Are you having a hard time choosing between traditional braces and clear aligners? Today, our dentists in Taber discuss some characteristics for you to consider when making your decision.
Deciding Between Braces & Clear Aligners
It's tough deciding between clear aligners and braces, which is why we are here to help. Below we have shared several facts about both of these options to assist you in making your decision in determining the best option for straightening your smile.
Clear aligners such as Invisalign are transparent and custom-made to uniquely fit your mouth during each stage of your treatment. These removable orthodontic appliances are constructed from clear plastic material. They forgo the brackets and wires that accompany braces and are therefore lower profile in appearance.
You'll receive an individually customized treatment plan that will help achieve your smile goals. You will typically spend less time in your dentist's office during treatment as you may not need as many checkups or appointments, since your clear aligners wouldn't require regular adjustments as braces do. Your dentist will schedule brief appointments with you every 4 to 6 weeks, and take the opportunity to review your progress and general oral health, answer questions, and adjust treatment as required.
Depending on your specific treatment plan, they may be in line with the cost of braces or slightly more expensive. A casual observer will be hard-pressed to see them on your teeth, and you won't have any restrictions on the food and drinks you can enjoy.
However, clear aligners must be worn for 22 hours each day and removed while drinking and eating anything except water. Commitment to treatment, self-discipline, and scheduling meals to fit within the 2 hours allotted for mealtimes every day.
Traditional Metal Braces
This type of braces is very common. They are completely made of metal that is supported by elastics and has had various upgrades over the past few decades thanks to the advancements that have been made in orthodontic technology.
During your treatment, braces apply constant pressure to your teeth, to slowly shift them into their new, prescribed positions. As this pressure is applied and the teeth move, the bone changes shape to accommodate their new positions.
Brackets today are more streamlined than those used in years past. Now, you’ll run less risk of the inside of your cheeks or lips growing irritated by a bracket, as the brackets have gotten smaller and more comfortable. However, some people are still reluctant to choose metal braces because of their appearance.
In this case, clear braces may be a viable alternative.
Many patients choose clear braces as they are better able to blend in with their smile. They are not actually transparent; the brackets are constructed from tooth-coloured ceramic.
Clear braces come with a caveat: while they are a compromise between metal braces and clear aligners when it comes to appearance, they are actually more brittle and larger in size than the traditional metal braces you may have seen.
They also tend to be more costly. Therefore, they are commonly used only on upper front (most visible) teeth to save on costs.
Keep in mind that your gums may feel sensitive with these, as the larger ceramic brackets can make it more challenging to clean around the brackets, leading to receding or swollen gums should your toothbrush not reach the gum line and enamel.