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Braces and Clear Aligners Explained!

Apr 18, 2024

Hi, I’m Mike Anderson. I’m an orthodontist, and one of the most common questions I get asked is, what is the difference between braces and clear aligners? Braces are glued to the teeth with a temporary glue and a wire connects all the braces, and this is how the teeth are moved. Clear aligners straighten the teeth using a series of aligners that can be removed and are generally changed every week.

Which is better? Well, both clear aligners and braces are very effective at straightening teeth, and you can get a very good result with either. Which is faster? Braces generally take a little bit longer because there are difficulties when the braces become loose, because they’re only held on to the teeth with the temporary glue, or the wire can become broken. When either of these things happen, then the teeth start relapsing back to their original positions. Generally, this is why braces can take a bit longer than clear aligners.

The other advantage with clear aligners is that you can whiten your teeth at the same time that your teeth are straightening. It’s also useful if you have to go to the dentist to get anything done to your teeth. Then simply you can remove the clear aligner. When you have braces on your teeth, it’s a little bit more difficult because they’re glued onto the teeth. The other advantage of clear aligners is that when you brush your teeth, you simply take the aligner off and it makes it very easy for flossing, whereas if you are trying to floss your teeth with braces, it takes a long time because the floss has to be thread underneath the wire and flossed between the teeth. Brushing also takes a little bit longer when you’ve got braces because you’ve got to get the brush around the braces. Generally, it really comes down to what’s going to suit you better. Whether you prefer to have braces or clear aligners, you’re going to get a good result with either.