Clear Aligners or Adult Braces: Which One is Right for You?

Posted February 15, 2022
Clear aligners or braces which should you choose

The path to straighter teeth has never been more accessible, and orthodontic treatment has come a long way since it first began back in the early 1900s. In fact, it’s become so commonplace in today’s society that the American Association of Orthodontists estimates that between 1982 and 2008, the number of Americans wearing braces in the United States nearly doubled.

Orthodontic Treatment is No Longer Just For Kids

While many people may associate the world of orthodontics with kids and teenagers, getting treatment for crooked teeth and jaw misalignment is no longer something unique to adolescence. In fact, of the millions of people receiving orthodontic treatment each year, 25\\% of them are adults.

There are two main treatments used in orthodontics; choosing which one is right for you can be tricky. Let’s explore the differences between Clear Aligners and Adult Braces.

Adult Braces

Braces have long been the gold standard for orthodontic treatment, and for many patients, they may still be the best option. While the idea of having visible metal brackets and rubber bands strung across your teeth may not be ideal, there are legitimate reasons for choosing to get braces over clear aligners.

Here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages to Adult Braces:

Advantages to Adult Braces

  • Effectiveness: In cases of severe misalignment where teeth are rotated or overlapping, braces are often required and may be the only option to treat your teeth.
  • Price: As a general rule, braces are more affordable than clear aligners.
  • Convenience: Unlike clear aligners, braces cannot be removed and are therefore attached to your teeth 24/7. This often results in a shorter treatment time, thus making them more convenient and effective.

Disadvantages to Adult Braces

  • Comfortability: Braces may be less comfortable in comparison to clear aligners, though most patients adjust fairly quickly to the way they feel.
  • Cleaning: Dental hygiene can be a bit trickier with braces, particularly in regards to flossing. Flossing with braces requires one to thread floss between each tooth, making it more time consuming and an inconvenience for some.
  • Unremovable: Unlike clear aligners, braces cannot be removed. While there are advantages to this, it can also be a deterrent for those who want to have the flexibility of having their teeth free from orthodontic hardware. Certain foods and candy are also prohibited with braces.

Clear Aligners

Now let’s explore some of the advantages and disadvantages to Clear Aligners.

Advantages to Clear Aligners

  • Effectiveness: In most cases, clear aligners are just as effective as braces, particularly when worn as directed.
  • Removable: Clear aligners are able to be removed, which makes cleaning and flossing your teeth much easier. This also means that you won’t be restricted from eating certain foods.
  • Inconspicuous: Clear aligners are almost completely undetectable, even when being worn, which makes them a great option for those who want a more inconspicuous treatment.
  • Comfortability: As a general rule, clear aligners are much more comfortable than traditional braces.

Disadvantages to Clear Aligners

  • Price: Clear aligners are typically more expensive.
  • Potential for Longer Treatment: In order for clear aligners to be effective, they must be worn as prescribed. Many people find it difficult to wear them as directed, and often forget to put them back in as frequently as they should, which can prolong the length of treatment. It’s also easy to lose them, so a certain degree of mindfulness is required.
  • Cleaning: While cleaning your teeth is much simpler and more straightforward with clear aligners, keeping the aligners themselves clean can be a hassle. Proper care and treatment is required to keep the trays fresh and clean.

Consult with a Doctor Near You

At the end of the day, the choice between clear aligners and adult braces typically comes down to personal preference. If you’re interested in orthodontic care, it’s best to discuss your options with an orthodontist who will help you carefully consider the various factors and make the decision that is best for you.

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- BJ


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