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While traditional metal braces effectively align teeth, they are not for everyone. People don’t realize the many benefits of clear aligners. There are several common drawbacks to traditional metal braces that make people eager for alternatives:

  • Appearance – While some people don’t mind the appearance of metal braces, many people become self-conscious with the sudden and noticeable change in their smile.  
  • Dealing with eating restrictions – Those with braces can eat most foods, but some are more or less forbidden while having braces. These include sticky foods like taffy and candies and harder candies and foods in general. Eating harder or sticky foods can cause brackets to come off.
  • Cleaning is more difficult – Routines like flossing and brushing typically take longer to do correctly. For some patients, this just means more lost time, but others tend to neglect difficult cleaning routines and put their teeth and gums at risk for cavities and decay as a result. 
  • Discomfort – Metal braces rub up against your inner gums and take time to get used to. They can also cut the inside of your mouth if you are hit and cause other injuries and abrasions. 


Clear Aligners Instead of Traditional Braces

A clear aligner is a piece of clear plastic fitted to your teeth exactly. Unlike traditional braces, which are permanently attached to the surfaces of teeth, clear aligners can be taken off at any time, like to eat, drink, or brush your teeth. They work by making subtle changes to your teeth over time. Each aligner is shaped a little differently to your teeth on a plan that goes from the current state of your teeth to the final state. The aligner you wear changes every couple of weeks, producing a slow and steady change in your teeth until they reach the final state. 

Benefits of Clear Aligners

Many of the most significant advantages of clear aligners are that they negate traditional braces’ disadvantages. 

  • Clear aligners can be worn for a shorter period of time and start producing results immediately as they begin working with each successive aligner mold. Some end-to-end treatments can be completed as quickly as 6-12 months.
  • Aligners are comfortable to wear and can be taken off when needed for eating, drinking, and cleaning teeth. So long as you are good about wearing them most of the time, you will have no issue seeing the results you want. 
  • Fewer appointments are required for clear aligners. All you have to do is wear your aligners as each one comes in and come to checkups every couple of months to monitor the progress. 
  • You do not face any dietary restrictions with clear braces. The only thing you need to make sure you do is to clean your teeth before putting the clear aligners back on. 
  • Clear aligners cannot be seen and allow you to keep your smile while you improve it. 
  • Without the excessive hardware of traditional braces in your mouth, you won’t have to worry about sore or cut inner cheeks. 

Can Anyone get Clear Aligners Instead of Braces?

Unfortunately, aligners cannot address every orthodontic issue. Some issues like severe overcrowding, underbites, and overbites require more comprehensive treatment to be effective. However, there is nothing wrong with exploring aligners to see if you are a candidate, especially if you are eager to avoid some of the drawbacks of traditional braces. 


If you are looking for clear aligners in Bluffton, SC, come to Bluffton Orthodontics. We can talk with you and perform an examination to help you know whether or not you are a good candidate for aligners. We have seen every kind of situation and know when clear aligners can be successful. Reach out to us and schedule an appointment to learn more about the many benefits of clear aligners.