Invisalign® vs. Braces
Edmonds, WA

If your teeth, or your child’s teeth, are crooked, orthodontic treatment is often recommended. Not only is straightening your teeth good for improving your smile, but it can also be highly beneficial for your oral health as well. Today, you have options when it comes to improving your tooth alignment. At Perrinville Family Dentistry, we can help you to understand the differences between traditional braces and Invisalign® to help you choose the best solution.

What They’re Made Of

Traditional braces use brackets and wires to straighten your teeth. The brackets are bonded to the teeth and hold the wire in place. The wire does the work of moving your teeth into their correct alignment.

Invisalign treatment uses clear aligners. These aligners are made using Invisalign’s SmartTrack material. This material is smooth and comfortable. Where brackets and wires can cause sores, the SmartTrack material won’t cause any irritation at all.

What They Can Treat

Both traditional braces and Invisalign are effective solutions for treating a wide variety of different orthodontic issues. However, it is important to keep in mind that Invisalign cannot treat more severe alignment issues. If you have a substantial alignment issue, such as a major overbite or underbite, you may need to undergo treatment with traditional braces. For most typical alignment issues, however, either solution may be used.


A major complaint about braces is that they are quite prominent in your mouth. The metal material is silver, so it stands out very noticeably when you smile. While there are more discreet forms of braces, such as those that use clear or ceramic brackets, they are still noticeable. Invisalign aligners are completely clear. Because of this feature, they essentially disappear when placed over your teeth.

Fixed vs Removable

Traditional braces are fixed onto your teeth for the entire duration of your treatment. They cannot be removed at all. Because of this, you are limited to some of the things that you can eat. Taking care of your mouth also requires a bit more work to keep your teeth healthy.

Invisalign aligners are removable. You can take them out to eat and to brush your teeth. This means you do not have to alter what you eat or change your brushing and flossing habits. However, because they are removable, they do require a major commitment. For maximum effectiveness, your aligners need to remain on your teeth for no less than 20 hours a day. It would help if you also changed your aligners every two weeks.

Length of Treatment

Treatment times with either solution vary based on your specific situation. However, treatment with Invisalign is generally shorter. With braces, treatment can last anywhere from 18 months to 3 years. With Invisalign, treatment can last anywhere from 9 to 18 months. Most Invisalign patients, however, achieve their desired results in under a year.


When it comes to cost, Invisalign does cost more. However, the treatment does offer many benefits that are not afforded to you by traditional braces. The aligners are clear, they’re removable, and treatment is shorter. These benefits can make it worth the additional cost.

If you are interested in learning more about your orthodontic treatment options, call Perrinville Family Dentistry at (425) 616-0620 today to schedule your appointment.
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