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Braces vs. Clear Braces vs. Clear Aligners: Which is the Right Choice for Me?

If you are in need of orthodontic treatment then you may wonder if you will need to have the traditional metal wires and brackets or if there might be another option for you. Today, our Cornwall dentists compare orthodontic treatment using traditional braces, clear braces and clear aligners.

Clear Braces, Traditional Braces & Clear Aligners: What's the difference?

A quick search for the types of orthodontic treatment available may immediately come up with metal braces and clear aligners. But did you know that a third option, clear braces, is also a solid choice?

Today, we'll compare traditional braces, clear aligners, and clear braces to help you choose between the three. There are pros and cons to each option and your dentist will be able to guide you to making the decision that suits you.

The Use of Traditional Metal Braces

Metal braces are the traditional option. When you sit done and think of braces or orthodontic treatment you likely picture someone with the standard metal wires and brackets. They are also the most visible when worn; however, decades of advancements in orthodontic technology have resulted in smaller wires and brackets.

When it comes to straightening your teeth, traditional metal braces are the go-to option for people who need to resolve complex orthodontic issues, and you can choose to play with colours or choose tooth-coloured elastic bands.

Clear Aligners as a Removable Option

There is a removable option for orthodontic treatment known as clear aligners or Invisalign. Since clear aligners are made of transparent plastic, they blend in closely with your natural teeth.

Since clear aligners are removable, you are free to continue eating whatever you want because there are no dietary restrictions, unlike braces, which force you to restrict what you eat. You must stay away from foods like popcorn, hard fruits and vegetables, gum, and snacks that can get stuck in your braces because they are fixed and cannot be taken out.

In order to help prevent staining, you should only choose to drink water when using your clear aligners. Otherwise, take them out before each meal and beverage. To avoid food and bacteria getting stuck between your teeth and the clear aligners, brush and floss before replacing them in your mouth. While braces must be regularly brushed and flossed, clear aligners can soak in cleaning agents or be rinsed in warm water.

While clear aligners may not be right for everyone, this is where the middle ground can come in handy. Clear braces can be a solid option for more discreet treatment.

Clear Braces as a Middle Ground 

Similar to traditional metal braces, clear braces straighten teeth for patients by using ceramic materials. Even though they are less obvious than the conventional metal braces that have been in use for decades, they still use wires and brackets to gradually move teeth into their new positions.

The ceramic bracket on clear braces is created to match closely with the natural shade of teeth which makes them blend in well. To further enhance the appearance of your clear braces as being natural, your wires may occasionally be applied to match the shade of your teeth.

Do I need to do anything special when cleaning my braces?

No matter which type of orthodontic treatment you undergo you will need to consider your dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing become even more crucial to preventing cavities and gingivitis because food and plaque can easily get caught in the wires and brackets.

Are there any foods that I should avoid with braces?

With both clear braces and more traditional metal braces, you should avoid eating sticky foods like most candy, popcorn, caramel, and apples, which can cause the metal to become displaced or damaged.

Should I be concerned about staining my clear braces?

If you choose clear braces, you should be cautious about the foods and drinks you consume, as the brackets on clear braces can become more easily stained than metal braces. Avoid dark-coloured foods and beverages, such as cola and blueberries.

What can I expect my orthodontic treatment to cost?

As previously stated, clear braces may be an excellent option for patients who do not qualify for clear aligners. Ceramic braces are the most affordable option between traditional metal braces and clear aligners. Metal braces are the least expensive option, while clear aligners cost slightly more than braces on average. Of course, the nature and extent of your orthodontic problem will determine this.

Will I need to wear my braces for a long time?

The fact that braces are not removable may actually be an advantage if you’re not sure whether you have the self-discipline needed for removable clear aligners.

When it comes to the length of your treatment, metal braces and clear braces are on par. Depending on the nature of their dental problems, patients typically wear them for anywhere between one and three years.

Would you like more information about the orthodontic treatment options at our office? Contact the dentists at Dr. Rachel Navaneelan & Associates to request an appointment.

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