Braces vs. Invisalign®

At Charlottesville Orthodontics, we make it our goal to provide the communities of Charlottesville, Zion Crossroads, Fluvanna, and Louisa with the best orthodontic treatments such as braces, clear braces, and Invisalign. Braces and Invisalign are our most popular treatments and what many patients decide between when starting orthodontic treatment. Both braces and Invisalign are designed to straighten your teeth; however, each provides certain benefits over the other and fits different orthodontic situations. As your trusted local orthodontists, we would like to compare and contrast braces and Invisalign, so you can be educated about each of these orthodontic treatments.


Traditional metal and clear braces have been the norm when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Today’s metal braces are made of stainless steel and are also much smaller and more comfortable than braces of the past. Clear ceramic braces are even clearer and more esthetic than they once were.

Pros of braces

  • Braces are an effective form of orthodontic treatment and also the most proven, having been used longer than any other forms of treatment.
  • There are many different types of braces. One of these is ceramic braces, which patients find more aesthetically appealing and less noticeable.
  • Braces are glued onto your teeth, meaning that you won’t have to worry about losing or remembering to wear them.
  • Braces are better for certain orthodontic problems.

Cons of braces

  • With wires and brackets, braces give more places in your mouth for food to get trapped and allow bacteria to thrive.
  • Brushing and flossing your teeth with braces can be trickier due to having to work around wires and brackets.
  • There are foods you should avoid while wearing braces to prevent damage to your orthodontic appliances – namely hard foods and sticky foods.
  • Braces are made of metal and may cause discomfort or irritation to parts of the mouth.


Invisalign is a newer form of orthodontic treatment, using advanced 3-D computer technology to help craft a series of clear aligners. Each set of aligners is worn over your teeth for two weeks. Your teeth will gradually shift as you go through each set. By the time you finish wearing the last set of aligners, your teeth will have moved into the position as prescribed by your Charlottesville orthodontist.

Pros of Invisalign

  • The Invisalign aligners are transparent, allowing for a discreet treatment process.
  • The clear aligners are removable, meaning that brushing and flossing is just as simple as it’s always been.
  • In addition to simpler oral care, the aligners being removable mean that you can also eat whatever you want.
  • Invisalign offers more comfort than traditional braces, as the aligners are made of a flexible plastic.

Cons of Invisalign

  • You must REMEMBER to keep your aligners in for at least 22 hours a day or else they won’t work as prescribed.
  • Invisalign aligners need to be frequently cleaned and you must ensure your teeth are clean when putting your aligners back on after eating, as food that is pressed to your teeth by the aligners can cause tooth decay.
  • Certain cases are more difficult to treat with Invisalign.

Contact your Charlottesville orthodontic specialists

If you’re in or around Charlottesville or Zion Crossroads and considering Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, braces, or clear braces, we hope you’ll contact us with any questions you may have. If you’d like to begin orthodontic treatment with Charlottesville Orthodontics with a free initial consultation, schedule an appointment with us by filling out our appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you and giving you the best smile through either braces or Invisalign!