4 Questions to help you decide if you qualify for clear aligners


If you're looking for ways to straighten your smile, chances are you're trying to decide between clear aligners and braces. Clear aligners are a more modern alternative to braces. More and more people are choosing clear aligners to straighten their smiles. This is because clear aligners are comfortable, removable, and nearly invisible in your mouth. You can remove your aligners to eat, drink, and clean your teeth. In contrast, braces hurt more, they cause more bruising, and they can never be removed from your teeth. Before you get too excited about clear aligners, you need to make sure that you're a good candidate for wearing them. Take the following quiz to see how likely you are to qualify for clear aligners:

Online clear aligner assessment quiz:


What you need to know before starting clear aligner therapy:

Complete the quiz above to get an idea of how likely you are to qualify for clear aligner treatment over braces. The quiz yields a percentage that will show you how likely you are to qualify for clear aligners:

  • A high score means that you're likely to be a good candidate for clear aligners
  • A low score means you need to go with braces instead of clear aligners

The quiz above is for entertainment purposes only. It is not indicated to replace medical advice. You must consult with your dentist or orthodontist to see how you can straighten your smile. With that in mind, let's take a closer look to better understand what are the qualifications for clear aligner therapy:

Questions 1 - Your orthodontic condition

Your underlying orthodontic condition is the most important question when deciding whether or not you qualify for clear aligner treatment. Certain orthodontic conditions are easily fixed with clear aligners. Others can only be fixed using braces. Let's discuss these different orthodontic conditions to see which ones are candidates for clear aligners and which ones aren't:

An example of different orthodontic conditions: Some are good candidates for clear aligner therapy while others generally require braces.

Gap teeth (spacing) - Gap teeth refers to when you have spaces in between your teeth. Clear aligners are perfect for closing gap teeth. You can close almost all gap teeth with relative ease using clear aligners. Better yet, most gap teeth cases can be fixed in just a few easy months using clear aligners. Note that there's a good chance that you will require a bite calibration at the end of your gap teeth treatment. To learn more about closing gap teeth with clear aligners click here.

Teeth crowding (crooked teeth)- If all you need is to straighten a couple of front teeth then you're very likely to qualify for clear aligner treatment. Teeth crowding, in the absence of other serious orthodontic conditions, is usually a perfect candidate for clear aligner therapy. To learn more about fixing your crowded teeth using clear aligners click here.

Overbite - An overbite is when your upper front teeth are positioned too far out in front of the lower ones. Having an overbite gives you a bucktooth appearance. It also increases your chances of breaking your front teeth during an accident. Clear aligners can fix most mild-to-moderate overbite conditions. Tiny overbites can be fixed using at-home clear aligners. More advanced overbites typically require dentist-directed clear aligners, like Invisalign®, to create additional spacing for tooth movement. To learn more about how you can fix overbites using clear aligners click here.

Open bite - Open bite is when you close your mouth but there's a gap between your front teeth in the horizontal space. Ideally, your front teeth are supposed to overlap the lower ones and there shouldn't be a gap. Some open bite cases qualify for clear aligner treatment, but not all do. We recommended you only fix open bites using dentist-delivered clear aligner programs like Invisalign® or ClearCorrect™.  Periodic dentist supervision is required to make sure that everything goes as planned. Advanced open bite conditions usually don;t qualify for clear aligners and they require braces instead. To learn more about how you can fix open bites using clear aligners click here.

Underbite - An underbite is whenever your lower front teeth stick out in front of your upper teeth. Underbite is typically the result of an oversized lower jaw. Unfortunately, fixing underbites is very difficult and these cases don't generally qualify for clear aligner treatment. Most underbites require braces, oftentimes in conjunction with tooth extraction, headgear, or even jaw surgery! To learn more about how you can fix your underbite condition click here.

Crossbite - A crossbite occurs whenever your top back teeth sit on the outside of the lower back teeth. This is the exact opposite of how your back teeth are supposed to sit. Clear aligners are not very effective at correcting crossbites. You need to wear braces to fixing most crossbites. To learn more about how you can fix your crossbite condition click here.

Orthodontic relapse cases - You're much more likely to qualify for clear aligner therapy if you had braces or aligners in the past. This is because your teeth are used to moving so they respond well to clear aligner treatment. As a result, most orthodontic relapse cases qualify for clear aligner therapy. Better yet, treatment is usually completed in just a few months instead of years for most cases.

Questions 2 - Severity of your orthodontic condition 

The next most important factor is the severity of your orthodontic condition. The milder your orthodontic condition, the more likely you are to qualify for clear aligners. For example, mild to moderate overbite cases can usually be fixed with clear aligners. On the opposite hand, fixing a severe overbite requires braces instead. Therefore, the more advanced your orthodontic condition, the less likely you are to qualify for clear aligner treatment.

Questions 3 - Your bite relationship

Your bite refers to how your back teeth come into contact with one another when you close your mouth. Here's what a good and bad bite relationship looks like:

  • A good bite relationship is when all of your back teeth come into contact with each other when you close your mouth. A good bite relationship helps spread forces among your back teeth to better protect your teeth against chewing forces. Having a good bite relationship is very important to the long-term health of your teeth.
  • A poor bite relationship is when your back teeth don't make proper contact when your mouth is closed. Having a poor bite relationship causes your back teeth to become overstressed. This causes your brack teeth to fracture and your front teeth to chip. Having a poor bite relationship can also trigger headaches, TMJ problems, and cause other head and neck related problems.

Bite correction is not easy. Minor bite corrections can be accomplished using dentist-delivered clear aligner programs like Invisalign® or ClearCorrect™. Fixing complex bite relationships requires braces instead of clear aligners.

Questions 4 - Previous orthodontic history

We have good news for those of you who had ortho treatment before: it's much easier to straighten your teeth if you've already had braces or aligners! Most patients who have had braces don't want to wear brackets and wires all over again. Luckily, clear aligners are the perfect solution here. Clear aligner therapy can fix most orthodontic relapse cases. This means that you don't have to wear braces again!


Find a clear aligner provider near you today!


Now that you have a better idea of whether or not you qualify for clear aligners, it's time to find a dentist to fix your smile! Straightening your smile with clear aligners is easier than you imagine. Find a clear aligner provider near you to get started with your straight smile today. Try using our dentist Search Engine to browse nearby dentists and find one that offers clear aligners to help you straighten your smile: