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How to Choose Between Clear Aligners & Braces

Not sure whether to go with clear aligners or traditional braces? Our Etobicoke dentists provide some considerations, including cosmetic considerations.

Choosing Between Clear Aligners & Braces

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, vs. braces: a difficult decision! Fortunately, we can assist you. Here are some facts about each option to consider as you decide which one will help you achieve a straight smile.

Clear Aligners

Invisalign and other transparent clear aligners are custom-made to fit your smile. Clear plastic is used to make these removable orthodontic appliances. They lack the brackets and wires that come with braces and thus have a lower profile.

You will be given an individually tailored treatment plan to help you achieve your smile goals. You will typically spend less time in your dentist's office during treatment because your clear aligners will not require as many checkups or appointments as braces do. Every 4 to 6 weeks, your dentist will schedule brief appointments with you to review your progress and general oral health, answer questions, and adjust treatment as needed.

They may be comparable to the cost of braces or slightly more expensive, depending on your specific treatment plan. A casual observer would be hard-pressed to notice them on your teeth, and you will be able to eat and drink whatever you want.

Clear aligners, however, must be worn for 22 hours per day and removed when drinking or eating anything other than water. Commitment to treatment, self-discipline, and meal planning to fit within the 2 hours allotted for meal times each day is essential.


Braces come in two forms: metal braces and clear braces.

Traditional Metal Braces

These are the most commonly used braces. Metal braces, which are entirely made of metal and supported by elastics, have undergone numerous improvements in recent decades as orthodontic technology has advanced.

Braces apply continuous pressure to your teeth over time, gradually shifting them into their new, corrected positions. The bone changes shape to accommodate the new positions as this pressure is applied and the teeth move.

Brackets are more streamlined today than they were in the past. Because brackets have gotten smaller and more comfortable, you'll be less likely to get irritation on the inside of your cheeks or lips from them. However, because of their appearance, some people are still hesitant to wear metal braces.

In this case, clear braces may be a viable alternative.

Clear Braces

Many patients choose clear braces as they are better able to blend in with their smile. They are not transparent; the brackets are constructed from tooth-coloured ceramic. 

Clear braces come with a catch: while they appear to be a cross between metal braces and clear aligners, they are more brittle and larger than the traditional metal braces you may have seen.

They are also usually more expensive. As a result, they are commonly used only on the upper front (most visible) teeth to save money.

Keep in mind that your gums may feel sensitive with these because the larger ceramic brackets can make cleaning around the brackets more difficult, leading to receding or swollen gums if your toothbrush does not reach the gum line and enamel.

Are you wondering whether braces or clear aligners are the best choices for you? Contact our Etobicoke dentists to book an appointment today. 

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