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Clear Aligners or Braces: Which Are Right for You? Philadelphia, PA
smiling happy girl with a radiant smile

Choosing between clear aligners and traditional braces depends on various factors, including your orthodontic needs, lifestyle, preferences and treatment goals. Both options offer effective ways to straighten teeth and correct bite issues, but they differ in their approach, appearance, cost and maintenance requirements.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners, such as those provided by brands like Invisalign, are transparent, removable trays made from a smooth plastic material. They offer a discreet orthodontic treatment option, appealing to many individuals seeking a less noticeable way to straighten their teeth.

Pros of Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are often called “invisible braces,” even though they are not actually braces, and it is one of the most significant “pros” of this type of orthodontic treatment. Clear aligners are nearly invisible, making them an attractive choice for individuals concerned about the appearance of traditional metal braces. Some other pros of clear aligners include:

  • Removability: Aligners are removable, allowing for easier oral hygiene maintenance. You can take them out to eat, brush, and floss, reducing the risk of food getting trapped around orthodontic appliances.
  • Comfort: Aligners are generally more comfortable than braces, as they lack metal wires or brackets that might cause irritation or discomfort to the gums or cheeks.
  • Predictable Treatment: The treatment plan with clear aligners often includes a digital preview of the teeth movement throughout the process, offering a clearer vision of the expected outcome.

Cons of Clear Aligners

Even though clear aligners have many benefits, there are some considerations that may impact whether they are right for some patients. Some of the cons of clear aligners include:

  • Compliance: For effective results, aligners need to be worn for 20-22 hours per day and changed every 1-2 weeks as directed by the orthodontist. Compliance with wearing them consistently is crucial for successful treatment.
  • Treatment Limitations: Complex orthodontic issues or cases requiring extensive tooth movement may be better addressed with traditional braces rather than clear aligners.
  • Cost: Clear aligner treatment can be more expensive compared to traditional braces, depending on the severity and length of treatment.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces consist of metal or ceramic brackets bonded to the teeth, connected by wires and elastic bands. They offer a reliable and versatile method to correct various orthodontic problems.

Pros of Traditional Braces

Braces, both traditional metal and newer options like clear or ceramic, have been used for decades to straighten smiles. Some of the pros of using braces for orthodontic treatment include:

  • Effective for Complex Cases: Braces are highly effective for treating severe misalignments, complex bite issues, and cases requiring significant tooth movement.
  • No Compliance Concerns: Once braces are placed, there’s no requirement for the patient to remove or change them, ensuring continuous treatment progress.
  • Cost: Traditional braces tend to be more cost-effective than clear aligners for certain orthodontic needs.

Cons of Traditional Braces

Braces do require some concessions and more maintenance than aligners. Patients need to avoid certain foods and may need more appointments to monitor and adjust the braces. Some other cons of braces include:

  • Appearance: Their conspicuous appearance may be a concern for individuals seeking a more discreet orthodontic option.
  • Oral Hygiene Maintenance: Proper oral hygiene can be challenging due to the presence of brackets and wires, requiring additional care to prevent plaque buildup and potential dental issues.
  • Discomfort: Braces may cause discomfort or irritation to the oral tissues initially, especially after adjustments.

Ultimately, the decision between clear aligners and traditional braces depends on individual preferences, the complexity of the orthodontic issue, lifestyle factors and the guidance of an orthodontist. Consulting with one of our orthodontists at Broad Street Braces will help determine the most suitable treatment option that aligns with your needs and goals for achieving a straighter, healthier smile. To schedule your orthodontic consultation, call our office in Philly to book your appointment.

Posted on behalf of Broad Street Braces

1819 S Broad St
Philadelphia, PA , 19148

Phone: (215) 234-3030


Mon – 8am to 5pm
Tue – 8am to 5pm
Wed – 8am to 5pm
Thu – 8am to 5pm
Fri – 8am to 1pm

Our Patient Reviews

Broad Street Braces

5.0 / 5.0

Based on 387 reviews

Felicia W

Excellent staff, excellent service with trusty expertise. It was overall a great experience for my son and myself. We are highly satisfied with all the services performed today.

Alisa O

I am pleased with this Orthodontist location because they are very prompt with appointments. It's never a long wait. The staff is kind and willing to fix misunderstandings quickly. They actually play relaxing music in the office. My favorite staff member is Trinh because she answers questions gracefully. Trinh always greets me with a smile. Glad I chose this dental office.

Phuong H

Really nice office. Very clean and modern. Everyone is friendly, especially Trinh. She is great. Love taking my son here.

Refie H

The staff is really friendly, very satisfied with the service. The place is cozy, and also clean, seriously I recommend it to anyone who wanted to have the braces on

Kevin A

My mom received THE BEST service here. Consultations & visits were a breeze & the staff was always so kind. Their bilingual employee, Sara, was very helpful because my mom only speaks Spanish.

Hung C

This is my son’s first time here. This Office is very nice and very professional. Great service. Mrs. Trinh did an excellent job helping us translate Vietnamese. She is really nice and did a great job! Thank you so much!

Angela D

Great experience!! welcoming and good at what they do. Ask for amanda- she's the best!

Thang N

Many friends told me that Trinh always does a great job and I am very lucky today to have her put my braces on! They look great. I am looking forward to coming back for my second appoinment. The treatment coordinator, Rachel is very friendly and welcoming. She is awesome. I would recommend anyone who is interested in braces to come to Broad Street Braces. You would love Dr. Neil!