CLEAR ALIGNERS- An alternative to Traditional Braces

Clear aligners are hitting the trend over traditional braces!

Who doesn’t want perfectly aligned teeth? If you also want to change your smile and you had a choice, would you like to wear braces or clear aligners? If you are nodding your head for clear aligners, you are not alone. Clear aligners have gained a lot of popularity in the last few years.

You can get your mal-aligned teeth corrected by orthodontic treatment either by the traditional method of metal braces or ceramic braces, or you can choose a new advancement called clear orthodontic aligners. Both are different technologies used for smile corrections and bring about the same results. Clear or invisible aligners are not for everyone. Your orthodontist will decide what is best for you- braces or clear aligners or a combination of both.


Perfect alignment of teeth is necessary not only for your smile and facial aesthetics but also for oral health and functional efficiency. Teeth that are not properly aligned are harder to clean and can cause abnormal wearing of tooth enamel, cavities, gum diseases, plaque, and tartar, which can lead to expensive dental procedures in the future.



Orthodontic or clear aligners are computer-designed specialized appliances used for orthodontic therapy. Clear Aligner Therapy (CAT) uses transparent trays made of a high-quality plastic material to straighten the misaligned teeth by biomechanical force.  They use gentle and constant force to move the teeth in the required position without the hassles of metal wire and brackets. Aligners are alternative appliances for fixed braces but they are not replacements. With proper diagnosis and accurate treatment planning nowadays a wide range of cases can be corrected with clear aligners.


Most people when they are thinking of clear aligners, think of Invisalign. But to be more precise, clear aligner is a general term and Invisalign is the name of one clear aligner manufactured by Align Technology. There are many brands of clear aligners:

  • Invisalign
  • Clear correct
  • Orthoclear
  • Flexalign
  • Illusion
  •  MTM

Invisalign comes at the top as it is the oldest one and has been improving since then. Invisalign is very popular as they are the largest producer of clear aligners, hence they are synonymous with clear aligners. Clear aligners have revolutionized the teeth straightening treatment as it helps in aligning the teeth without making a person hyperconscious.


Treatment starts with taking x-ray and photographs for diagnostic purposes followed by impressions and bite registration. Your dentist will thoroughly examine your dentition using a highly advanced intraoral digital scanner and will share the treatment plan with you.  Then the dental impressions are taken for custom designing of aligners according to the treatment plan. Special technology allows your orthodontist to find out the positions your teeth need to move into to create a beautiful and healthy smile. Clear aligners are custom-made for your mouth and teeth. Series of invisible, customized, and removable aligners are given that gradually straighten your teeth as you wear them.

The number of aligners and treatment time for teeth straightening depends on the complexity of the case and teeth straightening goal.  Anywhere from 6 to 48 sets of aligners are needed for a person. You have to wear an aligner for 20-22 hours a day as per the treatment plan recommended by your orthodontist.  Visit your dentist to get the aligner replaced with a new one according to the prescribed intervals. The aligner replacement schedule varies from 2 to 3 weeks according to the treatment plan.

If your dentition is very complex, then you may need a combination of clear aligners and traditional braces to get the desired teeth straightening results in the minimum possible time. Although treatment time frames may vary, on average patients usually wear their aligners for 6 to 12 months.

 In a few months, you will have your teeth in perfect alignment with a beautiful smile.


1. Clear aligners can be used to treat various mild and moderate issues in cases where there are no discrepancies in the jaw bone. They may not be able to solve severe bite problems. It can be used to treat these dental issues-

  • Crowding (1-6 mm)
  • Spacing between teeth (1-6 mm)
  • Open bite
  • Overbite
  • Crossbite.

2. Clear aligners are not recommended for children. Aligners are ideal for older teenagers or adults who want to correct their smiles without the stress of wires and bracket visibility.

3. They are also indicated for patients who have experienced relapse after fixed orthodontic treatment.


Advantages of CLEAR ALIGNERS

The advantages of clear aligners over traditional braces are-

1. Barely visible

People want to get their crooked teeth corrected but the thought of metal braces makes them conscious.  Clear aligners are made by highly advanced 3 D Scanning technology and they are so discreet that you can enjoy your normal social life. They are custom designed according to the patient’s dentition and are barely visible. They are so transparent that no one will get to know that you are wearing a clear aligner.

2. Comfortable

The movement of teeth is a complicated orthodontic process, so some discomfort is expected. Aligners are more comfortable as compared to metal braces and cause less tissue irritation as they are designed uniquely and fit properly on teeth. It takes just a few days to adjust to aligners and then the journey of teeth straightening becomes smooth. Clear Aligners straighten teeth more predictably and comfortably.

3. Removable

Aligners offer you the much-needed flexibility to remove them before eating, brushing, flossing, or any other occasion. If you have to enjoy any function or moment and your aligners are making you conscious, then you can remove them. But do keep in mind, that you have to wear them for a minimum of 20 -22 hours a day.

4. Eat whatever you want

There is no change in eating habits and lifestyle. You can eat anything whatever you wish to eat as you can remove them before a meal. In orthodontic treatment by braces, you have to follow food restrictions but aligners give you the freedom of eating food of your choice.

5. Hygienic

One of the biggest benefits of a clear aligner is that it keeps you away from the worries of worsening oral hygiene. In the case of traditional metal braces, it is difficult to maintain oral hygiene but you can remove clear aligners before brushing and flossing. It is advisable to clean your teeth and your aligners before putting them back in your mouth.

6. Wires and metal-free

For years, metal braces had been the first option when patients needed orthodontic treatment. Now, most people have embraced these clear aligners as they are aesthetically pleasing-no metal, no wires, and no braces.

7. Minimal appointments with the orthodontist

Clear aligners have the ability to straighten your teeth in half the time of traditional braces.  So less number of visits is needed with very short appointments. It takes a few minutes, to remove the old aligner and replace it with a new one. In the case of traditional braces, there are chances of a bracket that falls off or a wire that broke and it leads to an emergency visit to the orthodontist but there is no such issue in the case of clear aligners.

8. Preview of results

Since treatment is based on computer calculations and 3D animation technology so results are more predictable and can be visualized before the treatment starts. Interestingly, you will be able to see your teeth straightening process and your journey of a perfect smile.


  1. Clear aligners are effective only in mild cases and not in complex issues.
  2. You have to remove your aligners while eating or drinking. If you don’t then food can enter into them and will cause staining of teeth and aligners.
  3. There are food limitations as aligners may cause tooth soreness. Hard foods should be avoided.
  4. Clear aligners should be worn for at least 20 to 22 hours per day. If you think you will not be able to resist removing your aligners more often, then it’s not a good choice for you.
  5. If your child is prone to losing things, then clear aligners are not meant for him as they can be removed and misplaced.


  • With the change in trend and comfortable dental care, dental aligners are the most preferred dental care treatment. The success of aligners depends on how consistently you wear aligners without any break.
  • Wear them for a minimum of 20 hours daily.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene to get the best results.
  • Orthodontic treatment with clear aligners is not cheap so be careful in wearing and storing your aligners. Keep them in a box given by the orthodontist to keep them safe and clean.
  • Aligners can be warped by hot liquids as they are made from plastic so one should limit the intake of hot liquids while wearing the aligners to protect their shape.


  • Retain your smile with a retainer- your dentist may advise you to wear the retainer for 3 to 6 months to prevent the teeth from going back to their initial position.
  • Keep good oral hygiene to keep your teeth and mouth healthy.
  • It is advised not to take too crunchy foods for a few days after the treatment as your teeth are sensitive.
  • Visit your dentist after every six months to keep your smile intact and healthy.


Clear Aligners- An alternative to traditional metal braces

Clear aligners may be a good option for you if you are having mild or moderate dental issues. If you prefer a less visible treatment than braces and you don’t have any complicated crowding or bite issues then aligners are meant for you. If you want to know more about the braces or orthodontic treatment, then read more

Talk to your orthodontist, consider all the pros and cons of clear aligners and then make a decision whether CLEAR ALIGNER THERAPY is meant for you or not.

3 thoughts on “CLEAR ALIGNERS- An alternative to Traditional Braces”

  1. Nice write up
    A gud article guide not only patient also
    Common people know about new technique and advantages, disadvantages of it.
    You have clearify all the benefits of clear braces . The article clear guide the diff. between old new braces.
    It help a person to choose the option clearly. It clears all advantages & disadvantages of both old and new methods
    I praise Dr rinku mittal for writing such a nice article to guide & help the people in public interest.
    Thanks Dr.
    Nice write up Dr. Rinku Mitral.

  2. Dr.Rinku Mittal has thorough knowledge about the subject with great expertise.Here clearly showed both sides. aligners do not pose potential problems as compared to wires and braces.
    It is the best for numerous dental problems and comfortable option to fix mechnics.
    Here I appreciate Dr.Rinku for writing such a nice article.
    Thanx to Dr Rinku

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