Clear Ceramic Braces vs. Clear Aligners: The Essential Guide

How often do you smile with your teeth?

57% of Americans cover their mouths when they smile or laugh because they are insecure about their teeth. No one should have to feel ashamed of expressing happiness. With the right approach, you can smile and laugh to your heart’s content.

The market offers plenty of teeth-straightening options for everyone’s preferences and lifestyles. If you’re looking for a more discreet solution, you may have encountered clear ceramic braces or aligners. Both treatments can help you achieve a healthy, glowing smile.

However, each has its pros and cons, so which is right for you? This guide covers everything you need to know about clear braces and aligners. Read on to find out more!

What Are Clear Ceramic Braces?

Braces are the most traditional method to straighten teeth. An orthodontist will attach brackets to your teeth and fasten them with a metal wire. Over time, the braces will nudge and pull your teeth to correct any irregularities in your smile.

Clear ceramic braces work the same as traditional metal braces. The only difference is that the orthodontist will use ceramic brackets. In addition, the metal wires are tooth-colored, so they blend in with your natural teeth.

What Are Clear Aligners?

Aligners are custom plastic molds made to fit your teeth. This treatment works with gentle pressure to help reposition your teeth. You may have heard of Invisalign, which is the most popular brand of clear aligners today.

You will get a new set of aligners every few weeks to help push your teeth into their desired position. Unlike braces, which stay on your teeth for a few years, you can take off your aligners for brief periods.

You can take your aligners off to brush, eat, or drink. Most adults appreciate clear aligners because they are the most discreet treatment option. You may experience some sensitivity or discomfort at first, but you will adjust in a few days.

What Problems Do You Want to Fix?

If you want to fix crowding, overbite, gaps, or crooked teeth, both treatments are great options. However, some dental problems do not work with clear aligners. Some patients need to have their teeth raised or rotated, which requires the help of traditional braces.

In some cases, molars will have grown parallel to the bottom of the mouth and will need to be pulled upright. Aligners may also not work if you have had other dental work, like bridges.

The best way to determine which is right for you is to consult an orthodontist. They will have an x-ray of your mouth and point you in the best direction to achieve your smile goals.


Aligners are available for both teenagers and adults. However, this treatment option is not accessible to kids. This is because aligners work best when you have a set of permanent teeth.

Kids have a lot of growing up to do, and so do their teeth! Braces may be the better option as they are much more flexible than aligners. Orthodontists take growing molars into account when creating plans for braces.

We also don’t recommend waiting to start your kids on aligners, as braces can correct dental issues before they worsen. Your kid may also not have to endure braces as long as you identify and correct the problems sooner.

Braces are the most flexible treatment option in regard to age, as they are perfect for kids, teens, and adults.


Time is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a dental treatment plan. When getting braces, you will have two long appointments. One is for putting the brackets on, also known as bonding, and the second is for taking them off.

You will also need to visit your dentist at least once a month for cleaning and adjustments. This may vary depending on your orthodontist’s treatment plan. You also want to consider that breaking brackets or loose wires will require extra trips.

Aligners get delivered straight to the patient every ten to fourteen days. You also don’t have to worry about emergency dentist trips due to loose brackets or wires.


31% of Americans do not brush their teeth twice a day. If you have this habit, can you take responsibility for aligners? Taking accountability is generally easier with braces.

You need only practice good oral hygiene and avoid foods that can snap your brackets off. As long as you keep your teeth clean, you won’t have any problems with your treatment plan. Clear aligners tend to weigh a heavier burden on patients.

Some may take their aligners off to eat and forget to put them back on the rest of the day. The general rule of thumb is to keep your aligners on at least 22 hours a day. If you can’t handle that responsibility, you may be better off with braces.


Aligners are often more expensive than clear ceramic braces. Clear braces cost anywhere between $2,000 to $8,500, while clear aligners can range between $3,000 to $8,000. You may have insurance to help pay the premiums, but not everyone does.

The problem with aligners is that you can lose them. Many patients have aligners fall out of their bags and pockets. If this happens, you will need to pay more for a replacement set.

Oral Hygiene

One of the biggest struggles for people with braces is brushing their teeth. Because of the brackets and wires, it can be difficult to get into those nooks and crannies. If you don’t clean your teeth thoroughly, you risk exposing yourself to more dental problems, like gingivitis.

You will need to get specialized brushes, also known as interdental brushes. This can make it a pain to brush your teeth with braces on. Ceramic braces are also more fragile than metal ones, so you risk breaking a bracket.

Oral hygiene is much easier with aligners. All you have to do is take them off and brush your teeth as normal.

Enhance Your Smile With Gleason Orthodontics

Everyone deserves a smile they can be proud of! Clear ceramic braces and aligners offer discreet solutions for people who want to improve their teeth.

Do you need an expert’s opinion in NY? Gleason Orthodontics is committed to helping people achieve beautiful, healthy, and radiant smiles. Contact us today, and let’s start your journey to a winning smile.