A Comparison of Traditional Braces and Clear Aligners

Today, there are multiple options for straightening teeth, which include traditional braces and clear aligners. In order to make the best choice, it's important to know the differences between the two.

What are traditional braces?

Traditional braces are used to correct alignment problems, crowded teeth, irregular spacing, crookedness and protrusions. Traditional braces are recommended by dentists when it comes to fixing serious problems with the teeth. This is because they work better in some cases than the alternatives. In the past, the braces used to be bigger, which made them more noticeable. But these days, they are smaller and less noticeable.

Dentists use metal brackets to fix the problem with your teeth. These are made from stainless steel or titanium. If you are allergic to metal or just do not want your braces to be noticeable, you can ask your dentist for ceramic braces. Ceramic braces are much smaller than metal braces.

The wires, which are used to hold the brackets in place, are usually made from titanium or titanium alloys. They can be color matched to your teeth to make them blend in when you get teeth-colored ceramic braces. Unlike metal braces, which can be used for years, ceramic braces are designed for shorter treatments.

What are clear aligners?

Clear aligners provide an alternative to getting braces because they do most of the work traditional braces do without people noticing you are using braces. Due to its effectiveness and transparency, clear aligners have become very popular.

Your dentist will make a 3D impression of your teeth and mouth. This is then sent to a laboratory, where technicians will create a computer-generated projection of how your teeth will gradually straighten out with the aid of the aligner.

Once you and your dentist approve of the projections or make some modifications, trays of aligners are created for you to use and replace every two weeks.

What are the main differences between traditional braces and clear aligners?

Traditional braces are fixed on your teeth and can only be removed by your dentist. This makes it hard to practice good oral hygiene because the brackets get in the way while you brush your teeth. Clear aligners are removable, which allows you to brush your teeth regularly and floss properly.

Eating with traditional braces is uncomfortable because food particles get stuck in the wires and are difficult to remove. Eating is also easier with clear aligners because they can be taken out before you eat. This allows you to eat what you want without worrying about the food getting stuck in your braces. Since they are removable, you can take them out to clean them regularly and keep them clear.

Traditional braces are more effective in fixing crooked teeth because the wires are used to gradually shift the teeth in place. When it comes to appearance, clear aligners have the advantage because they are almost impossible to notice while traditional braces are very noticeable.


If your teeth are crooked and you are thinking of getting braces to fix the problem, this comparison of traditional braces and clear aligners and a consultation with your dentist should make the choice easier.

Request an appointment here or call Calabasas Dental Care at (818) 591-2480 for an appointment in our Calabasas office.