Invisalign vs. Braces

3:29 PM, Dec 03, 2020
3:29 PM, Dec 03, 2020

When you first meet with your orthodontist to discuss a treatment plan, an important choice you will need to make is whether you want Invisalign or braces.

Each teeth-straightening option has advantages so, to help you prepare, here is what you need to know about Invisalign and braces.


Invisalign starts with a 3D digital scan of your teeth. The doctor then creates a digital plan for tooth movement from start to finish. Once the plan is completed, trays are ordered. The aligners are easy to use — they simply pop over your teeth. The orthodontist will ensure they fit well.

Aligners are worn for at least 20 hours every day, only removing them to eat or brush your teeth. As your teeth straighten, you’ll return to the orthodontist for additional aligners approximately every 8 weeks.

“With Invisalign, the patient changes to a new tray every week to two weeks, depending on the type of movements, so we are making many small changes, and each tray moves the teeth a little closer to the finish line,” explains Dr. Camaron Martin, an orthodontist at SmileLife Orthodontics.

There aren’t any brackets that can break nor wires that can poke you. “If an attachment comes off, we simply put it back on at your next regular scheduled appointment — no need to come in for an emergency visit, and we don’t need the patient to wear rubber bands,” Dr. Martin adds.

There are no restrictions on what you can eat, because you can remove the aligners while eating.

The main thing to know about Invisalign is that you need to be diligent about wearing your aligners every day and putting them back in after meals. Dr. Martin further indicates: “If you wear the trays as instructed, they will move exactly as the plan shows. At this point, there are very few things that I can’t do as well or even better with Invisalign than I can with braces.”


Braces remain a reliable and effective method for correcting teeth and bite alignment problems. They involve gluing brackets to each of your teeth and using a wire to connect each bracket.

“With braces, we are sliding teeth on a wire or a track, so to speak,” Dr. Martin describes. “We often have the patient wear rubber bands to shift the teeth along the wire or track, using the opposite arch for leverage.”

A challenge with braces is that food can get trapped between the gaps created by wires and brackets, so you will need to be vigilant about brushing, using floss threaders, and cleaning in the small spaces with a water pick or small brush. You’ll need to avoid sticky foods like caramels and gum, and hard foods like apples or corn on the cob. Your orthodontist will want to see you every six weeks or so to make adjustments.

Braces and Invisalign are both reliable ways to get the desired improvement in your smile. Discuss with your orthodontist the pros and cons that each might offer in your treatment. For more information and to schedule a free consultation, visit

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