Are Braces or Invisalign Better for My Smile?

At Central Massachusetts Orthodontic Associates, we know that choosing to improve your smile is a big decision. Many patients wonder “Are braces or Invisalign better for my smile?” We want you to have all the information you need about what the treatment process involves before you start your journey. During your initial visit to our Worcester, Auburn, or Spencer office, you’ll be able to discuss any concerns and questions you have with our doctors. We’ll also take this opportunity to explain: 

  • how orthodontic treatment can change your smile
  • which treatment option would be the best fit for your needs
  • any payment options available to you

Dr. Giarrusso and Dr. Livanos will also outline the differences between popular treatments like traditional braces and clear aligners. Since these are the two treatment options we use most often, it helps to know some of the pros and cons that exist with each method. Keep reading as we discuss these orthodontic options in a bit more detail below!

Orthodontic Treatment: The Basics

Braces and aligners like Invisalign both do their job by applying gentle force to your teeth, shifting them into more optimal positions over time. Aligning the teeth and jaws in this way will improve the appearance of your smile and your overall oral health. Traditional braces have been used for hundreds of years in various forms. Because of this, they have a well-established reputation for successfully correcting a variety of orthodontic issues. 

Invisalign is a newer treatment method, but over the last twenty years, this innovative system has grown in popularity with teens and adults. Braces and Invisalign are both excellent options for anyone interested in achieving a beautiful smile, but there are some important differences between them.


Metal braces

Traditional metal braces have been around for centuries in various forms, so they have a proven track record of successfully treating a range of orthodontic issues. They’re particularly effective at correcting severe or complex cases. Treatment time with any appliance will vary from person to person, but on average, you can expect to spend anywhere from 18-36 months in braces.

You could say braces prioritize function over form, in that there are a number of components to deal with during treatment. Between brackets, wires, and bands, braces can come with a bit of a learning curve! You’ll need to avoid certain foods as long as you have your braces since crunchy and chewy foods can damage brackets and wires. You’ll also need to make some adjusts to your dental hygiene routine since it can take some practice to brush and floss effectively around your appliances. 

The good news is, there are plenty of accessories out there to make cleaning easier for those wearing braces! Water piks help you rinse those hard-to-reach places, while ortho-picks make flossing a cinch. While all of these changes can feel a little overwhelming at first, be patient and stay positive—they’ll be part of your daily routine before you know it!

At Central Mass Orthodontics, we also offer clear braces. These work the same way as metal braces but are made of clear, ceramic materials to blend in with your smile. Clear braces are an excellent option if you’re worried about orthodontic treatment making you stand out.  

Since ceramic brackets are about the same size and shape as metal brackets, they’re just as effective to straighten your smile. However, since the material they’re made of can be more prone to chipping, we typically recommend clear braces for older teens and adult patients.

Invisalign clear aligners

The Invisalign system is a newer treatment method compared to braces, but over the last twenty years, it’s become incredibly popular with image-conscious teens and adults! The clear aligners are nearly invisible and completely removable giving patients a measure of freedom and flexibility that braces just can’t beat. When worn as directed by Dr. Giarrusso and Dr. Livanos, Invisalign aligners can be just as efficient as braces at correcting many of the most common orthodontic issues.

Invisalign aligners are very easy to maintain. They’re designed to be taken out before eating and drinking anything other than water, so you don’t have to worry about food restrictions. You also remove them before brushing and flossing, which means caring for your teeth as easy as it’s ever been! 

Like braces, the total treatment time for Invisalign patients will vary from case to case. The average time spent in aligners is about 9-18 months. The number of aligners needed will vary as well, depending on your specific needs, how compliant you are with wearing your aligners, and how your teeth respond to treatment.  

Since aligners are a removable appliance, it’s up to the patient to wear them as directed. You’ll need to keep your clear aligners in for 20-22 hours each day and switch them out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks for the system to work. This allows them to keep up with the movements the teeth are making. Regular follow-up visits to our office are an important part of every orthodontic journey. Skipping appointments or missing scheduled aligner changes can quickly undo any progress you’ve made.


Get a custom fit for your smile at Central Mass Orthodontics

If you’ve been wondering, “Are braces or Invisalign better for my smile?” our team is here to help! Traditional braces and Invisalign aligners are both great orthodontic treatments capable of producing exceptional results for patients of all ages. But you don’t have to decide which to choose on your own! 

Dr. Giarrusso and Dr. Livanos will only recommend the treatment they believe is best for your specific smile. In fact, our customized treatment plans are built around your unique needs, lifestyle, and goals. With this approach, you’ll be able to achieve a beautiful smile that looks and feels great in the shortest amount of time possible!

Are you ready to explore the treatment options we have available to you? Get in touch today to schedule your initial consultation in our Worcester, Auburn, or Spencer offices.