Why Clear Orthodontic Aligners Might Be a Better Option Than Traditional Braces

Jul 07, 2023

Why Clear Orthodontic Aligners Might Be a Better Option Than Traditional Braces

If you need orthodontic work, today you have many options. Keep reading to learn when and why clear aligners might be a better option than traditional braces.

It used to be that if you needed orthodontic work, you’d have to get a set of metal wires and brackets that hurt, made brushing and flossing difficult, and prevented you from eating everything you liked. However, since 1998, when the FDA approved the revolutionary Invisalign® system, teeth straightening has headed in a new direction.

At Eric Klein DDS & Associates, Dr. Klein and his team offer not just one, but three different clear aligner systems: Invisalign®, OrthoFX™, and ClearCorrect™, all designed to treat mild-to-moderate tooth misalignments without the metal and in about half the time. Here’s why the aligners might be a better option for you than traditional braces.

First up: Invisalign

Invisalign uses a series of clear, custom-molded trays made of strong and flexible SmartTrack® thermoplastic. You can remove them easily when you need to: when you eat and drink, when you brush and floss, and when you clean the aligners themselves.

We start with creating a digital scan of your entire mouth, then upload the information to the Invisalign software. We send the file to the lab, which manufactures the aligners and sends them back to us.

At your next appointment, we ensure the first set of trays fits perfectly, including smoothing any edges that might irritate your gums. We also place tooth-colored attachments on the back of the teeth to help the aligners do their work. We remove them once treatment is complete.

Every 1-2 weeks, we swap out your current trays for the next ones in the series. They apply just a little more pressure, ensuring your teeth keep moving in the right direction. To get the full benefit of the treatment, you need to wear the trays about 22 hours a day, taking them out only to eat and clean. However, your total treatment time averages 9-15 months, about half that for traditional braces, which generally require 18-24 months.

Other systems

Dr. Klein also offers two other orthodontic aligner systems. Clear Aligners from OrthoFX are made from the next generation of clear aligner polymers. They cause minimal pain, stain less than other aligner systems, offer fast treatment outcomes like Invisalign, and they also come with integrated whitening technology so they brighten your teeth, too.

The technology delivers optimal forces with 40% less pressure on the teeth than other brands. And, built-in remote monitoring leads to 40% fewer dental visits.

Clear Connect, also known as Spark™ aligners, are made with TruGEN™, the latest, clearest innovation in aligner material. The trays are nearly invisible when you wear them and stain less than Invisalign. They’re also BPA, mercury, latex, and phthalate-free!

Conditions that respond well to clear aligners

Clear aligners treat most mild to moderate orthodontic problems that traditional metal braces do, but the following problems respond particularly well.

Crowded teeth

Overcrowding is not only common, but it’s also one of the main reasons adults get orthodontic work. Crowding causes the teeth to rotate, overlap, grow into an incorrect position, or even become trapped in the bone. It’s particularly common when the dental arch is too small to hold the permanent teeth, or when adult teeth are larger than normal.


Crowded and crooked teeth lead to difficulties chewing, and they can make effective brushing and flossing tough to accomplish. As a result, the buildup of bacteria and plaque leads to gum disease and tooth decay.


With a normal bite, your upper front teeth rest just over your lower front teeth. However, when the overlap exceeds what’s healthy for your jaw, it’s termed an overbite, also called a “deep bite.” Common complications include tooth erosion, biting into the lower gum, and jaw pain.


With an underbite, your lower jaw juts forward so your bottom front teeth rest in front of your top front teeth. A severe underbite can cause problems with proper chewing and clear speaking, and can lead to excessive wear on the affected teeth.

Are clear aligners as effective as braces?

Though just as effective with mild to moderate issues, clear aligners can’t correct every orthodontic problem. Traditional braces may be necessary for more severe problems, including:

  • Tooth shape: Short, round, or pegged teeth prevent aligners from gripping well.
  • Tooth position: If teeth are rotated more than 20 degrees from normal, aligners can’t shift them into proper alignment.
  • Large gaps between teeth: Aligners can only close a gap 6mm or less in both upper and lower teeth.
  • Intrusion and extrusion: Aligners are limited in moving the front and back teeth, and they can’t raise and lower the teeth’s position.
  • Prior dental work: Bridges or other appliances can’t support aligners.

Looking for orthodontia that’s quick and effective? Aligners are the clear choice. To learn if they’re right for you, and to schedule a consultation at our office in Norwalk, Connecticut, call Eric Klein DDS & Associates at 203-849-8633, or book online with us today.