Accepting New Patients! Text or call: 415-874-1677

Invisalign vs. Braces: Which is Better for Your Lifestyle

February 27th, 2024

Both Invisalign’s clear plastic aligners and traditional metal braces work to address the same general issues, primarily misaligned teeth and bad bites. However, there are some significant differences in how they affect your lifestyle that may lead you to prefer one over the other.

How They Work

Both Invisalign aligners and traditional braces work by applying constant pressure to your teeth. This pressure causes the teeth to slowly shift their position over time, leading to a better alignment of the teeth and jaws.

Braces achieve this using metal wires that are fixed to the teeth and then later adjusted by your orthodontist. Invisalign, however, relies on aligners that can be removed and reinserted as needed, but still need to be worn for at least 20 to 22 hours per day.

Dietary Habits

Traditional braces can restrict your dietary choices somewhat, particularly if you like hard or sticky foods. These can potentially become stuck in or damage your braces, meaning that you’ll need to avoid them during your treatment.

As Invisalign aligners are removed when eating, they don’t restrict your diet in the same way. This means you’ll not have to worry about cutting out any of the foods you love.

Cleaning and Hygiene

This is another area where Invisalign can be perceived as having an advantage. Whilst both Invisalign aligners and braces need to be kept clean, this can often feel a lot easier with the former.

Braces cannot be removed so you’ll need to adjust your dental hygiene routine to ensure that you’re cleaning them thoroughly when brushing your teeth. Invisalign’s removable aligners are taken out before brushing, meaning that you can clean your teeth as you usually would and then clean your aligners before replacing them.

Visual Impact

True to their name, Invisalign’s aligners are nearly invisible and it’s very unlikely that anyone will notice them during your day-to-day life. This makes them a great choice if you want to be discreet about your orthodontic treatment.

Traditional braces, on the other hand, are a lot more noticeable, though not everyone will have an issue with this and there is scope for color customization. Other types of braces such as ceramic braces can blend in with the teeth more, however, and lingual braces, which are attached to the back face of the teeth, are even less noticeable than clear aligners.


Traditional braces are generally the cheapest option, but the amount you actually need to pay will depend on a lot of factors. This will include your chosen treatment option, the severity of your orthodontic issues, and the terms of your insurance. The only way to be certain about costs is to speak to a treatment provider who is familiar with your case.


With Invisalign, you will need to ensure that you comply with the treatment or it won’t work effectively. Failing to wear your aligners for the required number of hours each day will give you slower results or, in some cases, no results whatsoever.

As braces can’t be removed, they eliminate any temptation to wear them less, something that some people may find easier.

Efficiency and Results

Both braces and Invisalign can deliver very good results in a reasonable timeframe, but it’s not unusual for one to work faster than the other. In the case of severe misalignment or malocclusion, the higher forces provided by braces may be necessary to deliver the desired results. This is rarely the case though, and your orthodontist will advise you if this is something that may apply to you.

Taking The Next Step

If you believe you could benefit from braces or Invisalign aligners, or simply want to find out more about how to achieve a beautiful smile, contact us today and we will be happy to help.

Contact Camilo Riaño: Your San Francisco Orthodontist

77 Van Ness Ave #303
San Francisco, CA 94102

Office Hours

Mon: 8:15 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 8:15 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 9:15 AM - 6:00 PM
Thur: 8:15 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 7:45 AM - 3:30 PM
Sat: By Appointment Only
Sun: Closed

© 2024 Camilo Riaño Orthodontics

Built with Connect the Doc