Invisalign® vs Traditional Braces

Invisalign® Treatment for Teenagers and Adults

woman holds invisalign tray and braces modelIf you are looking into orthodontics options for your teen, it is important to consider Invisalign® vs. traditional braces for teens. You should also know what both solutions look like on a daily basis. Essentially, any orthodontic solution will move teeth by applying pressure. This pressure has to be placed on the right teeth at the right time so that gradually, they move into position. Both solutions do an excellent job. At the end of the day it really comes down to lifestyle, convenience, and what your teen will feel confident wearing.

Begin Straightening Your Smile Today

At EM Makhoul DDS - Dentist of Mission Viejo, we welcome you to call EM Makhoul DDS - Dentist of Mission Viejo Phone Number (949) 364-3724 and schedule an appointment with our Mission Viejo, CA dental office. At the appointment, we can examine your teen and let you know if Invisalign® is right for them. During this appointment, we will answer any questions that you or they have so that they can be empowered to decide how to proceed. After all, while your teen is still a child, an orthodontics treatment requires their involvement and commitment. Once we have it, their treatment will go smoothly and their smile will be transformed into something beautiful.

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Here are a few things that you should know about the lifestyle differences with Invisalign® vs. traditional braces for teens:


At EM Makhoul DDS - Dentist of Mission Viejo, we know that the cost of orthodontics is relatively the same, whether your teen gets braces or Invisalign®. We can give you a full breakdown and discuss payment options when you come in for a consultation.


If school attendance is important for your teen than Invisalign Teen® is their best option. They will miss fewer days from school for dental appointments because we only need to see them once every four to six weeks. With traditional braces, some patients need to come in every two to four weeks.


When it comes to appearance, nothing beats Invisalign®. Keep this in mind when comparing Invisalign® vs. traditional braces for teens. The aligners are clear, so hardly anyone will notice that they are wearing them. The biggest aesthetic benefit is that as their teeth begin to move, their smile will look better. Being able to see an improvement quickly will help your teen to feel encouraged to keep up with the process, knowing that their smile will only get more and more attractive.


In our Mission Viejo dental office, one of the biggest concerns we hear from teens (especially the hungry ones) is that wearing orthodontics will impact their daily diet. We know that most of our younger patients are fairly particular in what they eat and at the very least, have multiple favorite foods. If things like pizza, hamburgers, sandwiches and popcorn are on their “must have” list, than Invisalign® is a far better option than braces. When wearing traditional metal braces, teens have to eat carefully. You cannot simply bite into a burger or sandwich and if you do, you will have a ton of food stuck in between your teeth. For teens, and adults, this can be completely embarrassing. Many teens change what they eat while wearing braces while others simply don’t eat in public. Both can be inconvenient and silly when Invisalign® provides a better way. Since the Invisalign® aligners are designed to come out while eating, your teen can eat whatever they want without worrying about how they look or their orthodontics becoming damaged. This means that life can continue on like normal, without the annoying adjustments that teens don’t enjoy.

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Oral Hygiene

Another factor to compare when evaluating Invisalign® vs. traditional braces for teens is oral hygiene. This is a big deal because, as a dentist, we do not want any of our patients to suffer from decay and as a parent, you do not want your child to end up with a bunch of cavities. At EM Makhoul DDS - Dentist of Mission Viejo, our solution is to provide teens with Invisalign® instead of braces. When wearing braces, the risk for decay naturally goes up because it is harder to keep teeth clean. With Invisalign®, the aligners come out while brushing so their oral hygiene routine can remain virtually the same. The only slight difference is that the aligners need to be brushed with warm water and a soft toothbrush before being put back in. We can also recommend a special cleaning solution but otherwise, the process is the same as always and completely easy. If your teen gets braces instead, they will need to use a special flossing tool and a brush that looks like a tree to get the food particles and plaque off of the area around the brackets. This has to be repeated for every tooth so you can imagine how much longer it will take.

School Activities

Don’t forget school activities when comparing Invisalign® vs. traditional braces for teens. At EM Makhoul DDS - Dentist of Mission Viejo, we have found that the majority of our patients do more than simply go to school. They are in the band, or choir, play sports, act in the school play, etc. In other words – they are busy. Braces can interfere with this because they can be uncomfortable and make it difficult to play an instrument. They can also create a hazard when playing high-impact sports. Fortunately, Invisalign® does not. The aligners can be removed during any of these activities so that your teen does not have to sacrifice anything to straighten their teeth. They will be far happier with the process as a result. If you are unsure about a specific activity and how Invisalign® could impact it, visit our Mission Viejo, CA dental office to speak with Dr. Makhoul.

After Braces

Once your teen is done wearing Invisalign® or traditional braces they will need to wear a retainer. It is normal and few, if any, can escape this reality. The reason is simple. Teeth can revert back to their old position, if only slightly. Wearing a retainer at night can help to keep teeth in the correct and improved position. The good news is that your teen will be so used to wearing their aligners, a retainer will not seem like a big deal. In our Mission Viejo dental office, we can explain the various options for retainers but typically recommend a clear, full retainer that closely resembles the aligners they are accustomed to.

Call our Mission Viejo, California dental office at EM Makhoul DDS - Dentist of Mission Viejo Phone Number (949) 364-3724 to discuss this solution in further detail. At EM Makhoul DDS - Dentist of Mission Viejo, we can answer your questions and help your teen to make an informed decision regarding their orthodontics treatment. We are located in the Mission Viejo area and look forward to meeting you to discuss Invisalign Teen®.

FAQ about Invisalign® Versus Braces

What’s the Best Way to Straighten Teeth?

Weighing the pros and cons of braces and Invisalign® is an excellent way to begin thinking about the best teeth straightening option for you. We also recommend you come in and meet with our dentist, Dr. Makhoul, to make the most informed decision about which procedure would be a good fit for you and your situation.

Braces are the traditional teeth straightening method in which we attach brackets to your teeth, wires, and maybe rubber bands to correct an overbite or underbite.

Invisalign® is a completely different teeth straightening system that uses clear, plastic aligners rather than brackets. We make a 3-D scan of your mouth to fabricated customized aligners that slowly move your teeth into the correct position.

What are the Advantages of Invisalign®?

Most patients choose Invisalign® because they think it looks better than braces. Since the aligners are virtually invisible, your friends won’t even notice that you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. And this goes for photos too. All that will be seen is a straighter smile.

It’s best to wear your clear aligners 20-22 hours a day which means you can remove them for the remaining time, including the time you spend eating, brushing, and flossing. Unlike braces, Invisalign® allows you the freedom to eat anything you want and more easily brush and floss.

Moving teeth, whether with braces or Invisalign®, is slightly uncomfortable during the initial few days. However, since clear aligners are made of plastic, the comfort level is achieved faster.

What are the Disadvantages of Invisalign®?

Discipline Needed
One luxury of Invisalign® is the ability to remove the aligners, but this also proves to be a difficulty. If you’re someone who lacks discipline and would have a difficult time remembering to wear your Invisalign 22 hours a day, your treatment will not be as effective.

It may be convenient to remove your aligners so you can eat whatever you want, but once you’ve done that, you’ve got to brush them and your teeth before returning them to your mouth, and you’ve also got to remember where you put them when you took them out. If you’re someone who tends to lose things, Invisalign® may not be ideal for you.

Less Effective
Invisalign® may not be the best option for more complex cases. Come in for a consultation so we can fully evaluate your case and let you know if you can expect the same results from both treatment options.

What are the Advantages of Braces?

Always Effective
Braces can be used to correct difficult cases and multiple dental issues. Using anchors and wires to straighten teeth, they’re often the most powerful method.

Better Results
Some would argue that although Invisalign® is extremely effective in moving teeth, it is sometimes limited in the amount that teeth can be moved. Braces, on the other hand, have more force to achieve the desired position.

What are the Disadvantages of Braces?

The number one reason people want to avoid getting braces is because of their look. No matter the material used to create the braces, they’re attached to your teeth and will be noticed.

It’s clearly more work to brush and floss your teeth when you’re wearing braces. And if you don’t clean your teeth properly, staining and decay can result.

Dietary Restrictions
Hard and sticky foods are off-limits for those with braces because they can damage the wires and brackets, requiring more trips to our office. Broken brackets disrupt the treatment and need to be fixed right away.

Choosing the Right Treatment for You
Both braces and Invisalign® are excellent teeth straightening methods. But making the right decision for your care comes down to asking questions and gathering all the information you need. Make an appointment with us to discuss your unique situation, and we’ll help you determine what treatment method would be the best fit.

Professional, Gentle Dental Care in Mission Viejo, CA.

Call EM Makhoul DDS - Dentist of Mission Viejo Phone Number (949) 364-3724 to schedule your appointment near Laguna Niguel & Ladera Ranch CA.

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