Traditional Metal Braces vs. Invisalign®: Know the facts so you can make the best decision for your lifestyle!

braces vs invisalign

Nothing boosts confidence like perfectly aligned teeth and a gorgeous smile. In a time when pictures can be snapped in an instant, your smile is the last thing you should be worried about! Thankfully, dentists and orthodontists have kept up with the times and offer multiple braces options for patients with overlapping, widely spaced, or crooked teeth.

Two of the most popular braces options are traditional metal braces and Invisalign. While these options may seem completely different, they both work towards the same goal and offer several benefits.

So, which option is right for you? Contact our dental team today to schedule an initial consultation. Dr. Mick can help you (or your child) choose the best option for straightening your smile.

How do they work?

Again, metal braces and Invisalign both straighten teeth. However, the result of treatment is accomplished in different ways.

Traditional Metal Braces

If you’re getting flashbacks to middle school, let us ease your mind. Today’s metal braces are much more discreet than they used to be. Yes, you can still see the metal wire, but your dentist can place clear brackets and bands to make your braces much less visible. Wires are also thinner than in years past.

Tooth-colored or clear ceramic brackets are permanently and strategically placed on teeth. Using wires, bands, and spacers, the braces apply continuous pressure to slowly move teeth into the correct position. Patients are required to visit the dentist regularly to have the wires tightened to ensure that the teeth are continually moving as planned.

Treatment time typically lasts between six months and two years but could be longer. Traditional braces are best for people with severely crooked or crowded teeth and malocclusion. (The relationship of how upper and lower teeth fit together when the mouth is closed is called occlusion. Malocclusion is when this relationship is not balanced. It’s often referred to as a “bad bite”.)


Invisalign clear aligners are invisible trays made of BPA-free plastic. Throughout your treatment, you’ll have several clear aligners made specifically for your smile. Although they are removable, patients should wear aligners for at least 22 hours per day to stay on track with the treatment plan.

Every few weeks, your dentist will provide a new set of aligners that shift teeth a little more. Invisalign works best for patients with mild to moderate spacing or crowding issues. Treatment time typically lasts between nine and twelve months.

Benefits of Traditional Metal Braces

Here are a few reasons people choose traditional braces over Invisalign:

  • Permanency: If you’re worried about misplacing (or throwing away) your clear aligners, metal braces may be the best option. After a while, you may even forget you have braces!
  • Easy cleaning: Traditional braces only require that you are a little more careful in the way that you brush and floss, but you won’t have to add steps to your daily oral hygiene routine. You’ll use interdental brushes to clean between wires and teeth.
  • Cost: Traditional braces typically cost less than Invisalign.
  • Effectiveness: For patients with more severe dental issues, traditional braces usually work better and faster.

Benefits of Invisalign

Clear aligners offer many benefits, such as:

  • Removability: Invisalign trays can be removed at any time. This is especially beneficial during mealtimes, because you won’t have to worry about food sticking in your braces.
  • Invisibility: This is the reason clear aligners are so popular! Most people won’t even know you have braces.
  • Comfort: Invisalign is made from a smooth and comfortable material that won’t irritate your gums.

Contact Your Dentist Today

Based on these facts, you should have an idea of which braces option is best for your situation. However, only a dentist or orthodontist can tell you which option will be the most effective.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mick, contact us today at 916-469-9178.


Leave a Reply