At a biological level, the rate of tooth movement is the same regardless of whether braces or clear aligners are used. When looking at whether braces or aligners will be faster, it often comes down to the type of malocclusion (the way the top and bottom teeth align), as well as lifestyle factors.
Clear aligners are not as visible and are removable, which may make toothbrushing, playing an instrument and eating easier. However, the greatest benefit of clear aligners for orthodontic treatment is also their greatest downfall. If aligners are not worn for ideally 22 hours per day the tooth movement is less predictable and the final result may not look as good as it could have. As Orthodontist Dr Trudy always says, aligners do not work well in your pocket! Braces are fixed onto your teeth and are worn 24 hours per day. Toothbrushing around the brackets does take longer (at least 4-5 minutes) and you will need to change your diet by cutting up foods very small and avoiding some foods like ice, nuts and sticky lollies all together. If you are breaking your brackets or wires, the braces will take longer.
The type of malocclusion (how crooked your teeth are and the distance your teeth overlap) also impacts upon whether braces or aligners would be faster for you. Dr Trudy will assess your teeth and discuss with you whether braces or aligners would be quicker for you.
Regardless of which method you chose, following your orthodontist’s recommendations, especially for how and when to wear your elastics, and attending your appointments are important in ensuring your treatment runs smoothly and predictably.