Clear Aligners Compared to Braces

Clear aligners are one option to realign your teeth.

When you look at the glasses your grandparents used to wear back in the sixties and compare them to those they wear today, a huge difference is evident. Well, the same thing happens with clear aligners.

Orthodontic treatments have changed significantly throughout the years. Thanks to cutting-edge technologies, orthodontic patients get new alternatives.

Clear aligners are the last success in the market of aligner treatment; they bring numerous benefits. New procedures and millions of testimonies back products, such as Invisalign clear aligner trays.

With braces, patients get to choose between metal, ceramic or lingual. Clear aligners are a little more simple because they all are acrylic. Different providers offer different types of plastic. However, the principle is the same for all —they have to be as transparent as possible.

3D technologies are key in the invisible aligners world. 3D printing is responsible for the creation of molds or trays that were previously designed with a 3D scanner. What the scanning process brings up to the table is crucial because now you get to see your denture and the path for your smile.

But the top attribute of clear aligners is they are removable and super delicate. If you worry about having brackets cemented to your teeth for years, clear aligners erase that problem for you.

Are Clear Aligners Better Than Traditional Braces?

Maybe this is not the right question to be asking about the matter. Clear aligners are as effective orthodontic appliances as traditional metal braces are. Contrary to what many people think, the existence of new technologies has not replaced conventional treatments.

Due to its nature, invisible straighteners can’t produce enough force to shift misaligned teeth in the way braces, and archwires do for severe cases of orthodontic malalignment or tooth rotations.

Orthodontic appliances work through force and pressure. Being able to pull a wire connected to your teeth by cemented brackets allows orthodontists to produce much more tooth movement than by pushing your teeth with molds.

That explains why invisible teeth aligners do not figure as the best option for cases where the patient has severe alignment problems. There are cases in which conventional braces are better and cases where clear aligners are the perfect option. It will depend on your particular needs and your orthodontist’s diagnosis.

How Do Clear Aligners Work?

Back to the part where we discussed the technologies backing clear aligners. A key factor is the scanning process; it’s a real game changer. On your first visit, your orthodontist will take a look at your mouth and denture to see if you are a suitable candidate for aligner systems.

Once you and your doctor are positive about the treatment, you will go through a deeper evaluation of your smile. Then, your orthodontist will design a custom treatment plan. For the next step, your doctor will need to take an imprint of your bite or not.

After scanning your mouth, you can get your first pair of trays. Clear aligners work like molds into which your teeth will go gently fitting. With every new pair, your denture will shift a little more than before, and so on, until the treatment is complete.

You will have to wear your clear aligner trays from 20 to 22 hours per day. Your doctor has to indicate the exact number of hours for your case. As with braces, you are going to need a checkup biweekly.

Can I Eat With My Invisalign On?

There are no food restrictions with clear aligners because patients can and should take them off to eat unless your orthodontist recommends otherwise. Being allowed to eat without your orthodontic appliances on is an upgrade in terms of comfort.

It’s not like you will ruin your treatment if you eat with your Invisalign on, but they could break or crack. Of course, it is easier to eat without them. After eating, you get to brush and floss your teeth normally.

How Should I Clean My Aligners?

Patients with braces must learn to wash their teeth properly since having brackets and wires in their mouths can complicate the process. It’s possible to maintain perfect oral hygiene while wearing braces, however.

The thing is that with clear aligners, nothing has to change in your dental hygiene routine. Dental experts recommend avoiding excess sugary foods and sweetened drinks since they leave particles between your molds and your teeth. If you wear your Invisalign correctly, you will have sugar trapped in your mouth for several hours.

Which Teeth Aligner Is the Best?

Now, how to pick your provider can be a lot when you don’t know much about clear aligners. Some brands have gained a great reputation through the years. Of course, Invisalign is at the top of the most famous aligner companies, but it’s not the only one.

Smile Direct Club

This brand is a great alternative for places where you don’t have that many options, such as Invisalign. Smile Direct Club gives its users the possibility to choose from two different types of treatment with clear aligners.

You get to say if you prefer to wear your braces only during night-time, which means from 10 to 12 hours a day, or if you prefer to use them throughout the whole day with 2 to 4 hours of rest.


Byte works similarly to the other brands in the market and has an excellent track record. The plus they offer is in the form of a free whitening treatment along with your teeth aligners.

For a lot of people, this is another huge priority when it comes to dental care.


This brand may sound less familiar, but Alignerco’s aligners count on positive testimony and technology to back them up. The brand offers more affordable prices than other providers in the market.


Last but not least, Invisalign. The brand has helped 14 million people’s dentures and works with cutting-edge technologies in the business.

This brand works only with licensed dentists, meaning you need a dental practice authorized to provide their aligners to start treatment. The good news is Invisalign has partners in many states and cities in the country.

Get Your Clear Aligners With Us in Salem, OR.

The team at McDonald Orthodontics is eagerly waiting for the chance to help you realign your smile. We hope to see you soon in our orthodontic office in Salem. Just make sure to give us a call or set an appointment right here.