A women smiles while holding up her Invisalign, comparing it to traditional braces.

Analyzing the Pros and Cons of Invisalign vs Braces

Invisalign is one of the most popular brands of clear aligners available and an alternative to traditional braces. Unlike traditional braces that use attached brackets and wires, clear aligners like Invisalign are a series of removable aligner trays. With these trays, you wear each set for about two weeks before swapping the next in the series.

Today, we will be taking a closer look at the pros and cons of Invisalign vs braces. After weighing these benefits and drawbacks, you’ll hopefully have a better idea of which treatment to ask your orthodontist about. Whatever method is right for you, it’s the first step to a better-looking and feeling smile.

Invisalign vs Braces: Comparing the Benefits

When comparing Invisalign vs braces, there are several benefits Invisalign offers. Reasons like these are why many people consider them over the traditional wire-and-bracket model.

While there are differences in appearance and approach, there is a lot of similarity in their overall methodology and benefits. Both Invisalign and traditional braces use mild, constant pressure to shift the teeth into their proper positions over time. The difference lies in their mechanism to achieve this, whether through brackets and wires or a clear tray.

In addition, both Invisalign and braces lead to the development of straighter, more beautiful smiles. Beyond the aesthetic benefits this offers, it also offers several health benefits. This helps make teeth easier to clean while helping prevent cavities and gum disease. 

It can also correct disorders relating to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and restore proper functions like chewing and speaking.

In short, both braces and Invisalign can improve the health, function, and appearance of your smile. In terms of function and appearance especially, Invisalign has a considerable advantage over previous methods.

Better Aesthetics

This is one of the more commonly cited reasons for choosing Invisalign. The wires and brackets that comprise braces can not just feel obvious but look obvious. Invisalign’s clear trays are much less noticeable while being worn. Aesthetics may seem like an inconsequential reason, but it is one many of us factor in making decisions like these.


One big benefit aligners have over braces is they’re removable. Once braces are installed in your mouth, they cannot be easily removed. Invisalign’s trays, on the other hand, can be physically removed from the mouth, like when eating and drinking.

Easy Teeth Cleaning

Traditional braces must be brushed and flossed around, but Invisalign can be removed for easy brushing and flossing. This can lead to overall better periodontal health, reducing the overall amount of bacteria around the teeth and gums.

Fewer Potential Problems

If you had braces or knew someone who did, you likely experienced or heard about broken brackets or wires. In addition to being painful, damage like this leads to emergency orthodontics visits to fix the problem.

With Invisalign, you’ll never have to be worried about a bracket falling off or a wire snapping like this.

When Choosing Braces Makes Sense: Considering the Drawbacks of Invisalign

Just as you review the pros of Invisalign, you have to review the cons as well. In certain cases, wire braces make a better choice over clear aligners.

Less Effective for Complex Issues

Every person has a different medical history and different medical needs, and that includes how their jaw develops. In certain people, their teeth may be moving in ways that Invisalign doesn’t as effectively mitigate.

Your doctor may suggest braces or other treatment options for more complex issues like these. In addition, if you have bridgework on some of your teeth, Invisalign may not be the right option for you.

Requires Compliance

To get the most out of Invisalign or aligners like it, they need to be worn for between 20 to 22 hours a day. Unlike braces, there is the possibility to act on the temptation to remove aligners. If that temptation may be too much for you to avoid, you may not get the most out of Invisalign.

Needs to Be Removed to Eat or Drink

Clear aligners like Invisalign need to be removed while eating or drinking. If not, they can accumulate residual food or drink. This can attract bacteria along the teeth and gumline, leading to cavities. In addition, liquids especially can seep into the material and stain both aligners and teeth alike.

Needs to Be Cleaned

Clear aligners like Invisalign must be cleaned daily and stored correctly when not in use. While braces require regular cleaning and maintenance as well, less of that is as directly handled by the patient typically. If regular cleaning and storing could be a challenge, then clear aligners probably aren’t the right choice for you.

Food Limitations

Some people may want Invisalign to continue eating their favorite foods, which may not be allowed while wearing braces. However, even if removable, the Invisalign aligner can still encourage similar food limitations.

While the aligner is removed, you may experience tooth soreness, which can limit food choices. This is especially true of hard foods like nuts, caramel, or crunchy fruits or vegetables, which should be generally avoided. Food limitations like these are similarly common for other types of braces, however.

While there can be general recommendations made about the benefits and drawbacks of clear aligners, every person is different. Your medical history may make Invisalign or similar treatments unfeasible or ineffective or make braces a more effective option. Talk with your doctor, and they can help you make the best decision for the healthiest, most beautiful smile possible.

Get High-Quality Dental Care Today from Ashby Orthodontics

Even factoring in what braces near me cost, there are clear reasons why patients may consider Invisalign over traditional braces. They’re less noticeable, removable, and easier to work around. However, depending on your individual medical needs, there are still caveats and drawbacks to consider. Before making any decisions, you should talk with your doctor or medical provider.

If you live in Virginia and are considering Invisalign procedures, Ashby Orthodontics is here to help. Contact us for more information or to schedule your appointment or virtual consultation today. We have convenient locations in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, and Norfolk where we can answer any other questions you may have.