- Published Date: 10 Mar 2021
- Updated Date: 09 Jul 2021
- Reading Time: 6 min
46% of Australian adults would choose a procedure that improves their teeth over any other facial features. 62% are already considering orthodontic treatments.
Braces are no longer an option exclusively for children. The Australian Orthodontic Society notes that 20-30% of patients are adults.
Teeth straightening is a worthwhile investment that can improve your self-confidence. This is especially true if you find a method that doesn’t distract from your natural beauty.
New technology gives Australians who want a straighter smile plenty of new options. One of the best, fastest-growing methods is clear braces. They provide effective teeth straightening that no one will ever notice.
Two of the most popular types of clear braces are lingual braces and clear aligners.
Lingual braces are similar to the traditional metal option but go in the back of your mouth where they’re more difficult to spot. Clear aligners are placed over the teeth like a retainer and provide simple, discreet straightening.
Weighing the pros and cons of each of these methods is the best way to decide which is best for your needs. Read our lingual braces vs. clear aligners comparison guide to see which one you need.
What Are Clear Aligners?
Aligners are placed directly over the teeth. When you find the right fit, they can be an effective teeth straightening method.
There are several types of aligners available today. They differ in colour, size, and complexity. Choose one that fits you well and allows you to continue your daily life.
A clear aligner looks almost like a typical retainer you’d receive after getting your traditional metal braces removed. They’re easy to use but almost impossible to see.
Clear aligners use clear plastic trays to straighten your teeth gradually. They’re also a useful way to refine any previous orthodontic treatments.
Clear aligners are customizable, adapt to your changing teeth structure, and can be easily put in or removed.
What Are Lingual Braces?
Braces have been around since the days of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs. The earliest options were made of wire and metal.
Traditional braces use the same types of materials as the ancients did. Thanks to medical advances, there are several superior alternatives to choose from on the modern market.
Lingual braces use the same types of metal brackets that traditional metal braces do. They also use brackets and wires to apply pressure and achieve the desired teeth straightening effect.
Lingual braces have several advantages over their traditional counterparts. They’re smaller and go on the back of your teeth near the tongue instead of in the front. This makes them less noticeable.
Lingual Braces vs. Clear Aligners
There’s a wide range of teeth straightening methods on the market today for anyone who wants a superior smile. They all share certain characteristics but differ in the way they’re used.
Lingual braces and clear aligners are both classified as types of clear braces because they’re practically invisible to you and anyone you pass by.
Clear braces have a minimal effect on your daily life. You’d need to shoot the widest smile you ever gave or have someone look directly into the back of your mouth for them to be noticeable.
Lingual braces won’t help patients with deep overbites. Clear aligners are best for patients with little to no teeth spacing issues or crossbites, overbites, or underbites.
Both treatment methods require you to see a professional to determine if they’re the right choice for you.
Both types also take time to work. Lingual braces can take months to years to straighten your teeth. Clear aligners take 4-6 months on average, and you’ll need to use multiple customized sets so they can adapt as your teeth shift.
Knowing the similarities and differences helps you choose which teeth straightening method you need.
Lingual and clear braces are two forms of invisible braces that need customization and time to work. They differ in terms of comfort, cleaning, cost, restrictiveness, upkeep, convenience, and more.
All types of braces cause some level of discomfort because they apply pressure to the teeth to correct any imperfections.
Some types are more painful than others. This is worth keeping in mind because you’ll need to wear braces for several months.
Lingual braces can be more painful than clear aligners. They cause discomfort in the tongue area and other parts of the mouth.
Clear aligners use less pressure than other options and rarely cause discomfort. They can also be removed if they start to hurt.
Another factor that can increase discomfort and create oral issues is plaque or food buildup.
It’s difficult for any patient to reach underneath and behind every part of their lingual braces. You may need an orthodontist to provide professional cleaning if the buildup becomes severe.
The fact that clear aligners are removable makes them much easier to clean. All you need to do is take them out of your mouth and rinse them out with water.
Finding cheap braces is difficult because most types take a great deal of time and skill to apply. Comparing the options can help you save money.
Lingual braces are more expensive than clear aligners. They cost $7,500 for each arch treatment and $12,500 in total.
Clear aligners cost $1,899 for a one-time payment or $150 per month for 12 months.
Braces affect more than your appearance; they can also change your daily lifestyle. There are certain foods and drinks you may not be able to eat because they could damage the material or be too uncomfortable.
Lingual braces need daily care that extends beyond your typical brushing and flossing. This includes watching what you eat and drink. You may be unable to enjoy your favourite meals because of discomfort or damage.
Clear aligners present almost no restrictions on what you can eat or drink while wearing them. You should still avoid soda and acidic foods but can limit their effects by removing your aligners.
Applying and adjusting lingual braces is a complex process that can only be performed by a qualified orthodontist. You’ll need to visit them often, and not all of them will be willing to apply these specialized tools.
Clear aligners need to be customized to your teeth by a professional but are easy to wear at home. You’ll save time and money by limiting the number of trips you need to make to visit the orthodontist.
The only thing patients want more than an invisible teeth straightening method is one that’s easy to use. This is another area where lingual braces and clear aligners differ.
Lingual braces can be worn at home once they’re applied but require significant upkeep. They are impossible to adjust or remove on your own.
Clear aligners are an effective method for teeth straightening at home and are easy to fit into your busy schedule.
The first step is to receive an at-home impression kit. Once you’ve used it, send it back to ensure that the invisible aligners you receive later will fit your teeth.
The next step is to choose a financing plan that suits your budget. You’ll get the aligners sent to your home and receive new sizes as your needs change. Carefully follow any instructions you receive on how to wear them.
Aligners provide the most convenient form of teeth straightening at home because they can be worn at any time. There are NightOnly options for patients with minimal oral issues as well as traditional daytime aligners.
Severely crooked teeth can cause speech issues such as lisps or improper pronunciation. All methods of teeth straightening can help with this issue, but lingual braces can worsen the problem by giving you a minor lisp.
Clear aligners won’t cause additional speech issues. They can be removed at any time, including while you’re talking. They can even improve pre-existing speech problems by straightening your teeth and closing any gaps.
Discomfort from braces usually comes from excessive pressure. Lingual braces cause this problem as often as their traditional metal counterparts.
Clear aligners have no brackets at all. This reduces pressure while also preventing painful root resorption.
Clear aligners can also help you avoid negative habits you may have developed over the years. They’re an effective mouth guard that can keep you from grinding your teeth or biting your nails.
Clear aligners are one of the newest and most convenient teeth straightening methods on the market today. They’re more affordable and comfortable, easier to use and clean, and provide a range of other benefits.
Where to Find the Best Dental Alignment Options
Clear braces are an easy, barely noticeable way to improve your smile. They’re a category that includes lingual braces and clear aligners.
Lingual braces sit at the back of the tongue. This keeps them hidden but increases discomfort, makes them difficult to clean, and requires frequent visits to the orthodontist.
Clear aligners are comfortable, easy to clean, affordable, non-restrictive, easy to use, and require fewer orthodontist visits.
SmilePath will work with you to find the best teeth straightening method to fit your needs. Take a clear braces assessment today to see if you’re a candidate.