Invisalign vs Braces — What’s the Real Difference?

Having orthodontic problems can affect more than the look of your smile — they can also increase your risk of cavities and gum disease. Invisalign and braces are both great options for improving your smile, but what’s the real difference between the two?Invisalign near me

Invisalign and braces help with problems such as overbites, underbites, and spacing issues. Invisalign corrects these problems with clear aligners that gradually adjust your teeth over time. Braces do the same thing, but with metal brackets, wires, and regular readjustments. Invisalign is the ideal choice for qualifying patients. They provide the same benefits as braces while making oral hygiene easier and drawing less attention.

Invisalign vs Braces

Both Invisalign and braces can help straighten your teeth into a smile you can’t wait to show off. They address issues such as:

  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Spacing
  • Crowding

While they both have similar purposes, there are some important differences between them. Namely, Invisalign uses clear plastic aligner trays while traditional braces use a combination of metal brackets and wires to readjust your teeth. 


Invisalign is a progressive series of clear plastic aligners that have been custom-fit to your teeth. These aligners fit snugly over your teeth, applying pressure to gradually move them to the right position with each successive set. In many cases, they also include composite buttons that apply pressure at specific points to ensure that your teeth are moving in the right direction.

For more on how Invisalign works, click here


Braces are what you probably think of when you imagine orthodontics. They’re made up of:

  • Brackets
  • Orthodontic bands
  • Spacers
  • Archwires
  • Ties
  • A buccal tube
  • Ligatures

Brackets are the tiny squares that are attached to the front of your teeth. They come in different types including stainless steel and tooth-colored plastic or ceramic. These small squares act as handles for the orthodontic bands, which are cemented to your teeth and serve as an anchor for the brackets. Spacers go between your teeth to create room for the orthodontic bands.

Archwires guide the realignment of your teeth and are affixed to the brackets. They’re held in place by either rubber rings or wires, known as ties. Archwires are also held in place by a buccal tube behind your back teeth. Ligatures are small rubber bands that hold the archwire to the brackets. 

Your dentist may decide to use other equipment in your braces to help straighten your teeth. This may include springs between the brackets that adjust your teeth to the right position. Headgear may also be necessary to adjust the molars in the back of your mouth.

Read Invisalign vs. Braces: A Side-by-Side Comparison for more on their differences!

Which Should I Choose?

Once you understand the difference between Invisalign and traditional braces, it’s time to make a decision. Both have their pros and cons, but Invisalign is the clear winner in many cases

Invisalign is often our recommendation for patients because it:

  • Corrects misalignments effectively
  • Makes cleaning your teeth easier
  • Helps you have healthier gums
  • Is barely noticeable

Keep in mind that not everyone will qualify for Invisalign. Some orthodontic issues are too complex for these clear aligners to fix. In that case, metal braces are the better choice. If that’s the case for you, we can provide you with braces for more complex alignment issues in our office.

Invisalign Works

It may be hard to believe, but you can get straighter teeth without a lot of metal in your mouth. Even better is the fact that they don’t require constant retightening, which means that your teeth can be straightened with a lot less pain and discomfort. If fear of aching teeth is preventing you from getting orthodontics then Invisalign is the choice for you.

Invisalign Makes Cleaning Your Teeth Easier

Brushing your teeth can be a real hassle if you have braces. First, you’ll need to remove any elastics or bands one by one before you start brushing and put them all back in once you’re done. You’ll also need to make sure you clean the wires and pins along with your teeth. With Invisalign, you can simply remove your aligners to brush your teeth and put them back in place when you’re done.

Invisalign Helps You Have Healthier Gums

Invisalign also makes it easier to keep your gums healthy. Flossing helps remove plaque from your gumline as well as from between your teeth. Metal braces require carefully threading floss under the wires or using floss threaders to make flossing easier. However, with Invisalign, you just take your aligners off to floss and put them back when you’ve finished.

Invisalign Is Barely Noticeable 

While braces can help give you the smile you’ve always wanted, they can also attract unwanted attention. This is especially true for adults and teens who would prefer to straighten their teeth under the radar. Clear aligners from Invisalign help you do exactly that. You can also take them off for a little while each day in case a photo opportunity arises.

Are you ready to get a perfect smile with Invisalign? Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

If you have bite issues or crowding problems then Invisalign or braces may be the solution. Invisalign uses clear aligners to reposition your teeth gradually over time. Braces do the same thing using wires and brackets, as well as regular readjustments. For many qualifying patients, Invisalign is the clear choice thanks to how easy it is for your teeth and how low-profile they are.

My Family Dentistry is open Monday through Thursday and every other Friday. Give us a call at (865) 947-6453 or you can schedule an appointment online.

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