Should I get braces or Invisalign?

By In Invisalign treatment July 17, 2018

Many people find that it is hard to decide whether to wear braces or Invisalign when it comes time to fix their teeth. The options can be daunting if you don’t know enough details about each option.  These are essential features to help you decide which option is best fit for you and your lifestyles.

What are differences in treatment principle between braces and Invisalign?

Braces treatment is considered a fixed treatment solution. That means you will have brackets and wires fixed to your teeth 24-7 during the entire length of your orthodontic treatment to move teeth.

Invisalign treatment is considered a removable treatment solution. That means you can remove the aligners out of the mouth and pause the treatment whenever needed during the day.  There are no brackets and wires glued to your teeth. You do have a few small clear plastic attachments glued to your teeth but in general they are considered mostly unnoticeable. 

Invisalign trays are removable so you can take them off to eat, brush, floss and temporarily paused for important social event.  On average, you need to wear the aligners an average of 22 hours a day for the programmed movements to express.

If you want something fixed on your teeth during treatment, choose braces. If you want a convenience to stop treatment at any time, choose Invisalign.

What are aesthetics differences between braces and Invisalign?

Traditional braces are made of stainless steel metal.    If you prefer an aesthetic option for braces, ceramic braces are made up of clear tooth-color brackets that cut down on the amount of metal shown when you smile or in pictures.

Invisalign trays are made up by crystal clear trays by a plastic material consisted primarily of high weight biocompatible polymers.  These custom-fitted trays are programmed to gradually move your teeth to corrected position over time.

If you don’t mind the look of brackets, choose braces.   If you prefer a coveted approach, choose Invisalign.

What are restriction differences between braces and Invisalign?

Patients who wear braces need a diet restriction during their treatment period. Certain food such as hard and sticky food have to be avoided, such as hard chips, nuts, gum and sticky candies such as taffy, Skittles and Starburst may cause braces to detach easily from the teeth.  Fruits such as apple, pears, and corn-on-the-cob are needed to be cut up to avoid heavy collision and loosen brackets.

Patient who wears Invisalign trays need to remove trays to eat, drink, brush, and floss. However, they do not have any diet restriction and do not have to worry about loose brackets or broken wires.  

If you don’t want to remove anything out of the mouth while eating, choose braces.  You have to adapt to some diet restrictions and new brushing and flossing routines. If you want to remove aligners out of the mouth every time you eat or drink, choose Invisalign. You can enjoy the ease and comfort of chewing.

What are treatment time differences between braces and Invisalign?

For the most part, treatment time for braces and Invisalign are about the same.   However, there are cases that are treated faster by braces and other cases faster by Invisalign. 

Certain orthodontic movements are more predictable by one appliance over the others.  Complex cases that requires growth manipulation such as headgear and expander are better treated with braces. Surgical cases are better treated with braces.  Spacing cases are more predictable with Invisalign.

Based on your clinical conditions, your orthodontist can advise you on a best treatment option and the estimated treatment time for each.

Which option is best for me?

You can schedule a consultation appointment at Care Orthodontics and depending on your clinical evaluation, Dr. Nancy Phan can advise if braces or Invisalign option may work best for your case.  Visit our orthodontic office at for more information.


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88 Tully Rd., Ste. 113 San Jose, CA 95111.
Phone: (408) 971-2885
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