Fixed orthodontic appliances have been the traditional treatment method in orthodontic treatment. The placement of brackets, bands, and wires can lead to difficulties in proper oral hygiene, which can result in plaque-induced gingival inflammation and enamel demineralization. Recently, clear aligners have become very popular with its advantages of esthetics and comfort. Past studies have shown that clear aligners allowed easier plaque control with less risk of periodontal and gingival inflammation. Other studies have shown clear aligners cover the teeth and marginal gingiva, leading to increased gingival inflammation.
A recent systematic review* of 57 articles revealed that clear aligners may have an advantage over fixed appliances for oral hygiene and periodontal health. The removable orthodontic appliances are removed for home oral hygiene and in-office prophylaxis. Clear aligners might be recommended for patients at risk of developing caries and periodontal breakdown. This study did not review the differences in orthodontic treatment as it affects teeth movement and occlusion.