Clear Aligners vs Braces: Which One Should You Go For?

Clear Aligners vs Braces: Which One Should You Go For?

Traditional braces and Clear aligners are both popular teeth-straightening alternatives. The two techniques used by a cosmetic dentist in San Diego employ controlled pressures to progressively shift teeth into the correct locations and are FDA-approved, producing stunning outcomes. However, the choice between the two is determined by a dentist in San Diego based on criteria like change to be made to the existing teeth, age, and lifestyle.

Before we dive into the comparison between the two, it is important to know what traditional braces and Aligners mean.

What are Traditional Braces?

  • These are also known as brackets.
  • They make use of small metal pieces.
  • These are fixed on the surface of the teeth by a dentist in San Diego.
  • Metal archwires are passed through each bracket to fix them.
  • The metal archwires tighten the teeth over a period of time by applying pressure.
  • This helps align the teeth in the proper position.
  • There are ceramic braces available as well instead of metal braces.
  • Ceramic brackets can match the color of your teeth.
  • The different types of braces are metal, ceramic, lingual, and self-ligating.


  • Highly durable and strong.
  • Ideal for a variety of teeth issues – overcrowded teeth, misaligned teeth, underbite, overbite, and gaps between teeth.
  • Suitable for all age groups.
  • Cost-effective compared to clear aligners.
  • Being fix, there is less dependence on the patient.


  • Periodic tightening and adjustments may be required from a dentist in San Diego.
  • There are food and drink restrictions.

For example, sweets, soda, sticky and hard foods should be avoided.

  • Metal archwires used are visible on the teeth.
  • Cleaning the teeth gets difficult. 
  • Individuals need to be careful with brushing and flossing.
  • Only a professional dentist can remove them.
  • There is a possibility of side effects like inflammation of gums and bones.  This may result in discomfort.

What are Clear Aligners?

  • Clear aligners are invisible and removable aligners.
  • These are made from clear thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).
  • The clear aligners like Invisalign are custom fitted according to the teeth of the patient.
  • These splints are placed on top of the teeth.
  • They bring about the desired teeth movement to straighten them. 
  • The cosmetic dentist San Diego creates a tailor-made clear aligner using a digital scan.


  • Lightweight and nearly invisible in appearance
  • No limitations or restrictions in eating any foodstuffs.
  • More comfortable to wear than traditional braces.
  • No need for metal archwires to brackets to fix the clear aligners.
  • Hassle-free and less frequent visits to the dentist in San Diego.
  • No chances of oral abrasion or injuries.
  • Teeth alignment problems can be solved in less time compared to traditional braces.


  • Clear aligners need to be removed before every meal, drinking, flossing, and brushing.
  • Aligners need to be switched after an interval of two weeks.
  • There may be some minor (temporary) discomfort during the treatment.
  • Treatment cost is higher compare to clear aligners.
  • Compliance by patients impacts the results of the treatment.

Conventional braces (brackets) vs Clear aligners: Understanding the differences

Here is a comprehensive tabulated comparison of the difference between conventional braces (brackets) and clear aligners based on different parameters.

ParameterConventional braces (brackets)Clear aligners
DiscretenessEasily visible (noticeable) from the outside when a person opens their mouth. Less discrete than aligners. Appears unpleasant and unattractive to the eye.Being transparent, they are invisible to the eye. More discrete than conventional braces.
Material usedArcheries made of metals like titanium alloys or stainless steel. Brackets made of ceramic or stainless steel.Made up of thermoplastic polyurethane.
ColourDark metallic colorInvisible and transparent
ComfortMay cause a high level of discomfort. There may be damage to soft tissues in the mouth or abrasion.Fit easily and smoothly on the teeth. Chances of discomfort are minimal due to the smooth nature of aligners.
Time duration required for treatmentAlignment of teeth requires a longer time compared to aligners. However, it varies from one individual to another.Alignment of teeth requires less time compared to conventional braces. However, it varies from one individual to another.
RemovabilityCannot be removed by oneself at will. The individual needs to visit a cosmetic dentist San Diego to get it removed.Complete flexibility in removal while eating food, brushing, and flossing.
Oral hygiene practicesDifficult to maintain oral hygiene and care since braces cannot be removed.Easy to perform oral dental care as the aligners can be removed without any hassles.
CostLess expensive compared to aligners. The cost of metal or ceramic braces may vary anywhere between $4,200 to $6,600The cost of aligners is more compared to traditional braces. The treatment cost for clear aligners can vary between $5000 to $10,000
AdjustmentsFrequent visits to the dentist in San Diego may be needed for adjustments. Monthly appointments may be required with the cosmetic dentist San Diego.Visits to the dentist in San Diego may be required less frequently.

The treatment

  • To effectively straighten and align your teeth, the primary step is to consult the top cosmetic dentist San Diego.
  • The dentist in San Diego will inspect your teeth and take X-rays and scans of your teeth. 
  • An imprint of your teeth will also be taken to help come up with the most effective dental procedure. 
  • The conventional braces would require alterations once every 5-6 weeks. 
  • Usually, they are worn for a period of 2-3 years. 
  • Aligners, on the contrary hand, are distributed in sets. They must be worn for a period of about two weeks each. 
  • They must be worn for the maximum part of the day. 
  • However, it can be removed for consuming food, brushing your teeth, and flossing. 
  • Both brackets and aligners require the usage of a retainer for about six months following treatment.

Why choose Brite Smile Dental for conventional braces or aligners?

Here is what makes Brite Smile Dental a preferred choice for those looking out for the best invisalign dentist near me.

  • Experienced team of cosmetic dentist San Diego.
  • Complete transparency from start to end of the treatment procedure.
  • Affordable and fixed pricing structure with no extra or hidden charges.
  • Customized treatment approach for every patient.
  • Use of state-of-the-art technologies and best dental practices.

Both traditional braces and clear aligners are effective dental treatment options. If you are someone who wants to focus on the best results at an affordable price, traditional braces are a great option. If you want the treatment procedure to be invisible to others around you, aligners are a great alternative. It is also easy to maintain oral health and hygiene with aligners. However, they may slightly be on the expensive side. The decision of which treatment procedure would best suit you should be done only after consulting the best dentist in San Diego.

Are you looking for a cosmetic dentist San Diego? If you are searching for the best invisalign dentist near me, Brite Smile Dental is the right choice. We have several years of experience with both traditional Braces and clear aligners. In addition to these, we offer several alternative dental treatments. Being a top dentist in San Diego, we specialize in Invisalign, dental laser treatment, veneers, dental implants, emergency dentistry, gingivoplasty, and much more. Schedule your appointment with us today and let our best cosmetic dentist San Diego improve your smile.