Braces or Clear Aligners? Choose the Right Treatment for You

Choosing to get orthodontic treatment is the first step toward getting the straight smile of your dreams, but with so many modern treatment options available, it can be hard to tell where to begin! At Southington Orthodontics, we offer our patients both braces and clear aligners, and each works better for different conditions and preferences. To learn more about these options and how to choose the right treatment for you, keep reading! 

Let’s Talk Braces

As the most traditional orthodontic treatment plan, braces have stood the test of time as one of the best ways to straighten teeth. Braces are made up of several different components, including: 

  • Brackets bonded to the front of each tooth
  • Connective wires threaded through the brackets
  • Rubber bands that connect the top and bottom teeth (when necessary)
  • Colorful elastics that fit over the brackets

By applying gentle, continuous pressure to the teeth, traditional metal and clear braces can realign mild to severe orthodontic conditions like gaps, overbites, underbites, and more. 

Benefits of Braces

There are many reasons why braces are an excellent choice for patients looking to straighten their smiles. From their comfortability to their ability to handle even the most complex issues, braces are orthodontic powerhouses that get the job done. 


It’s not all headgear and goopy impressions anymore! Modern advancements in orthodontic technology have made braces much more comfortable, smaller, and sleeker than they used to be, making patients feel more at ease when wearing them. 

Multiple Options

Although most people are familiar with metal braces with silver brackets and wires, this treatment isn’t the only option available! Clear braces use brackets that are the same color as your teeth, making them much less noticeable. 

Attached to the Teeth

Because braces are attached to the teeth throughout the course of treatment, patients don’t need to worry about keeping up with a removable appliance. This makes them an excellent option for patients who are concerned about the added responsibility of treatment and want to keep compliance complications to a minimum. 

Disadvantages of Braces

Although there are a number of benefits to choosing metal braces, there are also a few disadvantages that are important to consider. 

Oral Hygiene

With a system of brackets and wires in your mouth, it can be a bit more difficult to keep your teeth clean. Not brushing and flossing properly can cause plaque buildup on your teeth, which could lead to staining or even tooth decay. However, by following Dr. C’s instructions, you can keep your teeth clean even with brackets and wires. 

Dietary Restrictions

Not all foods and drinks are good for your braces. While in treatment, you’ll need to steer clear of any hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that might dislodge a bracket or wire and interrupt your treatment plan. 

Visible Treatment

Although some kids and teens find braces to be cool, older patients or adults might feel self-conscious about the appliance. Fortunately, options like clear braces can make the traditional brackets and wires less noticeable. 

Braces or Clear Aligners? Choose the Right Treatment for You

What About Clear Aligners? 

Another popular treatment option, clear aligners, gently bring your teeth into alignment using custom-made trays that fit over your teeth snugly. These aligners are worn in a specific sequence, with each set gently nudging the teeth toward the final, desired alignment. Typically, a patient transitions to a new set of aligners every week, with each set making incremental adjustments to the teeth’s position.

Benefits of Aligners

Depending on your unique needs and concerns, clear aligner trays offer a series of benefits that make them attractive to new patients. 

Nearly Invisible Treatment Option

Because clear aligners are made of a transparent plastic that fits tightly over your teeth, most people won’t even notice that you’re going through orthodontic treatment unless you tell them! This makes clear aligners an excellent option for older patients or adults seeking treatment. 

No Changes to Diet

Clear aligners are a removable treatment option, which means you don’t have to worry about changing your menu during treatment. Simply remove these trays before eating and put them back in when you’re done, and you’re good to go! 

Better Oral Hygiene

Since you can remove your aligner trays to brush your teeth, you don’t have to relearn how to brush. Just continue brushing like you’re used to – but don’t forget to clean your aligners daily! 

Disadvantages of Clear Aligners

While most patients love their clear aligner trays, it’s important to consider the following when making a decision about which treatment works best for you. 

Aligners Require Discipline

You’ll have to wear your aligner trays for at least 22 hours per day, every day, to ensure they’re working properly. Remembering to reapply the trays after eating or brushing can be difficult for some patients, so it’s important to be honest with yourself before you start treatment. 

Removal Can Be Inconvenient

It might not be the most fun to remove your aligner trays before eating dinner at a restaurant, and remembering to put them back in can also add a strain. What’s more is that losing these appliances can be costly, so it’s important to keep an eye on them at all times. This added responsibility is serious, but by using your aligner case and keeping them clean, you won’t have any trouble with your clear aligners. 

Braces or Clear Aligners? Choose the Right Treatment for You

Choose the Right Plan for You at Southington Orthodontics

Making sure you pick the right treatment option for your needs is important, but you don’t have to make a decision on your own! Our team of professionals is here to guide you every step of the way, from your consultation to your last retainer check. If you’re ready to find out which option works for you, call our office in Southington to schedule your free consultation today!