There are different kinds of braces you can pick from depending on your oral health requirements and style preferences. Here, our Orleans dentists talk about the different kinds of braces that might be available to you, including traditional braces, clear aligners, and clear braces.
Traditional Braces vs. Clear Aligners vs. Clear Braces
When you begin looking at different options for straightening your teeth, you’ll probably find two main choices: traditional braces and clear aligners. But clear braces might also be an appealing third option and a middle ground.
In this blog, we compare traditional braces, clear aligners, and clear braces in order to help you decide between the three. Each has its own set of pros and cons, and your dentist can help you choose your next steps.
This is the option most patients are usually most familiar with when discussing braces. They are also usually the most visible when being worn, but, decades of advancements in orthodontic technology have resulted in wires and brackets that are 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, like Invisalign, are removable orthodontic appliances that have the ability to straighten teeth just like braces but don't use metal and wires. Clear aligners are made from a transparent plastic material, that makes them look nearly 'invisible' to the casual observer when being worn.
Since clear aligners are removable, you can keep eating all the foods you love as there will be no dietary requirements - unlike 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, gum, hard fruits and vegetables, and other snacks that can get stuck in your braces.
Another thing to keep in mind with clear aligners is that you can drink only water with them on. Otherwise, take them out each 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 the 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, but for those who aren't, clear braces might a good compromise.
Clear braces are ceramic braces that help patients straighten their teeth in a similar way as traditional metal braces. They are less visible than the traditional metal ones that have been used for decades, but they still use wires and brackets to gradually shift teeth into their corrected 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.
Caring For Clear & 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.
Foods to 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.
Can Clear Braces Stain?
If you choose clear braces, you’ll want to be careful with which foods and drinks you consume, as the brackets on clear braces can become stained more easily than the metal braces. Avoid dark-coloured foods and drinks like cola and blueberries.
How Much Do These Options 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.
The Length of Your Braces Treatment
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.