Braces vs clear aligners- which is better?

Invisalign Wimbledon is one of the worlds first and largest manufacturers of clear aligners. The role of clear aligners is similar to a brace in that they are both orthodontic tools used to straighten teeth and form a better meshing bite. The translucent plastic aligners have gained the nickname of invisible braces but they are not a true brace. So, how do braces and aligners compare in day to day life?

How they look-braces vs clear aligners

It’s no secret that for most people their motivation behind seeking out orthodontic treatment is to improve their appearance; there’s nothing wrong with having aesthetic goals. The use of a brace is seen as part of the process and something that has to be put up with to achieve the results. Clear aligners have given people the option to avoid this phase of the treatment by being translucent. They are almost unnoticeable at a passing glace and display the progress toward straighter teeth.

Brace fitting vs aligner fitting

Brace fitting can take up to two hours and will involve the use of a bonding adhesive to attach the brackets to your teeth. The first fitting of the archwire and the adjustment can be uncomfortable, for which over the counter pain relief is recommended as well as soft food for the first few days after fitting.

Aligner fitting is more about taking detailed measurements of your teeth. There are several ways this could be done; the traditional method is to take a dental mould but if one is available in the surgery, an inter-oral scanner can be used as well as x-rays to get a clear picture of your teeth.

Treatment cycle

Orthodontics are highly variable and the complexity of the individual case will have a bigger impact on the treatment time rather than the orthodontic tools used to correct them.

Based on the severity of the case, aligners are more likely to get results in under a year, whereas traditional braces can take up to 3 years.


One of the most convenient aspects of aligners compared to the regular brace is that you can remove them to eat. This is recommended to minimise the chances of damaging the aligner. As long as you brush your teeth after meals, your aligner should stay clean and function well. This has never been the case with a metal brace, the edges of the brackets and under the archwire must be meticulously cleaned after each meal with some foods like popcorn and toffee best avoided entirely.

A shift in orthodontics

The clear aligner is here to stay, and even if they become known as invisible braces, they are not a brace. As useful as they are in treating mild cases, they are not suitable for adjusting the position of back teeth or complex cases of overcrowding, where palate widening is necessary.

So, the need for braces will continue even if we see them used more in conjunction with aligners than as alternative forms of treatment.

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