To help you decide between clear aligners and traditional braces, our Richmond Hill dentists share a few key points you should consider when making your decision.
Deciding Between Clear Aligners & Braces
It's tough deciding between clear aligners such as Invisalign and braces, so we have shared some facts to consider about each option, to help you pick which one you want to help you straighten your smile.
Transparent clear aligners such as Invisalign are custom-made to fit your smile. These orthodontic appliances are made from clear plastic materials. 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.
While clear aligners can be removed, they must be worn for 22 hours each day and need to be taken out when you are 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
These are the most popular kind of braces and are made completely out of metal and supported by elastics. Lots of upgrades have been made to metal braces in recent decades thanks to advancements in orthodontic technology.
Over time, 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 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.
Lots of people decide to opt for clear braces because they can blend better with their smiles. While they aren't actually transparent, the brackets are made 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 looks, clear braces 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 the 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.