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What is the difference between clear aligners and traditional braces?

Braces VS Clear aligners

The most common question we hear is, “will aligner treatment be as effective as braces?” In short, the answer is yes. Most patients are good candidates for aligner treatment, meaning the aligners will move the teeth into the ideal position just as braces would gradually over time. Orthodontic treatment has come a long way since the early days. Today, modern aligner treatments are the result of technological advancements in dental materials. However, some Orthodontic problems are best treated with braces. An Orthodontic consultation and assessment are recommended to determine the best approach to treatment. 

The differences between the two options are the treatment delivery systems. The main features are outlined below for both treatment options:

Clear aligners:
Aligner treatment has become the most popular method of straightening teeth, vastly growing amongst the community for all ages. The main attraction of clear aligners is the ease of treatment, along with being a more aesthetically pleasing, and discrete Orthodontic treatment. Clear aligners straighten teeth with little disruption to your daily activities. The treatment involves custom-made aligners, and attachments (tooth-colored bumps) to assist in tooth movement. The aligners are required to be worn by you for 22 hours of the day. The flexibility of treatment means you can manage the aligner changes at home, with guidance and support from your Dental team. The aligners are comprised of soft, BPA-free medically grade plastic resulting in a more comfortable and desirable option.

Oral hygiene is an important factor to consider when deciding on which option is better for you or your family member. Clear aligners are removable, creating less barriers to completing your daily oral hygiene regime. Simply remove your aligners, brush and floss your teeth as normal then reinsert the aligners.

Traditional braces:
Braces are known as “Fixed appliances”, meaning the brackets are glued to the teeth. The treatment utilizes arch wires, small rubber bands and metal or ceramic brackets, placing gentle force on the teeth to assist in achieving tooth movement. Traditional braces can result in better outcomes for patients who need to straighten extremely crowded and rotated teeth. Braces can be the preferred option for younger children and adolescents due to compliance and growth.

Deciding on the most appropriate treatment option can be daunting as everyone’s circumstances are different. Regular visits with your dental team are most important to allow you plenty of opportunity to ask any questions that will help you with the process.