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Invisalign vs. Braces is one of the most common questions asked at our Orthodontic clinics in Spokane Valley and Cheney.  When new patients first come into our orthodontic practice interested in straightening their teeth and improving their smile, one of the first questions we ask them is, “Are you more interested in braces or Invisalign?” Much of the time, patients are not sure because they are not aware of the differences between the two.

As most people know, braces consist of little metal or ceramic brackets that are glued to your teeth.  When a wire is connected to your braces, that wire puts a small amount of force on your teeth that move them, over time, into better alignment.  As many people don’t know, Invisalign uses a series of clear, plastic aligners to apply a small amount of force to your teeth, and, like braces, move your teeth, over time, into better alignment.  Teeth respond to low-level forces by moving, and both of these orthodontic options are able to effectively provide that force.  Another thing that many people don’t know is that both braces and Invisalign will work for patients of all ages – children, teens, and adults.  But that’s where the similarity ends.  So, when we ask someone, “Are you more interested in braces or Invisalign?”, what we are really asking is “What kind of experience do you want for your orthodontic treatment?”  The information below will go a long way to help you make the right decision for you or your child, however, we also offer a free consultation should you wish to explore your options further.


Some of the main differences between braces and Invisalign come from that fact that Invisalign is removable and braces are not.  Invisalign aligners can be removed for eating – which means you can eat anything you want without worrying about breaking your braces – and for brushing and flossing your teeth – which means no braces to clean around and makes cleaning your teeth a whole lot easier.  You do have to wear your aligners all the time, which takes some getting used to, but patients are surprised how easy it is once you’re in the habit.  

If you don’t want to wear aligners, then braces are the right option for you, because once your braces are placed on your teeth, they’re on until your treatment is finished.


Invisalign clear aligners are practically invisible, which means you can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing you’re doing it.  Braces are more visible, and you can even customize your braces with different color ties at each adjustment appointment.  Braces these days are often a fashion statement, and if that’s the look you want, then go with braces.  But if you or your child doesn’t want the braces look, the choice is clear, choose Invisalign.


Most patients find Invisalign much more comfortable than braces.  The tooth movement with Invisalign aligners is more gradual, which means less tooth soreness.  Also, you don’t have pokey braces and wires to bother your cheeks and lips.


Treatment with Invisalign is more convenient than treatment with braces for two main reasons: fewer adjustments and fewer emergencies.  Since all the tooth movement is planned virtually (on a computer) and then programmed into aligners that are changed weekly, your adjustments are accomplished by changing your aligners at home.  This allows you to schedule adjustments much less frequently – usually about once a quarter – which saves you a lot of time in your busy schedule.   Additionally, patients in braces will sometimes have a broken bracket or pokey wire which can require an additional appointment to fix.  

Length of Treatment

Orthodontic treatment is much more efficient than it used to be, which means your or your child’s time in braces or Invisalign will be much shorter now than it would have been years ago.  With Invisalign, your treatment can be even shorter than with braces – patients in our office who choose Invisalign finish treatment about 3 months faster than our patients in braces.

Two great options – which one is right for you?

Both Invisalign and braces can help you get the fantastic smile you’re looking for, but which one is right for you?  There are patients who come to our office who just want braces – they’re friends have braces, they want the colors, they want to have the braces experience.  For these patients, braces are the right option, because it’s the option they want.  There are other patients who know that they won’t be good about wearing aligners, but they want to straighten their teeth.  For these patients, braces are probably the best option since aligners won’t work if you don’t wear them (although I think they would find that wearing aligners is easier than they think).  For everyone else, the advantages of Invisalign make it hands down the best choice for their or their child’s orthodontic treatment.  

Do you want an orthodontic experience that you’ll truly enjoy? Contact the orthodontic professionals at DaBell Orthodontics today for friendly, comfortable, and expert care.

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