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

Did you know that, depending on your style preferences and needs, there are different kinds of braces available that may be better suited to your smile? Here, our Summerside dentists compare traditional braces, clear aligners and clear braces to one another. 

Clear Braces vs. Traditional Braces vs. Clear Aligners

When you begin researching options for straightening your smile, you will probably come across two main options for your orthodontic treatment: traditional metal braces and clear aligners. But clear braces also present a compelling third option, and a middle ground.

Here, our Summerside dentists compare clear aligners with traditional metal braces and clear braces in order to help you to decide between the three. Each has their pros and cons and your dentist will be able to help you decide on your next steps.

Traditional Braces

These tend to be the option most people are familiar with when talking about braces. They are also typically the most visible when worn, however decades of advancements in orthodontic technology have meant wires and brackets have evolved to become smaller in size.

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

Clear Aligners

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, making them look nearly 'invisible' to the casual observer when worn.

Since clear aligners are removable, you can keep 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'll need 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 to keep in mind when it comes to clear aligners is that you will need to drink only water while you have them in your smile. Otherwise, you will need to take them out each time you drink or eat. Flossing and brushing your teeth before putting your aligners back in is a must to avoid food particles and bacteria from getting trapped between your aligners and your teeth. While clear aligners can soak in cleaning solutions or be rinsed in warm water, braces will need to be brushed and flossed regularly.

Not all people are suitable candidates for clear aligners, however, and for people who aren't, clear braces may be a good compromise.

Clear Braces

Clear braces are a variety of ceramic braces that can help patients to straighten their teeth just like traditional metal braces. They are less noticeable than the traditional metal that has been used for braces, but still rely on wires and brackets to gradually move teeth into their new prescribed 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 easily get caught in the wires and brackets, brushing and flossing become even more important to avoid cavities and gingivitis.

Which foods should I avoid?

When it comes to both clear braces and more traditional metal braces, you should resist eating sticky

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 damage.

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 cost?

As mentioned above, clear braces may be an excellent option for patients who aren't good candidates for clear aligners treatments. FInancially, ceramic braces are the mid-range between traditional metal braces and clear aligners. Metal braces are often the most affordable orthodontic treatment 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 are not removable may actually be an advantage if you’re not sure whether you have the self-discipline needed 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.

Would you like more information about braces and how they can help straighten your smile? Contact the dentists at Water Street Dental Clinic to book an appointment.

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