Can't decide between clear aligners and traditional braces? Our Collingwood dentists share some factors to consider when deciding which orthodontic treatment is right for you.
Choosing Between Clear Aligners & Braces to Straighten Your Smile
Clear aligners such as Invisalign vs. braces: a tough choice! Luckily, we can help you out. Here are some facts to consider about each option while you think about which one to choose to help you achieve a straighter smile.
Transparent aligners such as Invisalign are custom-made to fit your smile. These removable orthodontic appliances are made from thin clear plastic. No brackets and wires mean that clear aligners offer patients a lower profile orthodontic treatment option.
If you choose clear aligners to straighten your teeth, you'll receive a personalized treatment plan that will help you achieve your smile goals. With clear aligners you will typically spend less time in your dentist's office during treatment since your clear aligners wouldn't require regular adjustments like 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 necessary.
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.
That said, to keep your treatment on track clear aligners must be worn for 22 hours each day and removed while drinking and eating anything except water. Commitment to treatment requires self-discipline and scheduling meals to fit within the 2 hours allotted for meal times every day.
Traditional Metal Braces
These are the most common type of braces. Made entirely out of metal and supported by elastics, metal braces have received numerous upgrades in recent decades thanks to advancements in orthodontic technology.
Braces apply continuous pressure to your teeth, slowly shifting them into their new, corrected positions. As this pressure is applied and the teeth move, the supporting bone changes shape to accommodate their new positions.
Brackets today are more streamlined than those used in years past. Today's brackets have gotten smaller and more comfortable, making it far less likely that they will cause irritation to the inside of your cheeks or lips.
Nonetheless, some people are still reluctant to choose metal braces because of their appearance. If you're concerned about how metal braces will make your smile look, clear braces may be a viable alternative for you.
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 (your 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.