Are Traditional Braces or Clear Aligners Best for You?

North Pole family dentistry includes cosmetic dentistry services that can improve the appearance of your smile. One cosmetic concern some patients have is misaligned teeth, so they’re interested in straightening their teeth with either braces or clear aligners. Both are a great option for helping you achieve the results you’re looking for, but there are some differences between each treatment that will help you make the best choice for you. Here’s what you need to know about both options.

Traditional Braces Basics

Traditional braces use wire and brackets to align the teeth into their proper position slowly. The treatment regimen for typical braces varies between patients and sometimes includes numerous phases depending on the amount of adjustment needed. For instance, some adjustments require the correction of the bite, while others may only need aesthetic adjustments for crooked teeth. Those who opt for traditional braces will see either a dentist or orthodontist on a regular basis to have the bracket and wires adjusted until the desired result is achieved. Braces may be worn for a few months up to a few years.


Clear Aligner Basics

Clear aligners use detailed 3D imaging of your teeth to create a series of clear plastic trays that are worn over the teeth. The liners slowly move the teeth to the desired position, and the treatment can be overseen by a dentist or orthodontist as well. The time frame is similar to traditional braces, but it also varies depending on the severity of the case and what the end goal is.


The effectiveness of each treatment is similar, but one treatment may be a better option for you, depending on what needs to be adjusted. For instance, clear aligners are generally not as effective for complex corrections, such as back tooth bite problems or issues with the bridge. But when it comes to making cosmetic corrections, such as straightening crooked teeth, both options are effective, so there are other considerations that can help you make the decision.


One important thing to think about is flexibility with each type of treatment. Braces can’t be removed until the treatment is complete, while aligners can be removed when eating or drinking. Although this does provide flexibility in allowing patients to eat and drink as they wish as long as they remove the liners, it can also be a problem if the liners are forgotten and then thrown away or lost. Braces may require some forethought about what you can eat, but there’s no risk of losing them.


Comfort is something else to think about. The wires of traditional braces can cause discomfort for the gums and cheeks, but others have difficulty adjusting to the feeling of something being entirely over their teeth for nearly 24 hours a day.


Appearance is one of the big reasons many choose clear aligners. They’re far less noticeable than wires and brackets, which reduces feelings of self-consciousness that some people feel about braces.

Cleaning Considerations

Braces require careful cleaning to avoid decay and gum disease. But aligners also require careful cleaning when the aligners are removed because they should only be worn over clean teeth.


The cost of each treatment depends on the extent of treatment and how long braces or aligners are worn. Fairbanks dentists can help create a treatment plan to help you decide which treatment fits best within your budget while still reaching your goals. Contact North Pole Dental Workshop today to learn more.