Metal braces are no longer the only way to straighten teeth and correct bite issues, now clear braces and clear aligners are also available to get the job done. Our Thornhill dentists compare these effective orthodontic treatment options.
As you explore different teeth straightening options, you will likely come across two main choices: traditional braces and clear aligners. However, there is another option worth considering called clear braces, which offers a middle ground for many patients.
In this discussion, we will compare traditional braces, clear aligners, and clear braces to assist you in making a decision. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and your dentist can collaborate with you to determine the most suitable orthodontic treatment for addressing your specific smile concerns.
These are the braces that most people are familiar with. They are often the most noticeable option when worn, but advancements in orthodontic technology have made the wires and brackets smaller over the years.
Traditional metal braces are the preferred choice for individuals who require comprehensive orthodontic treatment to straighten their teeth, especially for more complex issues. With these braces, you have the option to personalize them with different colors or choose tooth-colored elastic bands to make them less noticeable.
Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are removable orthodontic appliances that straighten your teeth just like braces do, only without the metal and wires. Clear aligners are made of transparent plastic material, making them look nearly 'invisible' to the casual observer when worn.
Clear aligners offer the advantage of being removable, allowing you to enjoy all your favorite foods without any dietary restrictions. Unlike braces, which require caution with crunchy or sticky foods like popcorn, hard fruits and vegetables, gum, and snacks that can get stuck in the braces.
However, it's important to note that clear aligners should be taken out when eating or drinking anything except cool water. After removal, it's crucial to brush and floss before placing them back in your mouth to prevent bacteria and food particles from getting trapped between your teeth and the aligners. While clear aligners can be soaked in cleaning solutions or rinsed with warm water, braces need regular brushing and flossing for maintenance.
It's worth noting that clear aligners may not be suitable for everyone. If clear aligners are not the ideal choice for addressing your tooth alignment concerns, clear braces can be a favorable compromise.
Clear braces are a type of ceramic braces that help patients straighten their teeth just like traditional metal braces. They are less noticeable than the traditional metal that’s been used for decades, but they still use wires and brackets to gradually move teeth into their new positions.
The ceramic brackets match closely to the colour of your tooth enamel, making them blend in much more than traditional metal brackets do. Sometimes, your wires can also be applied to match the colour of your teeth to further add to the natural appearance of your clear braces.
How should I care for clear braces and metal braces?
Regardless of whether you opt for metal braces or clear braces, maintaining excellent dental hygiene is crucial during orthodontic treatment. The wires and brackets can trap food particles and plaque, making regular brushing and flossing even more essential to prevent cavities and gingivitis.
Which foods should I avoid?
With both clear braces and more traditional metal ones, you should resist eating often delicious but sticky foods such as most candy, popcorn, caramel, and apples, all of which can lead to the metal becoming displaced or damaged.
Do clear braces stain?
If you choose clear braces, you’ll want to be careful with which foods and drink you consume, as the brackets on clear braces can become more easily stained than on metal braces. Avoid dark-coloured foods and drinks like cola and blueberries.
What about the cost?
As previously stated, clear braces can be a suitable alternative for individuals who are not suitable candidates for clear aligners. From a financial standpoint, ceramic braces fall between traditional metal braces and clear aligners. Metal braces tend to be the most cost-effective option, while clear aligners are slightly above the average cost of braces.
However, the specific nature and severity of your orthodontic issue will determine the final cost.
How long will I have to wear braces?
The fact that braces are not removable can actually be an advantage for people who may not have the self-discipline needed for removable clear aligners to be successful.
Both metal braces and clear braces are comparable when it comes to the duration of your treatment time. Patients typically wear them anywhere from 1 to 3 years, depending on the nature of their dental issues.