Invisalign Vs. Braces:

Learning Their Differences

If you’re tired of having crooked teeth and feeling self-conscious about your smile, consider orthodontic treatment. Two popular options for straightening teeth are Invisalign and traditional braces. Both of these treatments have their own unique pros and cons, so it’s essential to understand their differences before making a decision.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a brand of custom-made, clear aligners to fit your teeth. These aligners, which you must wear for at least 20 to 22 hours, are made from BPA-free plastic and are virtually invisible. They are removable and designed to shift your teeth into their proper position over time gradually.

Invisalign treatment begins with a consultation with an orthodontist who will create a 3D image of your teeth using X-rays, pictures and impressions. This image is used to create a custom treatment plan that includes the number of aligners needed and the length of treatment.

What Are Traditional Braces?

Traditional braces are an orthodontic treatment that uses metal or ceramic brackets and wires to move teeth gradually into their proper position. These braces are attached to your teeth using special dental adhesive and can only be removed by an orthodontist.

During a consultation with an orthodontist, they will create a custom treatment plan that includes the type of braces needed, the number of adjustments required and the estimated length of treatment.

The Key Differences Between Invisalign and Braces


The most obvious difference between Invisalign and braces is their appearance. As mentioned, Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, making them a popular choice for adults who may feel self-conscious about wearing traditional braces.

On the other hand, traditional braces are more noticeable due to their metal or ceramic brackets and wires. However, less noticeable options, such as clear or tooth-colored brackets and wires, are now available.


Invisalign aligners are made from smooth plastic and do not have any sharp edges, making them more comfortable to wear than traditional braces. On the other hand, traditional braces may cause discomfort and irritation due to the brackets and wires rubbing against the inside of your mouth.


One advantage of Invisalign is that the aligners are removable, so you can easily take them out when eating or brushing your teeth. This means there are no food restrictions, and maintaining good oral hygiene is easier than with braces. Certain foods like sticky or hard candies must be avoided with braces, and brushing around the brackets and wires can be more challenging.


When it comes to effectiveness, both Invisalign and braces can correct various orthodontic issues, such as misaligned teeth, overcrowding, gaps and bite problems. However, traditional braces may be more effective for complex or severe cases because they can apply more force to move the teeth.


The cost of both orthodontic treatments can vary depending on your location, your case's complexity and the treatment length. In general, traditional braces are less expensive than Invisalign. Discuss the cost and payment options with your orthodontist before making a decision.

Dietary Restrictions

Since Invisalign aligners are removable, there are no dietary restrictions. You can easily take them out when eating and enjoy all your favorite foods without worrying about damaging the aligners. On the other hand, traditional braces require certain food restrictions to prevent damage to the brackets and wires. Sticky or hard foods like gum, popcorn and nuts should be avoided as they can dislodge or break the braces.

Follow-Up Appointments

With Invisalign, you will typically receive a new set of aligners every 1-2 weeks and will only need to visit your orthodontist for check-ups every 4-6 weeks. On the other hand, braces require more frequent visits (every 4-8 weeks) for adjustments and tightening of the wires.

Duration of Treatment

The length of treatment for Invisalign can vary depending on your case, but it typically ranges from 12-18 months. Braces usually require a longer treatment time, ranging from 18 months to 2 years or more. Also, normally, you need to change your aligners every after two weeks. However, weekly aligner changes are now possible, resulting in an even shorter treatment time than in the past.

Let Washington Orthodontics Help You Make an Informed Decision

At Washington Orthodontics, we understand that choosing the right orthodontic treatment can be a big decision. When you come for a consultation, we will evaluate your oral health and the severity of orthodontic concerns to determine the best treatment. Our team is experienced in both Invisalign and traditional braces, and we will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that fits your needs and lifestyle.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation!