The Advantages of Invisalign over Traditional Metal Braces

By Holly Gregory, DDS | Published 11/25/2018 12

woman choicce different brace on green background

Photo Source: Istockphoto

Do you have crooked teeth that you’ve wanted to be straightened for years? Has the embarrassing appearance of metal braces held you back from reaching that goal? Invisalign is the new way to achieve your dream of showing off straight teeth. In fact, there are key advantages that make Invisalign superior to traditional metal braces for some patients.

Before we take a look at those key advantage of Invisalign, it’s important that you have a complete understanding of Invisalign and how braces, in general, work.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a leading brand of clear orthodontic teeth alignment devices. If you’re a candidate, you’ll wear Invisalign teeth aligners for a period ranging from 12 to 18 months, depending on the type of correction your smile requires.

You’ll wear your teeth aligners for up to 22 hours daily and visit your dentist every few weeks to change aligners. This is because you will need fresh aligners to continue correction as your teeth begin to shift into the desired position.

How Do Braces Work?

You might also be wondering exactly how braces work. This is a very brief overview of braces to explain the process.

Whether you opt for clear aligners or metal braces, they both work on the same principle. Braces are effective because they apply a consistent, constant, gentle pressure on your teeth to guide them in a more desirable position over time.

This is why orthodontic treatments feel like they last forever to patients. It must be done slowly in order for the jawbone to reshape as well.

Let’s move on to looking at why many patients prefer Invisalign over traditional metal braces.

Related Content: Invisalign: Everything You Need to Know

What are the Key Advantages of Invisalign over Metal Braces

1. Better Appearance

For those who need orthodontic correction treatment, one of the main considerations has been the appearance of metal braces. They are clunky and cause wearers to feel self-conscious.

Metal braces can cause people to feel bad about themselves. From self-consciousness to flat-out embarrassment. Nobody wants to feel that way.

This is a real consideration for pediatric patients who are teased and called “metal mouth” by their peers. Invisalign aligners are clear and eliminate the schoolyard taunting.

2. Fewer athletic restrictions

Those who are avid sports players often avoid metal braces. They fear the damage and pain of taking a blow to the mouth that can cause damage to old-school braces. Those who play football, soccer, and baseball are at particular risk for costly damage to metal braces.

That’s one of the beautiful things about Invisalign. You can remove your aligners for practice or game time, store them safely away, and replace them after you’re done playing.

3. Eat the food you love

Hard candy, pretzels, popcorn, taffy, and bagels all make the list of foods to avoid with metal braces.

As a dentist, I recommend limiting those sugary foods in order to maintain proper oral hygiene and general wellness. But, as a person who loves to indulge in sweets occasionally, I know that the reality is that these foods are part of life.  In fact, even healthy snacks like pears or apples are difficult to bite into with metal braces.

Giving patients lists of foods they can’t eat seems like a punishment! With Invisalign, you don’t need to worry about those foods. At least, you don’t need to worry about them causing broken wires or damaged brackets.

You remove your aligners while you’re eating, brush your teeth after your meal, and replace your aligners.

4. Improved Oral Hygiene

Sadly, people often get their metal braces removed to find that they are stained around the rims of the brackets, have cavities, or gums that appear red or dark.

The truth is that it’s difficult to brush and floss around braces. It’s awkward to weave in and out the tangle of wires to keep up with cleaning. Add to that the tender feeling and oral sensitivity that comes from the metal braces themselves. It’s a recipe for disaster!

Because you remove the aligners while you brush, floss, and even whiten your teeth, you will have no excuse for poor oral hygiene throughout your orthodontic treatments.

5. Decreased Discomfort

Metal braces are uncomfortable for most wearers. The brackets are raised and cause rubbing, scrapes, or even sores on the insides of the cheeks of lips. Or, the wires can come loose and poke or cut the inside of the mouth.

Needless to say, all of this can become uncomfortable. While you can use oral pain relievers to numb the tender feeling or waxes to cushion the bracket from coming in direct contact with your mouth, those are both very temporary methods of relief. Within an hour or two, you’re right back to mouth pain.

Invisalign breaks that cycle of discomfort. There literally are no brackets, wires, or other metal pieces. They are made of a clear, smooth plastic and are lightweight and comfortable.

6. Feel Better about Yourself

Finally, and most importantly to me, is that Invisalign quickly helps people to feel better about themselves.

When you look great, you feel great. I know we mentioned previously that Invisalign offers a better appearance than metal braces. But I’m not talking about the physical appearance of the orthodontic appliances. I am talking about that swagger of self-confidence that gives a person a glow that lights them up from within.

With Invisalign, some patients start to see their teeth shift into position in as little as 6 weeks. Seeing the results so quickly amps up self-confidence in a way that’s irreplaceable. It gives patients the license to feel great and look great all the time.

It’s one of the most rewarding parts of practicing dentistry.

Related Article:  It’s Now Easier to Have a Beautiful Smile

The Takeaway

If you found this article because you’re checking out different braces options, don’t feel like metal braces are your only option. With clear invisible aligners, you have a new possibility of orthodontic correction without all the restrictions.

After all, orthodontic treatment should
enhance your life, not restrict it.

Editor’s note: We published this story for the value of the content. We were not paid to publish it.


Holly Gregory, DDS


Dr. Holly Gregory is a dentist and the owner of Houston Dental Implants Family Dentistry, Oral Surgery, and Periodontics. Dr. Gregory practices comprehensive dentistry on patients from ages 6 months to 106 years of age in her Humble, Texas office.


  • The part of your article that states that invisalign has fewer athletic restrictions that other kinds of braces really caught my eye. The other week, my cousin Lucas got into a pretty rough basketball accident that has left his teeth in a very risky state, and since then he’s been anxious about returning to the court thinking that there won’t be any dental procedures that can help him out while still letting him play. With this in mind, I’ll be sure to show Lucas your article and show him any dentist we can find that offers invisalign. Thanks!

  • It’s good that you point out that Invisalign is a great way to straighten your teeth without having to wear metal braces. I want to have straighter teeth, so I’m considering trying Invisalign. I’m going to look for a good orthodontist in my area that does Invisalign treatment.

  • It’s good that you point out that Invisalign is a good option for athletes who want to straighten their teeth without risking the damage that traditional braces could cause if they got hit in the mouth. My son plays football and I’m considering taking him to an orthodontist to get Invisalign for this reason. I’m going to look for a good orthodontist in my area that does Invisalign.

  • I didn’t know that you could simply take off your Invisalign when brushing, flossing, and eating and then put them back on afterward. My niece is trying to decide if she wants metal braces or Invisalign braces soon to help straighten her teeth. I will let her know the advantages of this and how she can take them off at times such as these.

  • I love that you point out that Invisalign can’t wear on gums as braces do, and you can have more self-confidence as you don’t have braces! Yesterday my daughter came and asked me if there was a way for her to get straighter teeth as she would love to feel confident in her smile! I want her to embrace her beauty and feel confident in her skin, so I will have to look for ways to get Invisalign!

  • I like how you included that you can remove your Invisalign when playing football. My son plays football and is in need of Invisalign and he was worried if you could damage them while playing. I’ll make sure to keep this in mind if we decide to get him Invisalign.

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