Braces vs. Invisalign: Pros and Cons

Braces vs. Invisalign: Pros and cons
Posted By

Braces have been used to transform smiles for centuries. Most of us know many people who used braces to correct misaligned or crooked teeth, or, perhaps, wore them ourselves! However, things have changed over the past two decades. Now, many orthodontic patients choose Invisalign over traditional metal braces.

Choosing which method is right for you can be tricky. To make your decision easier, we have reviewed the pros and cons of Invisalign and braces in this article. Of course, your orthodontist will also help guide you in your decision and suggest the most suitable treatment for your dental needs.

What are braces?

Braces are a common orthodontic treatment used to correct misaligned teeth and jaws. Traditionally, braces have been made out of high-grade stainless steel and attached to the outside of the teeth. 

Metal brackets, which are fixed to the front of your teeth, are held in place with elastic bands and wires. Although ceramic and lingual (behind the teeth) braces are available today, metal braces are still the standard.

Children and teenagers often need orthodontic work to guide their new permanent teeth into the proper place. Consequently, many people associate braces with a younger demographic. However, many adults also end up wearing braces later in life.

How do braces work?

Both traditional braces and Invisalign work by applying low pressure to your teeth over a longer period of time. Most patients must wear braces for 1-4 years to correct alignment issues.

When you get braces, a metal bracket is bonded to each tooth. The metal wires and rubber bands put pressure on certain areas, gradually coaxing your teeth into their desired positions.

Since only a small amount of pressure is applied at a time, you need to make frequent visits to your orthodontist at Bristol Dental Clinic in Mississauga. During these appointments, we’ll make the necessary adjustments to your braces to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

The Pros of Braces

  • Corrects a greater variety of alignment issues: Braces can treat more conditions than Invisalign. Although Invisalign can struggle with complex cases, braces can be used for nearly every type of orthodontic correction. It doesn’t matter how difficult your case is.

  • Easy to maintain: Since the metal brackets adhere to your teeth, there is zero risk of losing them or forgetting to re-insert them after a meal.

  • Dramatic transformations: Braces use more force to guide teeth into their proper positions. As a result, you can see a more dramatic transformation of your smile.

  • Customizable brackets: Children may enjoy picking out colourful rubber bands for their braces.

The Cons of Braces

  • Very noticeable: There is no hiding the fact that you have braces. For some patients, this is a deal-breaker.

  • Oral hygiene is harder: Cleaning your teeth takes more time with braces. Brushing and flossing are crucial for your oral health; however, these tasks become harder during your treatment. It’s easy for plaque to build up around the braces, leading to tooth decay.

  • Be careful of what you eat: Hard and sticky foods are a no-go for patients with braces. Eating the wrong thing can break the metal wires or dislodge a bracket.

  • Frequent consultations: You will need to visit your orthodontist once a month to have your progress monitored and braces adjusted.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a clear aligner that gradually straightens your teeth. It is made from a patented flexible plastic that fits over your teeth to correct misalignment issues. No brackets, rubber bands, or metal wires are required! The Invisalign process uses multiple aligners (or trays), each slightly different from the last.

Each Invisalign aligner is custom-made for your mouth, making them comfortable and easy to wear. Plus, they are virtually invisible because of the clear plastic.

Invisalign was invented nearly 20 years ago. In that time, it has become an incredibly popular option for adults looking to perfect their smiles.

The Invisalign Process

The Invisalign process begins with a digital treatment plan that maps out the desired movements of your teeth. The 3D images are created from scans of your mouth, which are then used to create a series of customized trays. Each set of aligners gently shifts your teeth into place by exacting constant (albeit minor) pressure on precise areas.

The complexity of your case determines how many aligners are required and how long your treatment will be. Most Invisalign treatments take 12 to 18 months. You will need to wear each set of aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day. Every week or so, you will switch to a new pair of trays.

It’s important to understand that if you wear your aligners for less than 20 hours per day, your treatment will take longer. 

The Pros of Invisalign

  • Completely removable: Invisalign aligners need to be worn for 20-22 hours per day. However, you can take them out to eat and drink. This means that you do not have to change your eating or drinking habits (or give up your favourite treats) during your treatment.

  • Virtually invisible: Discretion is perhaps the most attractive feature of Invisalign aligners. Since the clear plastic is nearly invisible, no one has to know that you’re in the process of transforming your smile.

  • Comfortable to wear: Invisalign aligners are moulded to your mouth, making them comfortable to wear. Additionally, the plastic trays will not cut or injure the inside of your cheeks, which can occur with traditional metal braces.

  • Fewer orthodontist visits: Fewer consultations and checkups are required during the Invisalign process. Generally, you only need to visit your orthodontist every 4-6 weeks.

The Cons of Invisalign

  • Patients need to be disciplined: You need to wear your aligners for 20-22 hours per day for the treatment to be effective. If you repeatedly forget to put your trays back in after eating (or frequently lose your aligners), then Invisalign may not be the best option for you.

    Additionally, you must brush your teeth after eating and before re-inserting the aligners. This can be inconvenient and time-consuming.

  • May not work in complex cases: Invisalign can correct most alignment issues. However, it doesn’t always work for severe problems like misaligned jaws.

Need Invisalign or braces in Mississauga?

Both Invisalign and braces are excellent orthodontic treatments for correcting misaligned or crooked teeth. Ultimately, you and your orthodontist at Bristol Dental Clinic will determine which method is best for your mouth. Complex cases are often better suited to traditional braces, whereas smaller adjustments can be accomplished with Invisalign.

Bristol Dental Clinic in Mississauga provides affordable orthodontic treatment for patients of all ages. We offer full and partial braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces, retainers, and clear aligners like Invisalign. Contact us today for a consultation to determine which treatment is right for you.

To learn more about orthodontic treatment in Mississauga, call Bristol Dental Clinic at 866-673-2109 or contact us here.

Leave A Comment


  • Posted on 22-12-2023 by 9 New Year’s Resolutions for Optimal Oral Health

    […] having a straighter, more beautiful smile is a definite bonus). Straightening your teeth through braces or Invisalign has a very real impact on your long-term oral […]