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Braces and Clear Aligners: Which One is Right For You?

Braces versus Clear Aligners

Everyone wants a healthy, straight smile. If you have misaligned teeth, you have a few options to achieve the smile of your dreams – namely, braces or clear aligners. Both braces and clear aligners do a great job at aligning your teeth. However, since the two aren’t created equally, you might be wondering which option to use to align your teeth. This article will help you pick the best option for you.

Braces vs. Clear Aligners

Braces and clear aligners both straighten the teeth, but that’s about where the similarities end. 

Metal braces are brackets made of stainless steel that orthodontists affix to your teeth. They have wires threaded throughout the brackets, and tiny rubber bands connect them. Over time, and with regular adjustments, they force teeth to move to the ideal position.

On the other hand, clear aligners are a set of progressively tighter clear trays that are created to fit your team and are switched out every few months to adjust the way your teeth are moving. 

Advantages of Braces

  • Braces are versatile. Unlike aligners, they can be a treatment option for all cases.
  • Not all braces are created equally. There are different varieties and styles available. You can choose colored or non-colored ones or go for porcelain braces that aren’t as conspicuous as metal braces. 
  • Unlike aligners, braces are fixed to your teeth. Therefore, you can easily keep up with your treatment since you can’t remove them or decide when to wear them and when not to.
  • They are more effective compared to aligners since you wear them during the entire treatment.
  • They are ideal for people of all ages.
  • They are often more affordable than clear aligners.
  • Treatment can often be faster than with clear aligners. At Carolina Family Dentistry, we specialize in Six Month Smiles, a cosmetic braces system that can give you a straighter smile in as little as six months!

Disadvantages of Braces

  • Cleaning teeth with braces on can pose a challenge. If you don’t clean your teeth properly, they may end up damaged, forcing you to remove the braces earlier than recommended; thus, you won’t get the desired results.
  • Braces may have an impact on your diet. Your orthodontist will advise you against eating hard foods that may damage your braces. Additionally, you may have to avoid sticky or sugary foods since your teeth are more susceptible to decay when you have braces on.
  • Traditional braces are more conspicuous than clear aligners.
  • With braces, you may have to visit your orthodontist more frequently than with aligners for adjustments.

Advantages of Clear Aligners

  • Aligners are not as noticeable as braces.
  • You don’t have to change your diet when you get aligners because you can remove them before you eat.
  • You don’t have to change your daily hygiene routine with aligners; you can remove them and floss or brush your teeth as usual, which can result in less damage to your teeth.
  • Visits to the orthodontists are usually simpler and less frequent since the orthodontist pre-plans tooth movement.
  • Most patients have reported that aligners are more comfortable than braces since they are softer on the lips and cheeks. They are generally smoother than braces.

Disadvantages of Clear Aligners

  • You have to be very disciplined for aligners to work. Orthodontists recommend that you wear them for at least 22 hours every day for them to be effective. Therefore, you should only remove them when eating, brushing, or flossing your teeth.
  • Unlike braces, aligners can’t treat all conditions, specifically complex ones. Depending on your case, you may end up needing braces in the long run.
  • Aligners may be costlier than braces. If they don’t fall within your budget, you may have to reconsider other options.

Which Option Is Right For You?

Here are a few factors you should consider when deciding between getting braces or aligners:

  • Comfort: Which option would you be most comfortable with?
  • Compliance: how much effort do you want to make during the treatment?
  • Cost: what’s your budget?
  • Convenience: how often do you want to visit your orthodontist?
  • Cosmetics: do you want everyone to know about your treatment, or would you rather keep it on the down-low?

Choosing between braces and aligners is a big decision. Before making any decisions, we recommend that you speak with your dentist or orthodontist about the solution that is best for you. If you are looking to get braces or aligners, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our experts will give you the necessary guidance and walk with you every step of the way.

Braces for Adults: Frequently Asked Questions

If you have always wished that your smile were straighter, you might think that you lost your chance to have braces after your teenage years. Maybe the thought of having metal braces in your mouth just doesn’t appeal to you, or maybe you’re afraid of the discomfort at this time in your life. The good news is that braces for adults are common and there are several different options to suit your needs. Take a look at these frequently asked questions and see if you might be ready to look into braces for adults.

Won’t Braces Look Unprofessional?

There are a lot of reasons why someone might choose not to have metal braces; one of them is that there is a stigma of unprofessionalism that can go along with them. Of course, this depends on your job and your age, but if you feel as though you’d look unpolished in the workplace with metal braces, then there are other options to consider, including ceramic braces, lingual braces, and Invisalign.

Are Lingual Braces Uncomfortable?

In a word, yes, they can be, but the discomfort is mainly in the beginning, when your tongue is getting used to the braces. All braces come with an element of discomfort in the early days. If you have traditional metal braces or ceramic braces, the discomfort tends to be on your inner lips and inner cheeks. With lingual braces, however, it occurs on your tongue. This can make talking and eating painful. The good news is that you will adjust to them within a week or two.

Is Invisalign Right for Me?

Only your dentist or orthodontist can answer that question, because it varies from person to person. If you have a mild overbite, a space between your front teeth, or crooked incisors, then Invisalign could work for you. If you have a more severe malocclusion, however, you might need to go a more traditional route. A consultation with a dental professional can tell you whether this type of orthodontic treatment is right for you.

If you are looking into the possibility of braces for adults, give our office a call for a consultation or to be referred to an orthodontist in the area.

Improve Your Smile in 2018

Are you happy with your smile? When you look in the mirror, does your grin make you want to, well, grin? Too many people make it a note to smile with their lips closed or talk with a hand in front of their mouths because they aren’t happy with the way their teeth look. If this sounds familiar, we don’t want you to feel that way anymore! Check out some of the ways you can improve your smile in 2018.


If your front teeth are chipped, misshapen, or otherwise making you hesitate to smile, porcelain veneers might be the right option for you. Veneers can also close up a gap, called a diastema, between the front teeth in some cases. These fit over the outside surface of your front teeth, much like an artificial nail fits over your natural fingernail. The tooth will be prepared for a veneer, so it’s a permanent restoration; if it were to fall off, which is uncommon, you’d need to have it replaced.


Many people think that their chance for having braces has passed once they exit their teen years. This is not the case! Many adults have orthodontic treatment, including braces, throughout their 30s, 40s and beyond. You can have the metal type that most teens get, or you can use one of the options available for adults, such as lingual braces, porcelain braces, or Invisalign. Talk to your dentist about whether a referral to an orthodontist is needed.

Teeth Whitening

If you aren’t happy with the shade of your teeth, then teeth whitening might be on your list of smile-brightening new year’s resolutions. Today’s bleaching agents are gentle, safe, and effective. You can use the type you find in your local pharmacy or you can have a tray fabricated by your dentist. Your dentist can help you decide what option is right for you depending on your budget, how much whitening you are looking for, and whether you are prone to hypersensitivity or gum irritation.

Give us a call today to schedule an appointment. We’d love to help you have a brighter and smile-inducing 2018!


  • Are you self-conscious about your smile?

  • Do you tend to not smile in pictures or not smile at all?

  • Do you try to hide your teeth when you talk, laugh, or smile?

  • Did you have braces before but your teeth are crooked again?

You are not alone. Would you believe us if we told you there is a way to straighten your teeth for better oral hygiene and smile confidence in about six months? There is a treatment that combines the effectiveness of traditional braces with a modern cosmetic twist. It’s called Six Month Smiles, and it’s helped thousands of people reveal a beautiful smile.

What is Six Month Smiles?

Six Month Smiles is an orthodontic treatment that uses clear brackets and tooth-colored wires, meaning they’re barely visible and takes much less time than traditional braces to work their magic! The average treatment time is about six months (with a range of 4-9 months) to help patients with crooked, crowded, or spaced teeth.

While Six Month Smiles uses the same orthodontic mechanics of traditional braces, the emphasis is more on the cosmetic appearance of your teeth instead of your bite. That means low force is typically all that’s needed to move your teeth in a shorter period of time. People often think the accelerated treatment time means more pain will be involved, but this isn’t the case. 

Six Month Smiles is an orthodontic treatment that uses clear brackets and tooth-colored wires, meaning they’re barely visible and takes much less time than traditional braces to work their magic! The average treatment time is about six months (with a range of 4-9 months) to help patients with crooked, crowded, or spaced teeth.

Why Straighten Teeth? 

Straight teeth are important when it comes to overall oral health. Crooked teeth leave room for plaque and other buildups to occur, creating the potential for cavities and tooth decay. Crooked teeth can also cause stress on your jawbones, which could cause neck and head pains. 

If you’ve been dreaming of a straighter smile, we can help you make it a reality. Dr. Banik proudly offers the Six Month Smiles Clear Braces System. For more details call us to schedule a free consult. See if Six Month Smiles can work for you!