Differences Between Invisalign and Braces

Differences Between Invisalign and Braces

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Differences Between Invisalign and Braces | Invisalign clear braces on the table.

When it comes to orthodontics, Manassas residents expect the very best. For many people, the best type of treatment for straightening teeth is traditional braces. Braces have come a long way since they were dreaded back in the Eighties as a bulky, obtrusive, and sometimes painful orthodontic treatment. They are still quite common, however. But in recent years, Invisalign has been coming on strong. Although most people have heard of the innovative treatment, few really know what it is. Invisalign is about more than just “clear braces.”

What are braces?

Traditional braces are a type of orthodontic appliance that is applied to the teeth to straighten them over a period of time. The system consists of metal brackets with a metal wire threaded through them to force teeth to move into their correct positions during the treatment period.

Your basic braces have seen significant advances over recent years. They are no longer as bulky and uncomfortable as they were in the past. But there are still certain food restrictions with braces. For example, you cannot eat hard or crunchy foods that could damage or stick to your appliances.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a convenient system for straightening the teeth, relying upon “aligners” that are made from a strong, clear plastic. This system is translucent, so it is virtually invisible, making it perfect for teenagers or anyone looking for a less obtrusive means of straightening their teeth.

What are the differences between Invisalign and braces?

One of the main differences between the two systems is that traditional braces are fixed appliances. This is why it is so important to follow the protocols on eating foods and snacks so that the appliances are not damaged.

In contrast, Invisalign is a completely removable system. Want to eat a steak or munch down on some peanut butter? No problem. Just remove your aligners and replace them when you’re done. The important point is to keep Invisalign aligners in your mouth for the required 22 hours daily to stick to your treatment plan. Otherwise, your treatment time may be delayed.

Virtually Undetectable

Another key difference between Invisalign and braces is that Invisalign, as the name suggests, is just about invisible to other people. The clear plastic is far less prominent than the bulky metal and wires used in traditional braces.


When you go in for your Invisalign consultation, a 3D scan will be taken of your mouth and teeth to ensure that your aligners are completely custom-made to fit your unique teeth and mouth. Even though refinements have been made over the years, traditional braces are still a bit on the bulky side and somewhat uncomfortable.

Since your Invisalign aligners are custom made, they will provide a comfortable fit in your mouth. Also, the edges of the plastic aligners are smooth and should not cause discomfort.

Your Orthodontic Consultation in Manassas

Still undecided about what type of treatment you prefer? Even though many people prefer Invisalign, the system is not for everyone. To request more information about your treatment options, or to schedule a convenient consultation, contact our office today.

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