Welcome to our blog post about braces and aligners!

We know that choosing between braces or aligners can be daunting, and that’s why we’re here to help. In this post, we will explore the various types of braces and aligners, their advantages and disadvantages, and tips for maintaining oral health during treatment.

Whether you’re a teenager or an adult considering orthodontic treatment, this blog post will help you make an informed decision.

Types of Braces

Orthodontic treatment has come a long way over the years, with various types of braces available to cater to different dental conditions and patient preferences.

We will explore the key characteristics of traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, and lingual braces, discussing their pros and cons as well as the factors to consider when choosing the most suitable option for you.

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and have been used for decades to correct a wide range of orthodontic issues. They consist of metal brackets attached to each tooth and connected by a metal wire that gradually moves the teeth into the desired position.


  • Most effective for severe orthodontic cases.
  • Often the most affordable option.
  • Highly durable and rarely break.


  • Most visible option.
  • Can cause some discomfort due to rubbing against the cheeks or lips.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are similar in design to traditional metal braces but use tooth-coloured or clear brackets to make them less noticeable. They are an excellent option for those who require the effectiveness of traditional braces but desire a more discreet appearance.


  • Less noticeable than metal braces.
  • Provide the same level of effectiveness as metal braces.


  • More expensive than metal braces.
  • Can stain if not maintained properly.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are a unique orthodontic option that places the brackets and wires on the back of the teeth, making them virtually invisible when smiling or talking. This type of brace is ideal for patients who seek a highly discreet treatment option.


  • Almost completely invisible.
  • Custom-made for a precise fit.


  • More expensive than other options.
  • May be less effective for severe cases.
  • Can be more challenging to clean.

When choosing the most appropriate type of braces, it is essential to consider factors such as the severity of your dental condition, your budget, and your personal preferences.

Consult with a qualified orthodontist to discuss your options and determine the best solution for your needs.

Types of Aligners

Orthodontic aligners are a popular alternative to traditional braces for individuals looking to straighten their teeth discreetly.

In recent years, several companies have emerged with their unique aligner systems, offering a range of features and benefits to cater to different needs. In this section, we will compare and contrast three popular types of aligners: Invisalign, ClearCorrect, and Smart Moves.

We will discuss their features, technology, market share, potential side effects, and maintenance tips to help you make an informed decision.


Invisalign is a well-known brand in the clear aligner market and is often considered the industry leader.

These custom-made, removable aligners are designed using advanced 3D technology to create a series of transparent trays that gradually shift the teeth into their desired positions. Invisalign boasts an extensive database of over 11 million cases, which allows for highly accurate treatment planning.

Treatment time varies depending on the individual’s needs but typically lasts between 12 and 18 months. Invisalign can be more expensive than its competitors, with prices ranging from £2,500 to £5,500.


ClearCorrect is a US-based company that offers an alternative to Invisalign.

Like Invisalign, ClearCorrect uses 3D imaging technology to create custom-made, clear aligners. However, ClearCorrect aligners are manufactured using a proprietary material called Zendura, which claims to offer increased durability and resistance to staining.

Treatment time with ClearCorrect is usually similar to that with Invisalign, but costs tend to be more affordable, with prices ranging from £1,500 to £4,000. ClearCorrect is also known for its excellent customer service and support for both patients and providers.

Smart Moves

Smart Moves is another clear aligner system that offers a more budget-friendly option.

It uses 3D digital technology to create customised aligners for patients with less complex orthodontic needs. One unique feature of Smart Moves is its “Flex Aligner” technology, which uses varying aligner thicknesses to provide a more comfortable fit and efficient tooth movement.

Treatment time with Smart Moves can be shorter than that with Invisalign or ClearCorrect, often ranging from 6 to 12 months. Prices for Smart Moves treatments generally range from £1,200 to £3,000.

Side Effects and Risks

All three aligner systems have similar potential side effects, including temporary discomfort, speech difficulties, and oral hygiene challenges.

However, these side effects are generally mild and resolve as the patient becomes accustomed to wearing the aligners. It is essential to follow your orthodontist’s instructions regarding wear time and care for your aligners to minimise the risk of complications.

Maintenance Tips

Regardless of the type of aligner you choose, proper care is essential for ensuring the success of your treatment. Some general tips for maintaining your aligners include:

  • Clean your aligners daily using a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste.
  • Remove your aligners before eating or drinking anything other than water to prevent staining and damage.
  • Rinse your aligners thoroughly after removing them and before re-inserting them.
  • Store your aligners in their protective cases when not in use to keep them clean and safe.

In conclusion, Invisalign, ClearCorrect, and Smart Moves offer distinct advantages and disadvantages, with varying costs, treatment times, and technologies.

By understanding the features of each aligner system and consulting with an experienced orthodontist, you can make the best decision for your unique orthodontic needs.

Pros and Cons of Braces

Braces are a popular and widely used method for straightening teeth and addressing orthodontic issues.

They come with a variety of advantages and drawbacks, which can influence an individual’s decision to choose them as their preferred treatment. In this section, we will explore the pros and cons of braces, touching on aspects such as durability, affordability, aesthetics, and discomfort.


One of the primary benefits of braces is their durability.

Braces are made from robust materials, typically metal or ceramic brackets and wires, designed to withstand the pressure and force required to move teeth into their desired positions. This strength ensures that braces are effective and long-lasting throughout the treatment process, providing reliable results for patients.


Braces are generally more affordable than other orthodontic treatments, like aligners. The cost of braces can vary depending on the complexity of the treatment and the type of braces chosen, but overall, they are considered a cost-effective option for those seeking to straighten their teeth.


The aesthetics of braces can be a drawback for some individuals, particularly those who are conscious of their appearance.

Traditional metal braces are the most noticeable, which can be a concern for some. However, there are alternative options, such as ceramic braces or lingual braces, which are less visible and can provide a more discreet treatment.


One of the primary disadvantages of braces is the discomfort associated with wearing them.

Braces can irritate the cheeks, lips, and tongue, particularly during the initial adjustment period. Additionally, the tightening of the wires can lead to temporary pain and discomfort.

However, this discomfort usually subsides as the patient becomes accustomed to the braces and the teeth begin to shift.

Pros and Cons of Aligners

Aligners, a popular alternative to traditional braces, have been gaining traction in recent years due to their numerous benefits.

However, it’s important to consider both the pros and cons of this orthodontic treatment to make an informed decision about whether it’s the right choice for you. In this section, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of aligners, focusing on their invisibility, removability, comfort, and cost.


One of the main appeals of aligners is their near-invisibility, making them a more aesthetically pleasing option than metal braces.

This feature is particularly attractive to adults and teenagers who may be self-conscious about their appearance. The aligners are made of clear, medical-grade plastic, which means they are barely noticeable when worn.

This can help boost confidence and make the treatment process less daunting.


Aligners are also removable, offering greater flexibility and convenience than fixed braces.

This allows patients to eat and drink comfortably as well as maintain their oral hygiene with greater ease. It’s important, however, to wear the aligners for the recommended 20–22 hours per day to achieve the desired results.

Failure to adhere to this guideline can result in a longer treatment time.


Aligners are typically more comfortable than traditional braces, as they do not have brackets or wires that can irritate the cheeks and gums.

The custom-made aligners are designed to fit snugly over the teeth, applying gentle pressure to gradually shift them into the desired position. Patients may experience some initial discomfort when they first start wearing new aligners, but this usually subsides within a few days.

More Expensive

One of the primary drawbacks of aligners is their cost, which can be higher than that of traditional braces.

The price varies depending on the complexity of the case and the duration of the treatment, but it’s important to consider this factor when weighing up your options. Some dental insurance plans may cover part of the cost, but it’s essential to check with your provider before committing to the treatment.

Choosing the Right Treatment

Selecting the most suitable orthodontic treatment is a critical decision that depends on several factors.

In this section, we will explore three key considerations when choosing between aligners and traditional braces: the severity of misalignment, treatment goals, and lifestyle factors.

Severity of Misalignment

The extent of the dental misalignment plays a significant role in determining the most appropriate treatment option.

Aligners are highly effective for mild to moderate cases, such as overcrowding, spacing issues, and some bite problems. However, they may not be suitable for severe or complex cases that require more precise tooth movement or significant jaw alignment.

In such instances, traditional braces or other orthodontic treatments may be more effective.

Treatment Goals

Understanding your treatment goals is vital when deciding on the best orthodontic solution.

Aligners are often the preferred choice for patients who prioritise aesthetics and comfort, as they are discreet and less intrusive than braces. However, if your primary concern is correcting a severe or complicated dental issue, traditional braces may be the more appropriate option due to their increased versatility and precision.

Lifestyle Factors

Lastly, consider how the treatment will fit into your lifestyle.

Aligners are removable, which means they can accommodate a busy schedule or an active lifestyle more easily than traditional braces. However, this also requires greater discipline and commitment, as patients must wear the aligners consistently to achieve the desired results.

Additionally, those who play contact sports or musical instruments may find that aligners are a more practical choice, as they do not have brackets or wires that could cause injury or discomfort.

Maintaining Oral Health During Treatment

Maintaining oral health during orthodontic treatment is essential for achieving optimal results and preventing complications. We will discuss various aspects of oral care, including brushing and flossing, diet and nutrition, the importance of regular check-ups, and future innovations in orthodontic treatment.

Brushing and Flossing: The Ultimate Guide to Brushing and Flossing with Braces: Tips and Tricks

Proper brushing and flossing techniques are crucial for maintaining oral health, especially when wearing braces.

Plaque and food particles can become trapped around the brackets and wires, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. To ensure thorough cleaning, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.

Brush at a 45-degree angle, gently moving the bristles back and forth, and take care to clean around every bracket. Flossing with braces can be challenging but is essential for removing plaque from hard-to-reach areas.

A floss threader or orthodontic floss can help navigate between the wires and teeth. Remember to floss gently, avoiding excessive force that may damage the brackets or wires.

Diet and Nutrition: 5 Surprising Foods That Can Improve Your Oral Health During Treatment

A balanced diet is vital for overall health, and certain foods can promote oral health during orthodontic treatment.

  • Dairy Products: Rich in calcium, dairy products like milk, cheese, and yoghurt strengthen tooth enamel and protect against cavities.
  • Leafy Greens: High in vitamins and minerals, leafy greens like spinach and kale promote gum health and help neutralise acids that cause tooth decay.
  • Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables: Apples, carrots, and celery naturally clean teeth and stimulate saliva production, which washes away food particles and bacteria.
  • Green Tea: With its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, green tea can help fight gum disease and bad breath.
  • Sugar-free Gum: Chewing sugar-free gum stimulates saliva production, helping to neutralise acids and remove food particles from the teeth.

The Importance of Regular Orthodontic Check-Ups: What Happens When You Skip Them

Regular orthodontic check-ups are essential for monitoring the progress of treatment and ensuring oral health.

Skipping appointments may result in prolonged treatment, an increased risk of complications, and compromised oral hygiene. During check-ups, your orthodontist will adjust your braces, evaluate your oral health, and provide guidance on maintaining proper oral care.

By adhering to your appointment schedule, you can achieve the desired results more efficiently and avoid potential setbacks.

The Future of Orthodontic Treatment: Innovations and Advancements to Look Out For

Orthodontic treatment is constantly evolving, with innovations and advancements aimed at improving patient experience and outcomes. Some of the promising developments to watch for include:

  • Customised Braces: 3D printing technology allows for the creation of bespoke brackets and wires tailored to an individual’s teeth, potentially reducing treatment time and discomfort.
  • Clear Aligners: As an alternative to traditional braces, clear aligners offer a more discreet and comfortable option for straightening teeth.
  • Smart Braces: These cutting-edge devices employ sensors and microprocessors to apply consistent pressure on teeth, potentially shortening treatment time and increasing precision.
    Biocompatible Materials: The use of biocompatible materials in orthodontics can reduce allergic reactions and enhance patient comfort.
  • Accelerated Treatment Techniques: Innovations such as micro-osteoperforation and low-level laser therapy can stimulate bone remodelling, potentially reducing orthodontic treatment time.

By staying informed about these advancements, patients can make more informed decisions about their orthodontic care and work with their orthodontist to select the most suitable treatment options.

Adjustment Period

The adjustment period is a crucial phase for individuals who have recently received dental treatments, such as dental implants or orthodontic devices.

During this time, patients may experience a range of temporary issues that can impact their daily lives. These issues, while generally short-lived, are essential to address to ensure a smooth and successful transition to their new dental reality.

We will discuss the initial discomfort, speech difficulties, and the importance of follow-up appointments.

Initial Discomfort

It is not uncommon for individuals to experience some discomfort following dental procedures.

This discomfort can manifest as soreness or sensitivity around the treatment area. As the body adjusts to the new dental device or procedure, this initial discomfort will gradually subside.

To alleviate the pain, patients are advised to consume soft foods, apply cold compresses, and take over-the-counter painkillers as recommended by their dentist. It is important to remember that this discomfort is temporary and typically subsides within a few days to a couple of weeks.

Speech Difficulties

Patients who have undergone dental treatments, particularly those involving the placement of orthodontic devices or dental prosthetics, may initially experience difficulties with speech.

The pronunciation of certain words or sounds may be temporarily affected as the tongue and oral muscles adapt to the presence of the new dental appliance. To help mitigate these difficulties, individuals are encouraged to practice speaking and enunciating words.

Over time, with consistent practice, speech clarity will improve as the patient becomes accustomed to their new dental situation.

Follow-Up Appointments

Follow-up appointments play a vital role in the adjustment period following dental treatments.

These appointments allow the dentist to assess the progress of the patient, address any concerns, and make necessary adjustments to ensure optimal comfort and functionality. Patients should adhere to the recommended follow-up schedule provided by their dental professional, as timely appointments can help prevent complications and ensure a smoother adjustment period.

Additionally, these appointments serve as an opportunity for patients to ask questions and receive guidance on how to care for their new dental appliances or implants.


Aftercare plays a crucial role in the long-term success of dental treatments and in maintaining optimal oral health. We will discuss the significance of retention, follow-up appointments, and the importance of long-term oral health care.


Retention is the process of maintaining the desired position of teeth after orthodontic treatment.

This phase is essential to ensure that the teeth do not revert to their original position, undoing the time and effort invested in the treatment. Patients are typically provided with retainers, which are customised appliances designed to hold teeth in place.

It is crucial to follow the dentist’s instructions regarding the use and care of retainers to achieve lasting results.

Follow-up Appointments

Regular follow-up appointments are indispensable for monitoring the progress of dental treatments and addressing any potential issues.

These appointments allow the dentist to assess the health of the teeth, gums, and surrounding structures, as well as the effectiveness of the treatment plan. Follow-up appointments also provide an opportunity to adjust treatment strategies if necessary, ensuring the best possible outcome for the patient.

It is vital to attend these appointments as scheduled, as missed visits may result in complications or delays in treatment progress.

Long-term Oral Health

Maintaining long-term oral health is the ultimate goal of dental care.

By adhering to a proper oral hygiene routine, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, patients can prevent dental issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. A healthy diet, rich in vitamins and minerals, can also contribute to the strength and vitality of teeth and gums.

Moreover, it is essential to address any dental concerns as they arise to prevent them from escalating into more severe problems. By taking a proactive approach to oral care and partnering with a trusted dental professional, patients can enjoy the benefits of a healthy, confident smile for years to come.


In this article, we discussed the differences between braces and aligners, their benefits, and factors to consider when choosing the best option for your dental needs.

Now that you have a clearer understanding of braces and aligners, we hope you feel confident in making a decision that suits your needs. Maintaining good oral health is the key to achieving a beautiful smile.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 01935 434440 or visit our contact page to book a consultation.