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Braces Vs. Invisalign for Adults

Orthodontic treatment to align teeth has long been thought of as being for children and teens. However, recent statistics show that adults make up a third of orthodontic patients in North America. Whether your teeth have shifted since you had braces as a child, or you never had them, innovations in technology means that straightening your teeth is now more effective and less noticeable than ever.

For those looking to straighten their teeth for functional or cosmetic reasons, two of the most popular treatment options are braces and Invisalign®. Understanding the pros and cons of each orthodontic treatment can help you make an informed decision about which is the best option for you.

A Comparison of Braces Vs. Invisalign for Adults

Here are some key factors to consider when deciding between traditional braces and Invisalign:


Traditional braces are made up of metal brackets that are cemented or bonded to each tooth. These are then connected by wires and rubber bands, which pull teeth into the desired position. Although the brackets are smaller than they used to be, traditional braces are still quite prominent, which some people don’t like.

Orthodontic treatment with Invisalign uses a series of clear, plastic aligners that fit over your teeth, gradually moving them into place. Because they are clear and customized to fit your mouth, Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible when worn. The ability of Invisalign to go unnoticed is extremely beneficial for adults who are concerned about the appearance of their teeth during treatment.


Patients can feel some discomfort as their teeth begin to move into place with both braces and Invisalign, especially at the beginning. However, traditional braces tend to be more uncomfortable as the metal wires and brackets have the potential to rub and poke the inside of your mouth.

Because Invisalign aligners are smooth and made of plastic, there are no sharp bits to poke and prod the inside of your mouth. It can take a while to get used to wearing aligners, and some patients may notice a slight lisp in the first couple of days of wear.

Eating and dental hygiene

Traditional braces can make it difficult to thoroughly clean your teeth as the wires make it hard to floss and bits of food can get caught in them. This can lead to an increased risk of cavities and gum disease. You also need to be careful about what you eat, as hard or sticky foods can damage braces.

Invisalign aligners are removable, so you can take them out to eat and brush and floss your teeth as normal. Another advantage of this is that you can eat whatever you want. However, you do need to brush your teeth before you replace your aligners after eating, which can sometimes be inconvenient.

Treatment time and orthodontics visits

Treatment time is very much dependent on the individual case, but on average, treatment with Invisalign is often quicker than traditional braces. Invisalign aligners are most effective when worn for 20 – 22 hours each day. If aligners aren’t worn for the recommended length of time, orthodontic treatment can take longer.

Patients with traditional braces need to visit their orthodontist more frequently. This is because traditional braces require regular adjustments throughout the treatment time. With Invisalign, you have fewer consultations as your aligners are simply swapped out for the next set in the series.


In some cases, the type of orthodontic problem you have can indicate which treatment is best suited to your specific needs. Traditional braces can apply a great amount of continuous force to teeth, which makes them a powerful tool for correcting a wide variety of orthodontic issues.

Invisalign has been predominately used to treat mild to moderately misaligned teeth. However, experienced orthodontists are able to use Invisalign to treat a wide variety of problems, including more challenging issues. North Vancouver orthodontist, Dr. Pocock developed a special interest in treating complex cases with Invisalign after focusing on such cases in his postgraduate training.


The cost of traditional braces and Invisalign varies from patient to patient and is dependent on the severity of the misalignment. People often believe Invisalign is much more expensive than metal braces. However, this isn’t always the case and in most circumstances, the cost of Invisalign is comparable to traditional braces.

Braces Vs. Invisalign for Adults: Our Verdict

Both traditional braces and Invisalign are effective ways of straightening your teeth and improving your smile. Whether you choose traditional braces or Invisalign, it ultimately comes down to your unique needs and what’s best for your individual case. The best way to determine which is the best solution for you is to consult with an experienced orthodontist.If you’re considering Invisalign in North Vancouver, you can schedule a complimentary consultation at Smiles By Pocock to receive expert advice. Dr. Pocock has practiced orthodontics for over 35 years and has extensive experience in utilizing several techniques to give each patient their best possible smile.

Contact Your North Vancouver Orthodontist Smiles by Pocock

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