Do you need orthodontic treatment? If so, the good news is there are many different options for braces out there based on your individual needs and requirements such as braces, clear aligners and clear braces. In this blog our knowledgable Parksville dentists compare these 3 choices and explain the benefits of each.
Clear Braces vs. Traditional Braces vs. Clear Aligners
When you start researching options for straightening your teeth you’ll probably find two popular choices: traditional braces and clear aligners. However, clear braces are also an excellent third option, and a middle ground.
In this blog we compare traditional braces, clear aligners, and clear braces to help you decide between the three. Every option has pros and cons, and your dentist can help you decide the next steps you should take.
Traditional braces are usually the option most people are familiar with. They are also the most visible when being worn, however following years of advancements in orthodontic technology the wires and brackets have become smaller in size.
This option is also the go-to choice for people who need to fix complex orthodontic issues when it comes to straightening their teeth, and you are able to play them with their colours or opt for tooth-coloured elastic bands.
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 a transparent plastic material, that makes them appear almost 'invisible' to the casual observer when being worn.
Because clear aligners are removable, you are able to continue eating all the foods you love as there will be no dietary requirements - unlike with braces, which require you to watch which foods you eat. Because braces are fixed and not removable, you will also have to avoid crunchy or sticky foods such as popcorn, hard fruits and vegetables, gum and snacks that can get stuck in your braces.
Something else you have to keep in mind with clear aligners is that you can only drink water when you have them in. Otherwise, take them out every time you eat or drink. Brush and floss before placing them back in your mouth to avoid bacteria and food particles getting stuck between your teeth and clear aligners. While clear aligners can soak in cleaning solutions or be rinsed in warm water, braces will need to be brushed and flossed regularly.
Not everybody is a candidate for clear aligners, however for those who are not, clear braces could be a good compromise.
Clear braces are a type of ceramic braces that help patients straighten their teeth just like traditional metal braces. They are also less noticeable than the traditional metal, 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?
Whether you choose metal braces or clear braces, it’s important to have excellent dental hygiene while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Because food and plaque can get caught in the wires and brackets easily, brushing and flossing becomes even more essential to avoid cavities and gingivitis.
Which foods should I avoid?
With both clear braces and more traditional metal ones, you should avoid eating often delicious but sticky foods such as most candy, popcorn, caramel, and apples, all of which can make the metal become displaced or damage.
Do clear braces stain?
If you choose clear braces, you will have to be careful with the foods and drinks 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 cost?
As we mentioned above, clear braces may be a great option for patients who aren’t candidates for clear aligners. Financially, ceramic braces are the mid-range between traditional metal braces and clear aligners. Metal braces are the most affordable option, while clear aligners are just above the average cost of braces. Of course, this all depends on the nature and extent of your orthodontic problem.
How long will I have to wear braces?
The fact that braces can't be removed may actually be an advantage if you’re not sure whether you have the self-discipline that is required for removable clear aligners.
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.