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If you have misaligned teeth, both traditional braces and Invisalign® braces may prove to be viable solutions to make your smile straight, providing a lasting correction with both cosmetic and health benefits. That said, there are numerous key differences between these two different forms of corrective dental technologies. For starters, Invisalign braces are less visible than their metal counterparts, which may be appealing to certain individuals. Below, we’ve laid out all of the major differences between Invisalign and metal braces, so you can better understand your options.

Of course, you can always reach out to us to schedule a consultation or to ask any questions you may have about getting braces. Love to Smile has three local dental offices providing orthodontic services in Lenexa, Overland Park, and Peculiar! Feel free to take a look at our dental office locations, and schedule an appointment for your dental needs today!


First and foremost, those who have had metal braces may point out that there is more discomfort with traditional braces over Invisalign. Traditional braces may be uncomfortable from time to time because of the metal brackets, and due to how quickly corrections may be performed (metal braces often provide faster results). Metal braces may be somewhat abrasive on the inside of the mouth, and they may cause some discomfort when chewing food.

Unlike metal braces, Invisalign braces have a smooth surface that won’t irritate the inside of the mouth as much (if at all). And Invisalign is usually less painful due to the slower, more gentle process of reshaping the teeth. Invisalign braces should also be removed while eating, which takes away any discomfort that an individual may otherwise experience with traditional braces.


Both teens and adults may be sensitive about the appearance of braces. If you’re concerned about the look of metal braces, you may want to consider Invisalign, since the molds of the braces are — you guessed it — invisible. Others often don’t notice that you’re wearing Invisalign braces, even with a big, toothy smile. However, both forms of braces are temporary, and you’ll have a beautiful smile with straight teeth either way.


It’s a tad more difficult to clean traditional metal braces. Invisalign braces are removable, so you can clean your teeth as you normally do. Brush and floss your teeth as you normally would to keep your mouth clean.

If you opt to get metal braces, you can still brush your teeth as you normally would. However, you may need to invest in specialized floss or a Waterpik to clean between your teeth and gums. These braces are also more liable to hold food against the tooth, so they should be cleaned with extra care. Regardless of your choice, your orthodontist will go over cleaning procedures in greater detail.


Invisalign braces are removed while eating, and of course, traditional braces must remain intact. It may be more difficult to eat while wearing metal braces. In addition, your orthodontist will recommend that you avoid certain foods while wearing metal braces, should you choose to go that route. Those who wear metal braces should avoid sticky foods, hard foods, and overly sugary foods. For example, you should avoid popcorn, gum, and hard candy, among other foods.

Overall Wear Time

While wear time can vary greatly from person to person, Invisalign braces tend to move teeth more slowly than metal braces. Metal braces can be more impactful, more quickly while shifting teeth in the mouth. Due to Invisalign’s flexible designs, the aligners can only work so quickly as they slowly shift teeth.

That said, most corrective orthodontia will take between 6 months and 3 years for all wearers, including Invisalign and traditional braces users. Speak with your orthodontist for an estimate on how long your braces may take to straighten your teeth.

Complex Issues

Invisalign isn’t for everybody. Certain dental issues may not be corrected with Invisalign braces. For example, Invisalign may not be able to fix teeth that are too far apart, or it may not be a viable solution for someone with impacted teeth or a twisted tooth. For more complex dental corrections, metal braces may be the only viable option. Your orthodontist will take x-rays of your teeth to determine which option is best for you.


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Curious about corrective orthodontia? Or ready to get started with your own set of braces? We’re here to help! We’d be happy to answer any questions that you may have about both of these options, and of course, we can schedule an appointment to get x-rays and further discuss your options. Please, don’t hesitate to reach out to us to learn more! Again, Love to Smile now has three conveniently located dental offices in Lenexa, Overland Park, and Peculiar.