If you are having a hard time deciding between traditional braces and clear aligners, we can help. Here, our Whitehorse dentists discuss some key elements you should consider in making your decision including cosmetic factors.
Deciding Between Braces & Clear Aligners
It's tough to decide between clear aligners (such as Invisalign) and braces. This is why we are here to help you make your choice. Below we have listed some facts you should take into consideration about each option while you are contemplating which one you would like to use to help straighten your smile.
Transparent clear aligners such as Invisalign are custom-made to fit your smile. These removable orthodontic appliances are constructed from clear plastic material. They don't need the wires or brackets that come with braces, giving them a low appearance profile.
You'll get a treatment plan that is customized to help you meet your orthodontic goal. You'll probably spend less time in your dentist's office for your treatments because they don't require as many appointments or checkups as traditional braces. Your dentist will schedule short appointments with you approximately every 4 to 6 weeks and take the time to evaluate your progress and overall oral health, answer your questions, and make adjustments to your treatment as needed.
Depending on your individual treatment plan, they could be in the same price range as braces or a little bit more. A casual observer will have a hard time seeing them on your teeth, and you won't have any food or drink restrictions.
However, clear aligners have to be worn for 22 hours a day and you will have to remove them to eat or drink anything that isn't water. This treatment is a commitment to self-discipline and scheduling meals to fit within the 2 hours allotted mealtimes every day.
Traditional Metal Braces
These are the most common type of braces. Made entirely out of metal and supported by elastics, metal braces have received numerous upgrades in recent decades thanks to advancements in orthodontic technology.
Over time, braces apply continuous pressure to your teeth, slowly shifting them into their new, corrected positions. As this pressure is applied and the teeth move, the bone changes shape to accommodate their new positions.
Brackets today are more streamlined than those used in previous years. Now, there is a lower risk for the insides of your lips or cheeks becoming irritated because the brackets are now smaller and more comfortable. However, some people still hesitate to choose metal braces because of their appearance.
In this case, clear braces may be a viable alternative.
Many patients choose clear braces because they can blend into your smile better. They are not actually transparent; the brackets are constructed from tooth-coloured ceramic.
Clear braces come with a caveat: while they are a compromise between metal braces and clear aligners when it comes to appearance, they are actually more brittle and larger in size than the traditional metal braces you may have seen.
They also tend to be more costly. Therefore, they are commonly used only on upper front (your most visible) teeth to save on costs.
Keep in mind that your gums may feel sensitive with these, as the larger ceramic brackets can make it more challenging to clean around the brackets, leading to receding or swollen gums should your toothbrush not reach the gum line and enamel.