Aligners vs. Braces: How Are They Different?

3 min read

While there are obvious and not-so-obvious differences between clear aligners and traditional braces, they do share a common goal: both can perfect your smile by straightening your teeth. But at Motto™, we believe clear aligners offer some advantages that braces clearly don’t:

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hile there are obvious and not-so-obvious differences between clear aligners and traditional braces, they do share a common goal: both can perfect your smile by straightening your teeth. But at Motto™, we believe clear aligners offer some advantages that braces clearly don’t:

Clear aligner treatment typically takes less time to complete.

The average Motto treatment time is less than 6 months*, whereas traditional braces can take anywhere from 18 months on up to 2 years. Just think about how many selfies, date nights and job interviews there can be in that amount of time. 

4 Ways Clear Aligners are Better than Braces

Clear aligners are way more convenient.

Braces require a lot more in-office visits for tightening and adjustments once they’re initially applied (known as bonding). Whereas with clear aligners, you receive a series of aligner trays in advance that keep you progressing through several phases of teeth movement without requiring additional check-ins.

And with Motto, you have the option of choosing virtual Dental Monitoring, which lets you save time by checking in with your care team through your smartphone 24/7.

Clear aligners don’t change your appearance like braces do.

OK, we know you know that clear plastic aligner trays are far less conspicuous than metal and wire. But they’re also less visible than ceramic braces too. So, aligners have a clear aesthetic advantage. And again, the average treatment time for clear aligners is significantly shorter. So, you and your friends will see a lot less of them. 

Oh, and did we mention that Motto treatment plans include whitening gel at no extra charge? Straighter teeth: check. Megawatt smile: check, check and CHECK.

You can remove aligners whenever you need to.

With traditional braces, they’re always in. Always. That means they’re in when you’re eating and a piece of food gets stuck in there. They’re also in when you’re feeling discomfort and you can’t get an appointment for an adjustment with your orthodontist for days. With clear aligners, you can just pop them out.

How clear aligners improve over the inconveniences of braces

You’ll have to be conscious of your diet with braces.

Enjoy movie night popcorn by the fistful without worrying that a husk will get stuck. Gorge on grilled cheese sammies without the gooey bits getting wrapped in wire. With clear aligners, nothing on the menu is off limits. Just remember to floss like a boss (because you can). 

Braces aren’t exactly known for comfort.

While both braces and clear aligners take a little getting used to, traditional braces constantly rely on the tightening of brackets and wires, which can cause soreness and scrape against your tongue and cheeks. Motto clear aligners, on the other hand, are laser-trimmed and precision-crafted for a flawless fit.  Every little contour feels like it’s been custom-designed just for you — because it has.

Braces cost more than clear aligners

Since braces require several appointments—including the one in which the braces are cemented onto your teeth, the regular adjustments and the removal— they can get pricey quickly.

Motto clear aligners leverage Aspen Dental's extensive network of dental experts to offer you three flexible payment plans and the ability to use your dental insurance, HSA, or FSA to help cover the cost.

Appointments for braces are the worst.

Braces require a lot more in-office visits for tightening and adjustments once they’re initially applied (known as bonding). Whereas with clear aligners, you receive a series of aligner trays in advance that keep you progressing through several phases of teeth movement without requiring additional check-ins.

And with Motto, you have the option of choosing virtual Dental Monitoring, which lets you save time by checking in with your care team through your smartphone 24/7.

Aligners mean better daily oral hygiene.

One of the big advantages of Motto is that you can still brush every tooth and gum surface and floss between every tooth. Braces make thorough flossing nearly impossible. And brushing every morsel or stain away becomes a lot harder. Over time, this can lead to tooth discoloration, bad breath, plaque buildup and cavities.

“Are aligners better than braces?”


That’s a discussion for you and your Aspen Dental dentist. In some extreme cases, braces may still be the best option. But thanks to Motto’s advanced technology, we can treat all kinds of bite issues including cross bites, overbites and underbites. And we think the advantages that clear aligners provide are something everyone can sink their teeth into.

Disclaimer: 
*Average patient treatment plan lasts 5.4 months. Results may vary.

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