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Both braces and clear aligners are orthodontic treatments available in San Antonio to straighten your teeth and correct your bite. But the similarities stop there because braces and aligners couldn’t be any more different from each other.

The Biggest Difference Between Braces and Aligners

Dental braces consist of bonding a metal bracket to the front side of each tooth, then attaching a metal wire that runs along your entire arch.  Every few weeks you’ll have the wire adjusted, placing pressure on certain teeth to move them, until each one is in the ideal position.

Aligners work using a similar concept - by applying pressure on teeth to coax them into moving. However, aligners are rigid plastic trays that fit over your teeth.  Each pair of trays is worn for about two weeks before moving on to the next pair, and each is shaped slightly differently than the last, allowing for the transition that your teeth will make during the course of your treatment.

Other Differences in Braces and Aligners

Besides one treatment consisting of metal and the other plastic, and one being removable and the other being fixed, there are some basic differences between braces and aligners:

  • You can eat with braces but you can’t eat with aligners: For some folks, it might be annoying to have to remove aligners before eating, but even more annoying is having to remove all of the food from between your braces after having a meal.

  • Easier to clean: Cleaning your teeth while wearing removable aligners is no different than usual. Having braces requires special tools and more time to ensure that you remove all food debris and keep your tissues healthy.

Since teeth take more time to clean with braces, those patients who don’t already have great at-home care may start to develop other issues. Such as decalcification, which is weakened enamel caused by demineralization (white spots), tooth decay or cavities, and inflamed gums that may or may not bleed.

  • The look of braces is very obvious while aligners are nearly invisible: Since braces are made from metal and use colorful bands throughout, they are easy to spot when you’re smiling. However, aligners are clear (most people won’t even notice that you’re wearing them.)

  • Clear aligner therapy requires fewer and shorter visits than traditional braces: The trays are sent home with you in advance, so that you progress your treatment on your own time, whereas traditional braces need to be adjusted by our orthodontist.

  • Comfort: Aligners are typically more comfortable to wear than braces, but anyone can get used to fixed orthodontics with a little practice!

Where To Get Orthodontic Treatment In San Antonio?

Now is the time to get the smile you deserve and have always wanted. Dr. Vandeberg and the friendly staff of San Antonio Orthodontics are passionate about creating beautifully straight smiles. Call our San Antonio orthodontist today to request an orthodontic consultation! We look forward to meeting you.