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

If you are considering braces you should know that there are many different types of braces that can meet your individual needs and desires for style. Here our dentists in Edmonton discuss clear aligners, traditional braces and clear braces to help you make your orthodontic treatment choice.

Clear Braces vs. Traditional Braces vs. Clear Aligners

When you start researching treatment options to help straighten your teeth, you will probably encounter two main choices: traditional braces and clear aligners. However, there are also clear braces that can be a compelling third option and common ground.

In this blog, our dentists help you make your choice by comparing traditional braces, clear aligners, and clear braces. Each option has their own pros and cons, and your dentist can help you decide on your next steps.

Traditional Braces

Traditional metal braces are usually the option most people are familiar with when talking about braces. This treatment is generally the most visible when being 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 most popular option among people who need to fix complex orthodontic issues when it comes to straightening their teeth. You can even play them up with different colours or tooth-coloured elastic bands.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are removable orthodontic appliances that straighten your teeth just like braces, however, they don't have metal or wires. Clear aligners are made from a transparent plastic material, that makes them look almost 'invisible' to the casual observer when being worn.

Because 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. Since braces are fixed and not removable, you will have to avoid crunchy or sticky foods such as popcorn, hard fruits and vegetables, gum and snacks that can get stuck in your braces. 

Another thing to remember with clear aligners is that you can only drink water with them in, otherwise, you will have to take them out every time you eat or drink. You must 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 everyone is a candidate for clear aligners, however, for people who are not eligible, clear braces can be a good compromise.

Clear Braces

Clear braces are ceramic and help patients straighten their teeth just like traditional metal braces. They are less noticeable than the traditional metal ones that have been used for decades, but they still use wires and brackets to gradually shift teeth into their new positions.

The ceramic brackets closely match the colour of your tooth enamel, making them blend in much more than traditional metal brackets do. Sometimes, the wires can also be applied to match the colour of your teeth to further add to the natural appearance of your clear braces.

How do 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 stcuk in the wires and brackets, brushing and flossing becomes even more important to avoid cavities and gingivitis.

Which foods do I have to avoid?

With both clear and traditional metal braces, you have to resist eating often delicious but sticky foods including most candy, popcorn, caramel, and apples, all of which can make the metal become displaced or damaged.

Can clear braces stain?

If you choose clear braces, you’ll want to be careful with which foods and drink you consume, because the brackets on clear braces can become stained more easily than metal braces. Avoid dark-coloured foods and drinks such as cola and blueberries.

What do they cost?

As we mentioned above, clear braces can 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 are not removable can 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.

For more information on braces and clear aligners or to book a consultation contact our Edmonton dentists today.

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