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The Difference Between Braces and Clear Aligners

Orthodontic treatment has evolved significantly, offering us more choices to achieve a beautiful, straight smile. Two popular options for straightening teeth are traditional braces and clear aligners. If you’re thinking about orthodontic treatment, it’s important to know the difference between these two options to make the right decision for your smile. 

In this article, we’ll explore braces and clear aligners, discussing their advantages and disadvantages, to help you choose the best option for your orthodontic journey. 

What Are Braces and How Do They Work?

Braces are the classic choice of orthodontic treatment. They consist of metal brackets, wires, and bands that work together to gradually move your teeth into the desired position.

Braces are effective for a wide range of orthodontic issues, from crooked teeth to more complex cases. They have been the tried-and-true method for many years to straighten teeth. 

Braces are highly effective for correcting various orthodontic problems. They can address issues such as crowded, crooked or misaligned teeth. The durability of braces makes them particularly suitable for complex cases that may need more substantial pressure to realign teeth.

What Are Clear Aligners?

On the other hand, clear aligners are a modern approach to orthodontics. They’re custom-made trays and are nearly invisible when worn. Clear aligners use advanced 3D technology to create a series of trays that gently shift your teeth over time. They’re removable, making them a convenient choice for many people.

Two popular brands of clear aligners are Invisalign and SureSmile. These brands of clear aligners have proven to be powerful in orthodontic treatment, especially for mild to moderate cases. They work gradually, and every two weeks, you switch to a new set of aligners to keep the realignment process going.

Read more: How Invisalign can straighten your teeth discreetly and comfortably

The Benefits of Braces and Clear Aligners

Braces offer several advantages, including their strength in treating complex cases. They require less patient compliance since they are fixed in place. Additionally, traditional braces are often more budget-friendly than clear aligners, making them a practical choice for many individuals.

Clear aligners bring their unique benefits to the table. Perhaps the most significant perk is their nearly invisible appearance. Most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them. Plus, they’re removable, allowing you to enjoy your favourite foods without restrictions. You can easily maintain excellent oral hygiene by brushing and flossing as usual.

Woman with braces holding clear aligners

Things You Need to Consider 

While braces work well for many, there are some factors to keep in mind. One of which is maintenance. Braces need proper maintenance such as regular cleaning and adjustments at the clinic. For these adjustments, it’s recommended to visit your dentist once a month. You must also be careful about what they eat to avoid damaging the hardware, especially sticky or hard foods.

Clear aligners offer a convenient and flexible orthodontic solution. However, consistency is key. You need to wear them for 20-22 hours a day, so it’s essential to be consistent. Regular cleaning of the aligners must also be done, and it’s best to steer clear of foods and drinks that can stain them.

Head-to-Head Comparison

Now, that we’ve explained the pros and cons of braces and clear aligners, let’s put them  head-to-head for a quick comparison:


  • Braces: Noticeable, with metal brackets and wires
  • Clear Aligners: Nearly invisible, with clear trays


  • Braces: Suitable for complex cases
  • Clear Aligners: Effective for mild to moderate cases


  • Braces: Fixed in place, need professional adjustments
  • Clear Aligners: Removable, easy to clean


  • Braces: Generally more budget-friendly
  • Clear Aligners: May come with a higher price tag

How to Choose the Right Option for You

Picking the right orthodontic treatment depends on various factors, like your specific orthodontic issues, your lifestyle, and your personal preferences. Your best bet is to consult with an experienced dentist who can evaluate your needs and recommend the most suitable option for you. They’ll consider factors such as the severity of your case, how well you can follow the treatment plan and your aesthetic preferences.

Man showing braces and clear aligners

In the end, the choice between braces and clear aligners is personal. Both options have their strengths and advantages, and the right choice depends on your unique situation and preferences. If you’re unsure which treatment suits you, don’t hesitate to consult with one of our Adelaide dentists today. Give us a call on (08) 8210 9414 or book your online appointment. We’re here to guide you through the process and help you make the best choice.

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