Which Looks Best - Clear Braces, Clear Aligners or Inside Braces?

Aesthetics & Personal Wellbeing

young woman holding an invisalign aligner

If you aren’t keen on the look of traditional metal braces, you have options for achieving a more inconspicuous look.

Three options are clear braces, clear aligners and inside braces. Unfortunately, it’s not just the appearance of the treatment you need to consider. Here we look at the benefits and limitations of each option.

How Do They Look?

In terms of which one option looks best it comes down to personal preference.

Clear Braces

Made from tooth-coloured porcelain and a white archwire, they do the same job as the traditional metal braces but are much less visible, mainly from a distance. Up close ceramic braces are visible because of the height of the brackets, not their colour.  

Clear Aligners

Known as Invisalign, the plastic trays, are virtually impossible to detect from a distance but can be seen close up. Like a clear mouthguard, the trays are noticeable, but the teeth are easily visible beneath the tray.  

Of the three options, aligners are the only one that can be removed. For close-up photos or an important event, Invisalign patients can take the trays out for a short time if they wish.

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Inside Braces

Lingual braces are worn on the inside of teeth leaving the outside of the teeth clear. Traditional braces worn on the outside of teeth use a standard shaped bracket. The brackets of lingual braces are custom made to the shape of each tooth following a high tech 3D scan of the patient’s mouth.

As observant person standing close to the patient may notice the lingual braces when they talk or smile but many people won’t see them. Lingual braces can’t be detected from a distance or in photos. They are ideal for anyone that needs to wear braces rather than aligners but doesn’t want to be ‘seen’ wearing braces. Adults are often interested in lingual braces because their appearance remains unchanged to most people around them after starting orthodontic treatment.  

Unfortunately, it’s not just the look of the treatment that you need to consider.

Suitability of Orthodontic Treatments

Not everyone has the freedom of choosing which option they prefer the look of the most. Invisalign aren’t suitable for all orthodontic cases. As orthodontists, we often have the difficult task of telling patients that they aren’t good candidates for Invisalign. They aren’t the only ones. Invisalign works well for mild to moderately crowded teeth, but anything more and Invisalign won’t deliver the best results.

You also need to be disciplined to use Invisalign effectively. Patients need to wear the trays for 22-23 hours per day which means they can only be out while you eat, brush and floss your teeth throughout the day. If you don’t think you can commit to wearing them almost all of the day, then you might be better off with a non-removable option. You may never see a final result that you are happy with otherwise.   

Braces have biomechanical benefits that Invisalign don’t have. Brackets and wires can fix rotations, make teeth longer, make roots parallel and close large gaps between teeth. Clear braces have the same abilities as traditional braces without the metal look.  

Budget May Help You Decide

Not all orthodontic options cost the same. While the look of lingual braces appeals to many people, the price tag may not. Due to the technology involved in scanning teeth and making the custom brackets to fit perfectly on to the back of each tooth, it’s not a cheap option. Patients also need to be prepared to attend appointments more often with lingual braces than if they had standard braces or Invisalign which adds to the cost and time commitment. However, some adults are happy to pay the premium to feel less self-conscious about wearing braces for the next 18 months or so.   

If you are conscious about how your teeth will look while you are having orthodontic treatment, there are options for an inconspicuous look. For a no-obligation appointment, call The Orthodontist on (08) 9381 2788 or contact us online.