Aligners vs Braces

Aligners vs Braces

When it comes to orthodontics and achieving a glorious smile, the two most commonly thought of options are braces and aligners. However, many patients (or their parents) ponder the most suitable option. 

So whether you're an adult looking into how to straighten teeth without braces or the parent of a teenager wondering if you can trust them with an investment set to cost thousands of dollars - this one's for you.

In the case of Aligners vs. Braces, let's first look at what each is before we judge and compare the two.

Braces are made from porcelain or metal and are attached to your teeth and threaded together using metal wires. Depending on the severity of the case, rubber bands may be used to provide a force to help the teeth move into alignment.

Aligners are made from plastic or similar materials, such as Zendura FLX and are custom-made to suit your teeth. They are typically changed every 14 days, allowing small, safe and conservative movements to be made, giving your body time to adapt to the remodelling of the bone.

Treatment Duration and Process

Be honest, is the duration your number one deciding factor for future orthodontic treatment? Us too, friend! What kind of mentally stable person would enjoy sporting any form of facial accessories that draw the attention of strangers at every social setting you attend? But beauty is pain, money and a couple of months to years of treatment. So, here's the info you need to help make your decision.

Several factors impact a treatment duration. Some include the severity of an underbite or overbite and crowded or spaced teeth. But we can give you an idea:

Braces: According to a medically reviewed article on, "The average amount of time for braces is between 1 and 3 years." So you know we're not making this stuff up—MEDICALLY REVIEWED. 1 - 3 YEARS OF YOUR LIFE! 

Anywho… braces work when the orthodontist attaches metal brackets to your teeth and uses metal wire to thread them together. Once on, you will be required to visit the orthodontist in person every few weeks, and they will tighten these wires to align your teeth slowly.

Aligners: According to the expert team at Bitesoft Co (we're not biased at all, LOL), clear aligner results vary between 4-12 months. Again, these estimated times depend on the severity of your alignment and, in the case of aligners, whether or not you are disciplined enough to stick to your treatment plan. Unlike braces, most aligner treatments are self-managed, and you can remove them for things like eating and brushing your teeth. 

Aligners must be worn for 22 hours daily to allow your teeth ample time to adjust to the movements without returning crooked teeth to their previous position. If you forget to put them back in before sleep or you're just lazy, you may need to wear your aligners for additional time.

Effectiveness in Straightening Teeth

Obviously, aligners and braces are both effective at straightening teeth. However, there are some limitations, so let's chat about them.

Braces: The fantastic thing about braces is that they are applicable to all cases. Underbite, overbite, spaced teeth or a crowded mouth - braces can treat them all. 

Aligners: Now you know that we are massive advocates of clear aligners, but we also want you to be well-informed about their limitations. Aligners can treat MOST cases, but unfortunately, not all of them. Aligners aren't often used to treat underbites or highly complex cases.

Level of Comfort and Convenience

Is either option convenient? The honest answer is no. Any form of orthodontic treatment isn't going to be a stroll in the park. But we make the hard choices to reap the incredible rewards. Which, in this case, is a Hollywood-worthy smile that'll have people turning their heads. It could even make you insta-famous. Just check out our feed to see why! (*winks at the not-so-subtle social media plug).

Braces: Braces are most often made out of metal and metal wires. We all know what metal feels like, right? Now run your tongue across your top teeth (you’re doing it, aren’t you?). Smooth right? Now imagine they're covered in metal attachments, and you tell me whether you think they're comfortable. Ummm, no. 

In all seriousness, braces are likely to cause discomfort as they rub on the lips and cheeks. There's also the fact that you will have another person inside your mouth every few weeks making adjustments, which is less than convenient, in our humble opinion.

Aligners: Now, we're not saying aligners offer zero discomfort, but in comparison to traditional braces, it's very minimal. After the initial few days of a new set of aligners, the discomfort lessens; you usually won't notice them until your next set of aligners. 

Unlike the braces treatment, aligners are mostly self-managed. Depending on who you've sought to complete your treatment, you're often provided with all of your aligners at once and are remotely monitored using some very clever tech like the Scanbox used by Bitesoft Co. (Check it out here). Meaning, you don't have to leave your house or talk to anyone. INTROVERTS REJOICE!. You simply submit your progress through the app, and your orthodontist will contact you if they have any recommendations. 

Appearance and Aesthetics

As obvious aligner enthusiasts, this topic is probably the most exciting for us. Could we compare the two treatments to Casper the Ghost and the Hulk? Possibly. Are we going to? You'll have to keep reading to find out.

Braces: You know how embarrassing it is when you have something stuck in your teeth while in a social setting, and someone has to awkwardly let you know? Now imagine 1-3 years of precisely this. Everyone recognises that braces are not the epitome of a desirable aesthetic; however, the fact that you're constantly picking food out of your teeth and praying that no one notices will also take a toll on your confidence. 

Your brushing regime will also increase to ensure your hygiene doesn't suffer along with your confidence. You'll brush after every meal and get very well acquainted with mouthwash to keep your breath minty fresh. Cleaning around braces is the most challenging part of this treatment type. If your cleaning routine isn't up to par, you can cause serious damage to your teeth, leading to a decision from your orthodontist to remove the braces before treatment completion and making them a complete waste of time.

Aligners: VIRTUALLY INVISIBLE—need we say more? We don't think so, but we will for your sake.

Aligners are clear and custom-made to fit your teeth, so in most cases, they are undetectable, and people are none the wiser that you're undergoing treatment. This makes them highly desirable for folks who aren't into sporting a metal mouth for years or even celebrities who'd prefer to keep their treatment on the DL (Justin Beiber and Katy Perry are among celebrities who have benefited from an aligner treatment). 

Regarding oral hygiene, aligners are completely removable, allowing you to brush and floss normally.

Aligners Vs Braces Cost Comparison

When it comes to the aligners vs braces cost comparison, this is highly dependent on the severity of each case and the treatment duration, how often you'll need to visit the orthodontist, blah blah blah—lots of things to consider. So take our comparison with a grain of salt and don't hold it against us if you find a lower or higher price by doing your own research - we haven't seen what's in your mouth, so until that time, we won't be able to give you an exact dollar amount. 

Braces: Based on our research and a quick Google search on 'how much do braces cost?' You're looking at somewhere between $4,500 and $8,000. And that's based on traditional metal braces. If you're looking into ceramic or lingual braces, the cost can be up to a whopping $15,000. 

Aligners: The average cost of a clear aligner treatment ranges between $2,900 and $4,000. As we mentioned, these prices are case-by-case dependent, along with who you choose as your provider. 

Maintenance and Adjustments

Ooo another juicy subject in the aligners vs braces comparison. 

Do you know how people generally don't enjoy leaving their house unless they physically have to? The case for aligners is about to win you over - BIG TIME.

Braces: Braces require manual adjustments administered by your orthodontist every few weeks, meaning you'll need to make time in your busy (or not-so-busy) schedule to make the trip. You'll be required to sit awkwardly in a waiting room and then pretend to be cool with someone fiddling about in your mouth, only to be left with teeth discomfort that'll have you on a soft food diet for the next few days.

Aligners: Aligners require much less effort, allowing you to maintain your treatment mostly from home. In most cases, you'll be sent all of your aligners upfront, so you'll have everything you need to complete your treatment remotely (exclusions may apply in some cases). 

We can't speak for other clear aligner providers but Bitesoft Co offers innovative technology that allows you to track your progress from home. Your progress is monitored through the use of a Scanbox and submitted through an app that is reviewed by Bitesoft professionals, who will offer recommendations on when to change your aligner to the next set. 

Expert Opinions and Patient Reviews

According to the experts (we're talking about us—durr), if an aligner treatment is an option for you, in our most professional opinion, it is 100 million billion percent the treatment you should pursue.

You don't need to just take our word for it, though. Let us enlighten you with some of our most recent reviews from patients who have undergone a Bitesoft Co treatment:

"This was the best option for me straightening my teeth as I was travelling overseas and wasn't able to attend dentist appointments in person and all scans were done on the bite soft app. My teeth feel a lot better and it was great during pregnancy as I could take them in and out during my first trimester (morning sickness and vomiting). I was able to complete my straightening at my own pace as I am a busy mum of two under 3! I would recommend this company as they were great to deal with and not as expensive as permanent braces. Easy and convenient ✌🏼"

"I have recently completed my Bitesoft Co journey and I am so happy with my results. The whole process was easy from start to finish, and customer service was always really helpful if I needed it. I loved being able to do everything from home, it made the whole process even easier. I am so glad I chose to invest in Bitesoft and would recommend them to anyone wanting to improve their smile!"

"Right at the end of my treatment and I couldn't be happier, we have never been able to afford braces. Even as a child I wanted my gap closed and now I was able to do it and it be super affordable! I'm very stoked and over the moon. The staff at Bitesoft co have been great and easy. The whole process has been great, and i couldn't be happier. Thanks, guys."

You get it right? Our team knows their stuff. 

If you want to keep reading, visit our Reviews page here.

There is no right or wrong answer when considering your options regarding your orthodontic treatment. Both treatments offer the same result: a dazzling smile you'll be proud to show off. However, knowing what you're in for daily and how your treatment will impact your lifestyle is so important. So, make your pros and cons list, and if all else fails, reach out to us here. Our team can answer any questions and advise which treatment suits you best. Even better, we have activated Live Chat on our website. So, if you’ve been looking into how to straighten teeth without braces, you don't have to wait to get started!

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