Clear Aligners vs. Metal Braces

Clear Aligners vs. Metal Braces

Natural Teeth Whitening Dentist Grand Rapids MI

Aren't sure if you should choose clear aligners or metal braces? Our cosmetic dentist in Grand Rapids, MI, would be more than happy to help you weigh your options. Through orthodontic treatment, we can improve the health, function, and appearance of your smile so you can go through life with confidence.

In the meantime, here are the major differences between clear dental aligners and metal braces. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office.


Do you think you'd feel self-conscious with traditional metal braces? If so, it may be a good idea to ask Dr. Nichols if you're a candidate for clear orthodontic aligners. Since aligners are made out of a clear comfortable plastic that fits snugly over your teeth, most people won't even realize you're wearing them unless they're standing close.

Metal braces have a distinctive appearance. However, that doesn't mean you can't have fun choosing the colored elastic ties that go around your brackets. Many of our patients like to choose colors to celebrate holidays or support their favorite sports teams. We offer a whole rainbow of elastic ties to choose from!

Learn More: Am I Too Old for Adult Braces? ?


Both clear dental aligners and metal braces perform the same function. They're responsible for exerting gentle pressure on your teeth so that they move into optimal alignment over time. Whether Dr. Nichols recommends aligners or metal braces will depend on your personal preference and the complexity of your case. For example, you may be better suited for metal braces if we need to correct a complex bite relationship between your jaws.

Oral Hygiene

It's much easier to maintain good oral hygiene while wearing invisible aligners for teeth. This is because the aligners are removable, which means you'll be able to brush and floss your teeth like you would normally. Be sure that you always brush your teeth after eating to avoid staining your clear aligners!

Metal braces require extra care during orthodontic treatment to avoid plaque buildup around your brackets. For this reason, please don't hesitate to ask our staff for oral hygiene advice during your next appointment. One example of adapting your oral hygiene routine for metal braces would be to use a floss threader to guide the floss between each individual bracket in your smile.


Clear dental aligners are removable, which means you'll be able to enjoy an unrestricted diet during orthodontic treatment. However, you will need to remember to brush your teeth after every meal or snack to avoid staining your clear aligners. If you have any questions about how to care for your clear aligners, please don't hesitate to ask during your next appointment.

With metal braces, you'll need to be more mindful of the foods you eat. This means avoiding foods that are sticky and/or hard to chew. Otherwise, you risk damaging your metal wires and brackets.

Request an Appointment with Us

Dr. Michael Nichols is a cosmetic dentist in Grand Rapids, MI, who's accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, please call Nichols Family Dentistry at (616) 333-8496. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon.

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