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The Differences Between Clear Braces and Clear Aligners

Posted on July 29, 2022

If you’re looking for a way to straighten your teeth that isn’t as obvious as traditional braces, then several modern orthodontics treatments may work for you. Two of the most popular discreet orthodontic treatments are clear braces and clear aligners. These options sound similar, but they work very differently. Here’s what you need to know about each of them before you decide which one is right for you.


Clear Braces

Traditional wire and bracket braces are hard to hide. They consist of shiny metal brackets and wires connected with colored bands. While many orthodontic patients choose to embrace the look of traditional braces by choosing brightly colored bands, not everyone is excited to have braces that are so visible.

Clear braces are a lot like traditional braces, but instead of metal brackets and colored bands, they use clear brackets and bands. The brackets are made from a type of glass or ceramic that is strong enough to shift teeth just like traditional metal brackets. The clear bands function just like traditional colored bands.

If your teeth are significantly out of alignment or you have complex orthodontic treatment needs, your orthodontist may strongly recommend bracket and wire braces. For example, according to the National Library of Medicine, the second most common reason for braces is an overbite. Choosing clear braces allows patients in this situation to get the treatment they need without drawing unwanted attention to their braces.


Clear Aligners

One of the most popular modern options for achieving a straight smile is clear aligners. If you have ever worn a mouth guard or used a whitening tray, you have already experienced something similar to a clear aligner. Clear aligners are great for making minor to moderate adjustments to the position of the teeth and they are virtually invisible, especially from a distance.

The treatment process for clear aligners is significantly different than the treatment process for traditional braces. Instead of getting periodic adjustments to your braces, you’ll receive a set of clear aligners to wear in series. Your orthodontist will walk you through the process of moving from one aligner to the next. The aligners are removable so you can eat and clean your teeth with ease, but it’s essential to wear them for at least 22 hours a day.

While you may have a preference for either clear braces or clear aligners, it’s important to ask your orthodontist for advice. It’s possible that one treatment option will work better for you. No matter which option is right for you, you’ll be able to improve your smile without drastically changing your appearance during your treatment process.


If you’re ready to get either clear braces or clear aligners, TruSmile Orthodontics is here for you. Give us a call today to get started on your perfect smile.