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    The Difference between Braces and Clear Aligners

    When it comes to straightening your smile, American Family Orthodontics offers a couple of options to choose what works best for you. While traditional braces and clear aligners both work to straighten your teeth, there are many differences between the two that you should consider before making a decision. 


    Traditional braces have metal brackets and wires that are glued to the teeth to help them connect and move. They work by putting pressure on the teeth and slowly moving them to correct crowded, crooked or misaligned teeth. Your brackets are adjusted periodically by your orthodontist in the office. If you don’t want metal brackets, we also offer a clear ceramic option. Clear ceramic braces work the same way as traditional braces, but they use clear or tooth-colored material instead of metal. 

    Clear Aligners 

    Clear aligners are clear, plastic-like trays that are far less noticeable than traditional braces. Clear aligners can be used to correct gaps, overbites, underbites or crowded teeth. Your orthodontist will give you trays and instructions on how to wear and change them, and you come back periodically to have your trays checked.

    What’s the difference? 

    The main difference between the two is that clear aligners can be removed for short periods of time for eating, drinking, brushing, or flossing. Braces are glued to the teeth and cannot be removed by the patient. In addition to this, both braces and clear aligners are used for crooked or misaligned teeth, but it is just the degree of crookedness and misalignment that helps determine which is best.

    Clear aligners are more suitable for those who do not need extreme teeth movement or rotation, whereas braces are more suitable for those with a more significant level of crooked or misaligned teeth. Clear aligners are also nearly invisible when being worn, which allows an individual to achieve a straighter smile inconspicuously. Braces are more visible to the eye, and you even get to choose colored rubber bands to add to your braces to make them unique!

    Interested in starting your smile journey but not sure which option is best for you? Schedule your free consultation today!