Aligners vs Braces for Adults

Sep 22, 2022 | Adults, Aligners

As busy summer activities and vacations wind down, Fall is an excellent time to start your “Smile Better” journey with orthodontic treatment here at True North.

Whether you are considering this because your teeth have moved over the years since you first had braces or this is your first experience with orthodontics, we have options to best suit your needs and goals.

The first step is setting a complimentary initial consultation with Dr. Hammer so that she can diagnose your orthodontic issues and create your treatment plan, determining if braces or clear aligners will be the best fit for your treatment. Oftentimes, both clear aligners and braces can be a viable option depending on what you feel may be best for your lifestyle.

Braces and aligners both work by applying gentle and consistent pressure to your teeth so they move into alignment. However, choosing braces or aligners comes down to each individual and their unique smile.



Braces are a more traditional option for moving teeth. Here at True North, Dr. Hammer uses LightForce technology to design 3D printed custom clear braces to fit your unique teeth. This ability to customize each bracket helps reduce discomfort and increase tooth movement accuracy, thereby decreasing total orthodontic treatment time. Dr. Hammer believes in investing in technology to provide her patients with the best orthodontic treatment result possible while also reducing orthodontic treatment time.

Clear aligners are a great treatment option for adults, teens and sometimes even for children benefiting from a Phase I early orthodontic treatment. Less conspicuous than metal braces and brackets, clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that slip over a patient’s teeth. These clear aligner trays safely and comfortably move teeth to the desired position, so that you can achieve your smile goals in a way that fits your lifestyle. Patients are able to remove their aligners for short periods of time to eat, brush and floss their teeth, and for special occasions. Dr. Hammer typically recommends that patients change their aligners weekly.

Even though aligners are removeable, it is still recommended they be worn at least 22 hours per day. If you are not eating, flossing, or brushing your teeth, you should be wearing your aligners!

What Is Best for You?

  • Work well for almost all alignment concerns
  • Braces are made of metal and therefore are more noticeable
  • Metal and wire can rub the inside of the mouth
  • Braces are “semi-permanent” structures in the mouth
  • Special dental floss should be used when wearing braces
  • Certain foods such as hard candy are not recommended when wearing
  • braces due to the possibility of breakage
  • Braces are not removeable and therefore work all the time
  • Work well for many, but not all alignment concerns
  • Aligners are clear and made from plastic making them less noticeable
  • Clear plastic is smooth and tends to be more comfortable
  • Clear aligners are removeable for normal flossing and brushing
  • Aligners are removeable and therefore require commitment from a patient to wear them as much as possible to ensure they work to aligner the smile

Are you ready to take the next step in achieving your best smile? Contact our office today to reserve your complimentary initial consultation appointment. We can’t wait to meet you

Dr. Christine Hammer

Dr. Christine Hammer


A Duluth native, Dr. Hammer is extremely proud to be able to create beautiful smiles in her hometown community.

She attended Holy Rosary and Marshall School here in Duluth, is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, and completed both her dental school education and orthodontic residency at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. Dr. Hammer has practiced orthodontics in Duluth since graduating residency in 2015. She completed the rigorous process of board certification through the American Board of Orthodontics, holding herself to the highest standard to be able to provide the best results to her patients.

Dr. Hammer lives in Duluth with her husband, Kyle, and their three children – Ben, Stella and Luke (and their furry Goldendoodle child, Murphy). She enjoys long distance running, days at the cabin and downhill skiing. She can’t wait to meet you and help you achieve your best smile at True North Orthodontics!