Which is better, Invisalign or braces?

Braces and Invisalign® have one thing in common: both systems were developed to straighten teeth, improve your smile, and enhance your oral health. Since Invisalign® has only been in use since 2000, both systems do not have the same history length. To make the best decision for your treatment, learn more about Invisalign® vs. braces.

Braces are a system based on a set of metal brackets that are affixed to your teeth and tied to each other using wires and very small rubber bands. Today, you can even find brackets that closely match the color of your own tooth enamel, which makes them more unnoticeable. You can even find them in unique colors to make them stand out even more than they would normally.

Invisalign® stands out from the crowd because it is invisible. This unique system consists of aligning trays formed from comfortable, smooth plastic that is free of BPAs. They are placed and worn over the teeth to very gently shift your teeth into their proper positions. Impressions, X-rays, and photos will be used to create precision 3D images of your mouth and teeth so that your aligner trays fit the unique contours of your mouth and teeth.

Invisalign® vs. Braces: What You Need to Know

While braces and Invisalign® both straighten teeth, each has certain pros and cons. Braces are not removable, while Invisalign® is removable.


Braces: Typically, a silvery metal; enamel color or other colors can be used for an extra charge
Invisalign®: Clear and virtually invisible

Treatment Time

Braces: Worn around the clock for an average length of two years
Invisalign®: Worn for 22 to 24 hours daily based upon patient need


Braces: Brackets and wires must be brushed regularly
Invisalign®: Invisalign cleaning system or brush and rinse trays in water

Follow-up Visits

Braces: 4 to 8-week intervals
Invisalign®: 12 to 16-week intervals

Follow-up to Treatment

Braces: Retainer or positioner probably needed, perhaps only at night
Invisalign®: Retainer or positioner likely needed, maybe only at night



  • Considered more effective for complicated problems
  • Besides regularly brushing and flossing, no additional cleaning required


  • Virtually invisible
  • Removable
  • Ends difficulty eating and chewing
  • No problems with food getting snagged
  • Reduces discomfort due to wires



  • Some sores, pain, and discomfort due to brackets, wires, or tooth movement
  • May have problems eating hard, sticky foods
  • May experience some tooth breakage or discoloration


  • May experience discomfort due to movement of teeth
  • Need to brush following meals to avoid stains
  • Must be removed when eating or drinking anything besides water



  • Patients who take regular part in vigorous contact sports


  • Those who lack the discipline to keep their trays in for a minimum of 22 hours each day
  • Those with back tooth bite problems
  • Patients needing to vertically move teeth
  • Those who need to rotate premolars or canines

Precise rates of success for both methods are hard to find, particularly because Invisalign® is relatively new to the scene. How well Invisalign® works is also largely the responsibility of the wearer. If you do not wear them enough, they will not work effectively. With braces, you really have no choice in the matter.

Finally, if you need work on your back teeth, need to move teeth vertically or need to rotate teeth, Invisalign® may not be an option for you. This is why it’s so important to make an appointment with Ricci Orthodontics. Our staff has great experience with both braces and Invisalign® systems. A visit to our orthodontist will help determine which solution is right to help you achieve that perfect smile and teeth.

We invite you to contact Ricci Orthodontics at (678) 932-0308 today to learn more about Invisalign® vs. braces. You can also speak with a team member regarding our additional orthodontic services