Differences Between Clear Aligners and Braces

Posted on: January 16, 2019 by Sam Suliman

Clear aligners and braces are two different orthodontic options that people may consider when hoping to realign or straighten their teeth. While they both have the same goal in mind, people may not realize that both have different ways of executing the goal. This is why it is important to know the main differences between clear aligners and braces.

Having orthodontic treatment done provides a person with an array of benefits but because everyone has different teeth, a different jaw and different preferences, determining whether or not aligners or braces are the right fit can be a difficult process. In this article, we go over the differences between clear aligners and traditional braces. Read more below!

Clear aligners or braces?

Clear aligners

Some may have heard of them while others may not have because they are still relatively new to the dental industry. Clear aligners don't have wires or bands to connect, but instead, they act as a clear removable aligner so that a patient is in complete control of their treatment.

Clear aligners work very simply. The patient must always keep the aligners on their teeth in order to achieve maximum results. The only time that an aligner is suggested to be removed is when the patient needs to brush and floss or eat.

Clear aligners work to apply pressure to all of the teeth together, as opposed to each individual tooth, as braces do. Because pressure is applied to all of the teeth together, the teeth tend to shift as a whole rather than individually.


Getting braces as a method for straightening the teeth has been around for many years. Braces use wires to connect brackets that are placed on each tooth. The wire runs from bracket to bracket in order to straighten each tooth individually. The bracket and wire combination puts a small amount of pressure on each tooth causing the natural shift to occur.

Braces don't have to be adjusted by an orthodontist as often as aligners do. Because braces are working to individually shift each tooth, they require less attention than clear aligners do. However, braces do require that a lot more attention be given to them during daily cleanings.

Braces are harder to clean because of the wires and brackets on the teeth, so a person should expect to spend a lot more time on their teeth each day. Because of the intricate wires and brackets, a person is likely to get food stuck in between the teeth and brackets. It’s important that a person brushes their teeth carefully in order to ensure that there aren’t leftover food particles stuck that could cause damage over time.

The bottom line

Knowing the differences between clear aligners and braces can be beneficial to a person considering getting their teeth straightened. While clear aligners are newer to the dental industry, they do provide the same outcome that braces do – straighter teeth and a nicer smile!

If you still have questions regarding braces or clear aligners, then give us a call today. Our trained professionals can walk you through both treatment options. We're happy to help in any way that we can!

Request an appointment here: https://www.sulimanortho.com or call Suliman Orthodontics at (209) 732-1122 for an appointment in our Stockton office.

Check out what others are saying about our clear aligners on Yelp: Clear Aligners.

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