If your dentist has recommended braces to straighten your teeth, you might be feeling a bit hesitant about it, thinking of wearing a mouth full of metal for years. However, this is not the only option, as there are several alternatives to this cumbersome and conspicuous method.
What’s the difference between clear braces and clear aligners?
Clear braces are the same style as traditional braces (with the metal brackets and wires), except that they use clear brackets and the wire is tooth-colored. This means that they are just as effective for straightening teeth as traditional braces, but they are much less noticeable. On the other hand, clear aligners are designed to fit over the teeth, similar to a mouth guard, rather than being fixed onto them. They’re removable and nearly invisible, which makes them a good option for patients who need minor orthodontic treatment.
Pros of Clear Braces
- Appearance: Clear and ceramic braces are less conspicuous than metal braces, and therefore don’t interfere as much with day-to-day activities such as work or social events
- Confidence: Generally, patients who wear ceramic or clear braces feel more confident about undergoing orthodontic treatment and are not self-conscious about their braces.
Cons of Clear Braces
- Cost: Clear and ceramic braces are more expensive than traditional braces.
- Discoloration: Ceramic braces require the use of clear ties, which have a tendency to stain the teeth if certain drinks (such as coffee or red wine) and foods are consumed or if smoking is a habit.
When choosing your orthodontic treatment, it’s important to remember that there are many factors to consider. While appearance is a major concern, the condition of the teeth also plays a big part in which treatment to choose; for example, more severe occlusions, such as an overbite, are difficult to treat with clear aligners. But having straight teeth has more benefits than simply being more attractive: a straight smile is easier to brush and floss, and a proper bite puts even pressure on the teeth so that no one area is getting more wear than another.
If your smile could use some adjusting, book an appointment with your dentist for a consultation so that you can choose the orthodontic treatment that’s right for you.