Invisalign vs. Braces: Differences Explained

When you start exploring your options for teeth straightening, you’ll run into two primary options. First, there are traditional braces and the newer Invisalign solution. But what makes them so different, and is one method more effective or better than the other?

Today, we’ll explain the variances between these two popular teeth straightening methods. Here’s what you need to know about Invisalign vs. traditional braces.

InvisalignPhoto by cottonbro:

Regarding comfort and appearances, Invisalign is almost always the best option. Invisalign incorporates clear trays that are made to fit your teeth, which are easy and convenient to care for and wear. The trays will be fitted throughout your straightening process, slowly shaping teeth into a straight smile.

Invisalign can offer exactly what braces do, only they hurt less, and they can be removed. You will get several pairs of Invisalign as your teeth start repositioning. They are practically invisible, thus the name, allowing you to skip the appearance of braces while getting the same results. For some patients, especially adults, this is a significant advantage.

The downside to Invisalign is that this method of alignment trays can increase the risk of cavities. You risk over-exposing your teeth to bacteria without constant and routine cleansing and care of the alignment trays.

You also have to be diligent in wearing Invisalign trays to get the best results. If you don’t wear them enough or forget to put them in, your progress will be slower. And you could experience pain when moving to your next sets of trays if your teeth haven’t substantially moved. 


As for traditional braces, they are similar in price to Invisalign solutions, so cost may not be a determining factor. And much like Invisalign, braces do an excellent job of straightening and aligning teeth. Many newer braces designs and components are also less noticeable, and you can get them in fun colors.

Braces require that you have frequent dental appointments for follow-up care, tightening, and evaluation. Braces are permanently fixed to your teeth, unlike the removable trays with Invisalign. So, care and cleaning will be more involved. But you won’t have the worry about forgetting to “put your braces in” like you would with a removable Invisalign tray, ensuring your teeth straightening progress timeline.

You will have to learn how to floss and brush your teeth with braces and will likely have to avoid certain kinds of food. You may also have to wear a mouth guard during sports to protect your braces from damage.

Invisalign vs. Braces Conclusion

The bottom line is both traditional braces and Invisalign are great solutions when you’re ready to explore teeth straightening. The results can be the same, and in most cases, cost variances aren’t that significant. As you weigh your options, it may come down to personal preferences, convenience, and aesthetics. 

It’s always best to first talk to your dentist before deciding on any oral health procedure. Visit us at Wayman Family Dentistry to meet the team and find the best option for your smile.