These are also known as invisible braces because the brackets are made from a ceramic material that can be color matched to the teeth, making them difficult to notice at a distance. However, these are essentially the same as metal braces in structure because the brackets are bonded to the surface of the teeth and are connected by wires that are tightened to guide the teeth into the desired position.
These are clear plastic aligners that are also effective in fixing problems with the teeth and bite, but they are more discrete than clear braces because the clear plastic is fitted over the teeth like a glove, making them very difficult to notice.
What are their differences?
Like metal braces, clear braces are fixed in the mouth with brackets and wires that connect and hold them in place, which means only an orthodontist can remove them. Invisalign aligners are removable, which means they can be taken off when the patient wants to eat or brush their teeth.
Clear braces have to be adjusted at least once a month to keep the pressure on the teeth to move into place gradually.
Invisalign aligners are customized to fit perfectly in the mouth and dentists will provide patients with a tray of aligners to take home with them. The aligners have to be replaced every one to two weeks or as directed by the dentist and should be discarded after two weeks to be replaced by the next aligner in the tray.
It is more difficult to clean clear braces because food particles get stuck in them while eating and are difficult to get out of the brackets.
Invisalign aligners are much easier to clean because all a patient has to do is remove the aligner from their mouth and wash it with soap and water before putting it back in their mouth.
The brackets and wires used on clear braces cause a lot of discomfort, especially if one of the wires comes loose and scrapes the inside of the mouth in the process. Clear aligners are more comfortable because they are made from plastic and do not scrape the inside of the mouth when placed on.
Clear braces are not very durable because they are made from ceramic, which means the patient will likely make a few trips to the orthodontist to get them fixed during treatment.
Clear aligners are more durable but are also easy to lose since they are removable.