Alternative options to clear aligners

Alternative options to clear aligners

Written by Dr. Radhika Gadge

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated Apr 12, 2024

Written by Dr. Radhika Gadge

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated Apr 12, 2024

As we age, our bodies change. We require clothes that fit better than before. Your mouth is no exception to this. Though your teeth do not grow, once they erupt, they cause several changes in your mouth. This can cause your teeth to go out of alignment and appear crooked. Clear aligners are great for people who want more control over the look of their smile. But what if you got to know that you are simply not the right candidate for clear aligners? You’ve got a question about your smile! We get it, and we’re here to answer it. There are a ton of options to clear aligners, out there for you to choose from if you want to replace your aligners. This blog will help you make an informed decision about what kind of treatment is right for you!

Are clear aligners the only option?

No. Because clear aligners won’t work for you if you have severe malalignment of your teeth. Moreover, studies have shown that they can cause a relapse of your condition. Because they can be easily removed on your will, they require more amount of patient co-operation and patience. Poor oral hygiene, poor patient compliance, teeth grinding and clenching habits, and interrupted treatments are the common reasons for the failure of clear aligners.

There are other options that can be used to straighten your teeth as well. You can also get braces or a full set of veneers to straighten your teeth. What works best for you is ultimately decided after a detailed consultation with your dentist.

Types of braces available in the market

teeth braces

There are many different types of braces available on the market today. Every type of braces has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some braces are more comfortable to wear than others. Some braces are more effective at correcting certain types of dental problems. And some braces are more affordable than others.

The most important thing to consider when choosing braces is what type of dental problem you are trying to correct. If you are trying to correct a very minor dental problem, you may be able to get away with wearing less expensive and less comfortable braces. If you are trying to correct a more serious dental problem, you will probably need to wear more expensive and more comfortable braces. Here is a brief overview of some of the most popular types of braces available on the market today:

Brief description of the different types of braces

  • Metal Braces: Metal braces are the most popular and oldest type of braces. They are also the most visible type of braces since they are made of stainless steel or titanium. They contain metal brackets that attach to the top of your teeth. The brackets have rubber bands on them that gradually tighten over time until eventually, all the teeth move into place. Nowadays you can find an array of colors in rubber bands to choose from.
  • Ceramic Braces: Ceramic braces are made of clear or white ceramic brackets which closely resemble the color of your teeth and metal wires. They are less visible and aesthetically pleasant. You should know, however, that these braces can stain depending on brushing and diet habits.
  • Lingual braces: They are made of metal brackets, wires, and rubber bands that are attached to the back of your teeth. Other people will not know about them until you open your mouth wide. Thus, they can also be called “hidden braces”.
  • Self-ligating braces: In terms of design, self-ligating braces are made of ceramic or clear brackets and metal wires. They differ from metal or ceramic braces that they do not use elastic rubber ties to hold the wire in place. The absence of rubber bands has several advantages:
    • Fewer colors and accessories make braces less noticeable.
    • Food is less likely to get trapped in the brackets, making it easier to brush and floss.
    • Smaller brackets are more comfortable.
    • Shorter office visits without the need to change out rubber bands.
    • Same cost as metal braces.

Despite the advantages, self-ligating won’t work for severe cases as they may not be able to apply as much pressure as traditional metal braces.

Clear aligners vs Braces

Clear aligners vs Braces

Let’s compare the two magical options so that you get to decide your preference to straighten your teeth.

Visibility: Clear aligners are the “next to invisible” option to straighten your teeth. The metal wires and brackets in braces make them obvious to the people. However, recently developed less visible braces are a good option to the traditional braces.

Comfort and Convenience: Because aligners are made of silicon, they do not irritate your gums when compared to the metal brackets and wires that can deeply affect them.

Dietary restrictions: Braces allow you to eat most foods without any problems while wearing them. Clear aligners have to be removed to avoid staining them.

Removability: Clear aligners are easy to wear and remove anywhere whereas braces require your dentist and his tools for placement and removal.

Maintenance: Braces do not take up much room on your teeth which makes brushing and flossing comparatively easy. Clear aligners cover your teeth completely allowing easy growth of bacteria. People find it difficult to get the right toothbrush for braces. Therefore, they require proper brushing and flossing habits.

Pricing: Metal braces are cheaper than clear aligners.

Treatment time and follow-up: Braces exert more force than clear aligners thereby reducing the treatment time. Regular follow-up is required for braces as well as aligners.

Damage to the teeth: Clear aligners are the least irritating to the gums provided that they fit correctly. Proper toothbrushing and flossing habits cause minimal to no damage to the teeth. Braces, in contrast, contain metal wires that irritate your gums. Also, the large force exerted by braces can damage the bone around your teeth.

Which is better?

There is no clear winner when it comes to clear aligners vs braces. Both have their pros and cons, and ultimately the best option for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences and detailed consultation by your dentist.

Bottom Line

Straightening your teeth is not a trial and error like your skincare products. It needs proper and detailed evaluation by your dentist to know what’s best for you without compromising the health of your teeth. Be it clear aligners or braces, the skills of your dentist are going to do the wonders for your teeth.


  • Clear aligners are on the boom amongst the public. However, they are not the only option to straighten your teeth.
  • Braces and veneers are good alternatives to fixing your crooked teeth.
  • Because metal braces are not aesthetically pleasing, there are recently developed less visible options like ceramic, lingual, and self-ligating braces.
  • Aligners, as well as braces, have their own pros and cons.
  • Aligners vs braces is a battle and the ultimate winner for you is best decided by the dentist.
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