Young man wearing clear braces.

Invisalign vs. Other Forms of Braces – Part 2

There are so many differences to consider when a patient is looking to get orthodontics. The following are some of the differences there are between the Invisalign and other forms of braces, continued from part 1 (Invisalign vs. Other Forms of Braces – Part 1).



As one can tell from the name of the aligners, Invisalign is made so that they are not noticeable by people. They are made from patented clear plastic material so that they can be or are close to being “invisible.” The Invisalign is an option to anyone who does not wish others to see that they are having the treatment done or are concerned about their appearance due to different factors such as their occupation.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces are the braces that have the metal bracket (the metal square part of traditional wire braces) attached to the tooth at holds the wire in place using elastics. The wire forces the teeth to move and align. If the metal bracket is not something the patient wants, they may consider ceramic braces, where the bracket is made of a ceramic material which gives it a white look, allowing it to blend in better with the patient’s teeth.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are like traditional wire braces, but the wire is placed behind the teeth so that they are not noticeable to people. However, they are not an option to everyone as there is a limit to what lingual braces can fix. Because the wires are placed on the inside, arguably, the amount of force that can be put on the teeth is less than that of traditional braces so the speed for treatment times may differ.



Eating is easy with the Invisalign. One thing to remember when eating with the Invisalign is that the patient needs to take the aligners out before eating. Invisalign patients can eat whatever foods and drinks they want – there are no limitations. After eating, the patient should brush their teeth before putting the aligners back on. When the patient has Invisalign aligners on, they can only drink water.

Traditional Braces (including lingual)

With traditional braces, there is a bit of a limit to the foods that the patient can eat. Patients are asked not chew gum or eat toffees as they can get stuck to the wires and cause difficulty when trying to get them off. Patients are asked to avoid biting into hard and chewy foods when possible as they can cause the brackets to come off. This would result in requiring an extra trip to the orthodontist to have them put the brackets back on, delaying treatment time.



There are less complications known that come with using the customized Invisalign aligners. There may be soreness and / or discomfort as the teeth move.

Traditional Braces (including lingual)

With traditional braces with the wire, there are more known complications such as root absorption and gum inflammation. This is not to say that everyone gets these complications – everyone reacts differently to any medical procedure and this applies to dental procedures as well.

Consultations / Check-ups


The check-up appointments are more flexible with the Invisalign as the patient is given their trays so that they change the aligners on their own according to the schedule given by the Invisalign specialist. For example, a patient may be asked to change the aligner every week.

Traditional Braces (including lingual)

With traditional braces, there are more limits – the patient has to visit the orthodontist every month so that the orthodontist can tighten their wire. Some patients mistakenly believe that just having the braces without the monthly checkups to tighten the braces will straighten their teeth and skip checkups. Without the tightening every month, the teeth will not move. Skipping the checkup causes delays which adds more time to the overall treatment time and is a waste of the patient’s time.



As the patient is in control of taking out and putting in the aligners, it may be tempting to take them out occasionally. However, patients need to remember that to ensure that the Invisalign treatment works, they need to keep the aligners in at all times except when they are brushing their teeth or eating. All other times, the aligners have to be worn.

Traditional Braces (including lingual)

As the wire is on their teeth, patients do not have anything to worry about other than maintaining good hygiene.



Due to unforeseen reasons, a patient may have to move to a different city or country. With the Invisalign, it is easy to move to different clinics located in other cities or even countries. This is due to the universal system that the Invisalign uses. Thus, transferring between different clinics is easy – to start, the patient must make sure that the new clinic they will move to supports and uses the Invisalign system.

Traditional Braces (including lingual)

As there is not a universal system for traditional wire braces, it is more difficult to transfer to a new clinic. Each doctor places the braces on the teeth differently and a treatment plan is made based on each doctor’s experience; when a patient with traditional braces tries to move to a different clinic, it will be more difficult as the new doctor may think differently from the original treatment plan or they may not be able to follow it. In this case, there is a chance that the patient may need to redo the braces according to the new doctor’s treatment plan.

It is important for the patient to consider the number of differences between the different types of orthodontics before choosing what they feel is right for them.

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