? Keep reading to find out! In this guide, we’ll review everything you need to know about these orthodontic treatments. Then, you can review your options to make the best choice for your smile.

Read on to learn more!

Why Does It Matter?

First, it helps to understand why you need to consider braces vs Invisalign in the first place.

When there are gaps in your smile, you’re unknowingly leaving your teeth and gums vulnerable to bacteria. Food particles can hide in these gaps. Once they mix with the bacteria in your saliva, plaque can form.

Plaque is a sticky film that clings to the surface of your teeth. Over time without proper oral hygiene, the plaque can harden. Once it becomes tartar, you’ll need a dentist’s help to clean it away.

Leaving plaque and tartar untreated can allow oral diseases to develop. You might get gingivitis, which can cause bleeding gums, inflammation, and pain.

Instead of risking your teeth and gums, you can start looking into braces and Invisalign.

Both are designed to straighten your teeth, close gaps, and improve your oral health. While the goal is the same, how they work differs.


About 4 million people in the US wear metal braces. Of those, about 25% are adults. Whether you’re an adult or teen, braces can help you avoid oral health issues down the road.

Dental braces involve brackets affixed to your teeth. A metal wire runs along these brackets. Together, the wire and brackets press against your teeth.

Over time, your teeth will move, straightening them into proper alignment.

You might need braces if you have crooked teeth or if there are gaps between your teeth.

You can ask your orthodontist if they offer traditional metal braces that match the color of your teeth. Choosing this option can make it easier to conceal your braces. Younger patients prefer to choose brackets in a range of colors instead.

Adding color to your brackets can turn them into a fun accessory.

The average American spends about $5,000 (without dental insurance). This cost covers the braces, excluding diagnostic tests, X-rays, and orthodontic appointments.


Now that you know a little more about traditional metal braces, let’s talk about the pros and cons.

With braces, you won’t have to worry about misplacing or losing your retainers. Instead, your orthodontic treatment will remain in your mouth. You won’t have to change our retainers over the course of your treatment, either.

During the course of an Invisalign treatment, some people forget to wear their aligners for the instructed amount of time. That could stall their treatment. With braces, however, you won’t have to worry.

Since you can remove your braces on your own, there’s no way you’ll stall your treatment. In fact, many people experience a shorter treatment time as a result.

Make sure to keep up with your orthodontist appointments to ensure you stay on schedule with your treatment.


Some people struggle to follow the right steps after their braces are removed. For example, many patients will need to wear a retainer at night. Skipping this process could impact your treatment.

Braces aren’t the ideal option if a patient plays contact supports, either.

They could get hurt if the metal braces scratch the soft tissue in the patient’s mouth.

Are you a fan of sticky foods and candy? There are food limitations you’ll need to consider if you’re interested in traditional metal braces.

For some patients, braces are uncomfortable. It can take time to adjust to having brackets and wires on your teeth.


Invisalign treatment is ideal for orthodontic patients who prefer more discretion. With Invisalign, you won’t have to worry about wires or brackets. Instead, your orthodontist will give you clear, plastic trays you can place over your teeth.

Since they’re clear, your Invisalign trays will look almost invisible.

The Invisalign trays are BPA-free. You’ll need to wear the plastic aligners between 22 and 24 hours a day, though.

How does Invisalign work? As with traditional metal braces, Invisalign helps bring your teeth into alignment. You’ll wear different aligners over the course of your treatment.

Invisalign trays are comfortable and smooth. You won’t have to deal with awkward brackets or wires in your mouth. Instead, your orthodontist will scan your treat before your treatment.

Then, they’ll create a 3D image of your teeth to ensure the aligners fit perfectly.


Let’s talk about the benefits of Invisalign. Unlike with braces, you can remove your Invisalign aligners. You can take them out whenever you want, meaning you can eat whatever you want.

You will need to take the aligners out to eat, though. After all, you don’t want food sticking to your smile.

The fact that Invisalign aligners are clear and discrete is a major benefit, too. You won’t have to worry that the aligners will change your appearance. In most cases, the people around you won’t even realize you’re wearing them.

As you consider your options between braces vs Invisalign, think about your comfort as well. Many people find Invisalign more comfortable than braces.


How long you’ll need Invisalign treatment can depend on your unique case. For most people, it lasts around 18 months. However, you will need to wear your aligners for 22 hours or more each day.

Otherwise, you could delay your treatment.

You’ll also need to learn how to keep your aligners clean. Otherwise, you might notice discoloration.

Some people lose their Invisalign aligners. When you take your trays out, make sure to keep them in their case. Then, you’ll need to brush and floss before you put them back in.

Having to brush and floss after every meal can become burdensome to some patients.

Traditional Braces vs Invisalign Aligners: Making the Choice for Straighter Teeth

What’s your verdict in the braces vs Invisalign debate? Your choice could depend on the severity of your case. Make sure to visit an orthodontist to discuss your oral health needs.

They can help you determine whether braces or Invisalign aligners are best for your teeth.

Want to learn more? Schedule your first visit with our team today!

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Guymon Orthodontics