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Clear Aligners vs Metal Braces

Teeth alignment is a common dental treatment many individuals will need in their lifetime. There are two predominant options for aligning teeth: traditional metal braces and clear aligners. While both methods achieve similar results, each has its disadvantages and benefits. 

Traditional teeth-straightening techniques

Traditional braces use a set of metallic brackets cemented onto teeth so a metal aligning wire can be inserted into the brackets. The dentist adjusts the metal wire in order to apply pressure to areas around the jaw to encourage teeth movement. Moreover, a set of rubber bands can be used to adjust malocclusion or jaw misalignment.


A major benefit to metal braces is its effectiveness. While clear aligners require lots of responsibility to maintain treatment, once the dentist places the braces onto a patient’s teeth, he or she no longer needs to worry too much about monitoring treatment. Traditional braces are also preferred for patients with severe misalignment or malocclusion. 


While traditional braces have been a reliable method in dentistry for years, many patients find discomfort with the metal materials. Patients also dislike having diet restrictions due to the possibility of broken brackets. Furthermore, many patients find difficulty trying to maintain good dental hygiene while using this method. 

An alternative method braces

On the other hand, Clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, utilize a series of clear-aligning trays that are virtually invisible to onlookers. Clear aligners can correct many common misalignment problems such as overcrowded teeth, cross bite, and gaps between teeth.

Patients looking for a discreet method to straightening teeth often turn to clear aligners. The plastic trays are removable for meals, making it the best options for patients looking to have a picture-perfect smile without giving up their favorite foods. Patients also find it easier to maintain good dental hygiene while using clear aligners. 

Although many patients desire the most discreet method of treatment, not everyone is eligible for this treatment nor can afford the additional cost when compared to traditional methods. Clear aligners are best for responsible teens and adults.

Why should I get my teeth aligned?

Not only will your smile drastically change aesthetically, the procedure will produce a better bite and allow easier maintenance when it comes to keeping your teeth clean. Teeth misalignment conditions, such as overcrowded teeth, can create crevices between teeth that are difficult or impossible to clean without additional dental tools. Aligning teeth allows a regular tooth brush to reach the maximum amount of the teeth’s surface in order to remove plaque-causing bacteria.

Find Out More

While both methods work with most cases, every person’s smile needs unique treatment. To learn more about the difference between clear aligners and traditional metal braces, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kelly J. Waggener or Dr. Jason T. Lehman, call our Santa Rosa dental office today. 

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