Misaligned or crooked teeth may be perceived by the individual who has them as being unattractive. In addition, these teeth may be harder to properly clean. Teeth that are difficult to clean can eventually contract periodontal disease. This can lead to tooth loss, as well as damage to the gums and bone of the jaw.

Braces are a common way to align teeth properly. However, conventional braces are not the most attractive option. They can also be uncomfortable and painful to wear. Those who get braces later in life may be embarrassed about wearing them. Thankfully, there is a solution. Invisalign clear braces might be the perfect option. We will look at what makes Invisalign different from traditional braces, what benefits they bring, and who is a good candidate for Invisalign clear aligners.

What Sets Invisalign Apart

Invisalign consists of clear brace aligners made of a thermoplastic material that is durable and long-lasting, unlike traditional braces which are constructed of metal. The aligners with Invisalign, offered by an Invisalign specialist in Leesburg, are also removable, so there’s no need to adjust or remove metal brackets, as there is during treatments steps with braces. They are custom made to fit your teeth and mouth.

How Aligners Straighten Teeth

When starting Invisalign in Leesburg, you will be supplied with a series of aligners. These will each have slight adjustments to tooth position. This is determined by your cosmetic dentist before the treatment even begins. The aligners, when placed on your teeth, cause gradual shifting of the teeth from the current position to the ideal one. About every two weeks, your Leesburg dentist will start you with a new set of aligners to continue the process.

Braces & Invisalign

Braces and Invisalign were both designed to straighten a person’s natural teeth while improving their oral health. Invisalign is a newer product that has only been on the market since 2000.

Braces are metal brackets that are glued to the teeth, tied together by small rubber bands and wires. Nowadays, it is possible to get brackets that more closely match your tooth color, so they are less visible. On the other hand, you can also get them in all sorts of colors to show off your braces when you smile.

You will also find that braces work quickly and can cause significant tooth movement in a short time, which is great for self-esteem and self-confidence. However, they do require more maintenance than Invisalign and must be kept clean to avoid further oral health problems.

Invisalign is a nearly invisible way to straighten your teeth and bring back your happiest smile. Clear aligners made of comfortable BPA-free plastic are placed over your teeth to gently and slowly move your teeth. Your Leesburg Invisalign specialist will use photos, impressions, and x-rays to create a 3-D image of your teeth which is used to configure your aligners.

One of the things to know about Invisalign is that deviation from wearing them the 22 hours a day can add time to the length that you need to wear them. This requires self-motivation that some people may not be prepared for. However, maintenance is otherwise easy with Invisalign, which can be particularly appealing. That along with the invisible look makes them popular with teenagers and young adults.

Comparison Factors

There are advantages and disadvantages to both Invisalign and braces, which we will look at briefly, comparing them against a number of important aspects for those who require one of the two cosmetic dentistry practices.


This is the first and easiest comparison to consider. Braces are largely irremovable while Invisalign is a removable therapy.

Treatment time

When wearing braces, you can expect to wear them 24/7 for an average of two years. Invisalign is typically worn for 22 to 24 hours a day for six to 18 months. This requires the patient to wear them for the prescribed amount of hours the dentist suggests, however.

Treatment ability

Braces are better when handling extensive cases, such as crossbites, malocclusions, and extremely crooked teeth. Invisalign is better for gapped teeth, over- and underbite, and crowded or crooked teeth.


If you are going with clear braces, these are made of ceramic, which can be susceptible to breaking or chipping. This is not the case with Invisalign.

Color options

Braces in the most standard form are silver colored. However, patients can pay extra for other colors. Invisalign, on the other hand, are clear as they are intended to be completely unnoticed by others.


With Invisalign, you will use a unique cleaning system or brushing and rinsing will be done in lukewarm water. Braces require that the brackets and wires be cleaned while brushing teeth, with a water pick being a helpful option.

Follow-up visits

You will visit your Leesburg dentist about every two weeks to change aligner trays with visits every month or month and a half. With braces, you will often follow up with your dentist in Leesburg every month.


Braces can run the gamut from costing about $2,000 all the way up to over $5,000. Invisalign is often about $5,000.

Pros & Cons of Invisalign and Braces

On top of that, we have compiled some advantages and disadvantages associated with both treatment options. Our Invisalign experts at Cardinal Park Family Dental note that the pros of braces include:

  • Braces are more effective for those with more severe or complex issues.
  • There is no extra cleaning required beyond regular brushing and flossing.
  • Due to being irremovable, there is no temptation to leave them out.

There are disadvantages to braces, as well:

  • They may make it difficult to eat hard or sticky food.
  • There is a risk of tooth discoloration or even breakage.
  • Mouth pain or soreness from wires, brackets, and tooth movement are common.
  • They are not an ideal option for patients who play contact sports on a regular basis.

The other side of the issue lies in the positives and negatives for Invisalign. First, we will look at the pros of this type of treatment.

  • Nearly impossible for others to spot.
  • Removable so you can take a break when needed.
  • No issue with food getting caught in the aligners.
  • Should cause no problems whatsoever with eating anything you like.
  • Will not have discomfort and pain from wires.

However, as great an option as Invisalign is, there are a few things to keep in mind that aren’t quite as beneficial.

  • Tooth movement may cause some amount of discomfort.
  • Invisalign must be removed before eating or drinking anything other than water.
  • Brushing after every meal is important to avoid staining.
  • The product is not ideal for those with bridgework, back tooth bite issues, canines or premolars that require rotation, or those who have a need for teeth to move vertically.
  • Those with a lack of discipline may not be the best candidates for this therapy as trays must be kept in 22 hours daily.

You can see that there are significant benefits with Invisalign or with braces. For those who are self-conscious about their appearance, Invisalign might be an appealing option. It also allows you to eat, drink, brush, and floss naturally which can be desirable. However, if you do not like the idea of removing trays for meals and drinking, they may not be the best solution.

The success rates for Invisalign vs. braces are hard to find, and Invisalign’s success depends on the user wearing them the appropriate amount of time. Braces are in there 24/7, so there’s no choice in the matter, which may or may not be a good thing for you.

Starting Invisalign Treatment

The easiest way to get started is to make an appointment with an Invisalign provider, such as the ones here at Cardinal Park Family Dental. In many cases, you can count on a free consultation. You should always look into the cosmetic dentist that you are considering to ensure they are someone you feel comfortable with and who has experience treating cases similar to yours.

Best Candidates for Invisalign

Invisalign is best used for teenagers and adults who need their teeth aligned. In some cases, there may be a need for more precise tooth control, such as when there are impacted teeth, teeth with inadequate bone levels, or when extraction space needs to be closed. In this type of situation, your Leesburg dentist may suggest you choose an option that allows for more control, something difficult with a removable option.

Also, compliance is of the utmost importance in achieving wanted results with Invisalign. If you are not sure you will be responsible enough to wear the aligners nearly 24 hours a day, fixed braces may be the better option for you.

Invisalign Maintenance

We mentioned above that cleaning Invisalign aligners is relatively simple, but there are a few things you should be aware of that you should do and should never do. We will look at those now.

Things You Should Do

  • When you remove your aligners, you should always rinse them off. Plaque and dry saliva are the breeding grounds for bacteria which can lead to bad breath.
  • Soaking your aligners is a very good idea, as well. You can use Invisalign cleaning crystals, Retainer Brite, or a denture cleaner. These products will keep your trays sanitized and clean.
  • Remember to brush and floss your teeth before you put your aligners back in. Maintaining proper oral hygiene is essential for keeping teeth healthy and avoiding decay.
  • Clean your aligners use a clear antibacterial soap. This is a cheap and easy way to keep your aligners clean and free from dangerous types of bacteria.
  • Be sure to brush your aligners, but gently. If you brush too hard, this can scratch the aligners. Ask your Leesburg dentist about the best toothbrush to use if you are
  • You can drink alcohol while using Invisalign, but cosmetic dentists suggest that you only consume a moderate amount and clean your aligners and teeth afterward, just as you would after drinking a sugary beverage of another type.

Things You Should Avoid

  • Avoid eating and drinking anything other than water while your Invisalign is being worn. Food and drink can discolor and stain your aligners, causing them to smell bad.
  • Don’t use toothpaste for cleaning of aligners. Many types of toothpaste can be abrasive and cause traps for bacteria to dwell in.
  • Chewing gum is not suggested while using Invisalign as it will likely stick to your aligners and cause problems.
  • Stay away from colored soaps. Antimicrobial soak is an excellent way to clean your Invisalign braces, but colored soaps can stain your aligners.
  • Avoid leaving your aligners unprotected while eating. Leaving them in the open will expose them to bacteria and germs. Instead, rinse and soak them, and then rinse them again before putting them back in your mouth.
  • Smoking while using Invisalign is discouraged because it can cause discoloration of the aligners.

Schedule an Invisalign Consultation Today

As you can see, there are many things to consider when choosing Invisalign versus braces. If you find that the article above describes you as an excellent candidate or you wonder whether your situation might allow the use of Invisalign, your best plan is to get in touch with a dentist in Leesburg to talk about your options. At Cardinal Park Family Dental, we would be happy to answer all of your questions and get you on the road toward a happier, healthier smile. You can reach us at 703-779-2296 or fill out our online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you and being a part of overcoming your cosmetic dentistry needs!