The hidden truth of dental alignment: fixed clear braces vs. Invisalign


At Smile Care Cosmetic Centre we often find ourselves immersed in the fascinating world of orthodontics. One question that we frequently hear from our patients is: when is a brace, not a brace? It’s a riddle that might seem perplexing at first, but the answer lies in the subtle differences between fixed clear braces and Invisalign in Plymouth.

The enigma of clear braces

Fixed clear braces, despite their name, are not entirely invisible. They are a modern twist on traditional metal braces, designed with a clear or tooth-coloured ceramic material. This gives them a less noticeable appearance, making them a popular choice among our adult patients who wish to maintain a professional image during their orthodontic treatment.

The brackets of clear braces are bonded to the front of the teeth, just like their metal counterparts. A thin, arch-shaped wire, which can also be tooth-coloured, connects these brackets. This wire applies a gentle, constant pressure on the teeth, guiding them slowly but surely into their ideal positions.

The intrigue of clear aligners

On the other hand, clear aligners, such as Invisalign in Plymouth, are a completely different story. They are not braces in the traditional sense. Instead, they are a series of custom-made, removable trays that fit snugly over your teeth. Made from a clear, flexible plastic, they are virtually invisible when worn, offering a level of discretion unmatched by any other orthodontic appliance.

Unlike braces, clear aligners do not use brackets or wires to move your teeth. Instead, each set of aligners is designed to make slight alterations to the position of your teeth. As you progress through the series, your teeth gradually move into their ideal positions.

The question of convenience

When it comes to convenience, clear aligners seem to have the upper hand. They are removable, which means you can take them out when eating, drinking, brushing, or flossing. This eliminates the dietary restrictions associated with braces and makes oral hygiene a breeze.

However, this convenience can also be a double-edged sword. The effectiveness of clear aligners relies heavily on patient compliance. They need to be worn for at least 22 hours a day to achieve the desired results. Forgetting to wear them or not wearing them long enough can delay treatment progress.

The clash of complexity

In terms of treatment complexity, clear braces tend to be more versatile. They are capable of correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues, from simple to complex. Clear aligners, while continually improving, are still somewhat limited in the types of misalignments they can effectively treat.

The final verdict

So, when is a brace, not a brace? The answer is when it’s a clear aligner. While both clear braces and clear aligners offer a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional metal braces, they are fundamentally different in their design and function.

Choosing between clear braces and clear aligners is not a decision to be taken lightly. It requires a thorough understanding of your orthodontic needs, lifestyle, and personal preferences. At our local dental clinic, we are here to guide you through this journey, providing expert advice and personalised care every step of the way.

Remember, the goal of orthodontic treatment is not just to create a beautiful smile but also a healthy one. Whether you choose clear braces or Invisalign In Plymouth, the end result will be a straighter, healthier smile that you can be proud of.