If you need braces, you may be wondering what your different options are as there are many different types and variations. Today, our Delta dentists discuss the difference between traditional braces, clear braces and clear aligners.
Clear Braces vs. Traditional Braces vs. Clear Aligners
If you have considered braces then you may have discovered that there are two main types of alignment devices: traditional braces and clear aligners. While they both may be the most common options there is a third option of clear aligners.
Today, we’ll compare traditional braces, clear aligners, and clear braces in an effort to help you decide between the three. Each has its pros and cons, and your dentist can help you decide the next steps.
What Are The Traditional Types of Braces?
These tend to be the option most people are familiar with when talking about braces. They are also typically the most visible when 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 go-to option for people who need to resolve complex orthodontic issues when it comes to straightening their teeth, and you can choose to play them up with colours or choose tooth-coloured elastic bands.
Clear aligners provide the same outcome as traditional metal braces with the main difference being that there is no metal and clear aligners can be removed. Clear aligners are made of transparent plastic material, making them look nearly 'invisible' to the casual observer when worn.
With traditional braces, you might be unable to eat some of your favourite foods due to the concern of causing damage to the braces, this is not a concern with clear aligners. With clear aligners being removable, you are still able to eat all of the foods you would normally without dietary restrictions. Because braces are fixed and not removable, you'll need to avoid crunchy or sticky foods such as popcorn, hard fruits and vegetables, gum and snacks that can get stuck in your braces.
One thing that you will need to remember is that you can only drink water with the aligners in. You will need to remove the aligners if you drink anything other than water and eat any food. 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 every type of braces will work for every patient, as such clear aligners aren't going to be recommended for everyone, in these cases clear braces may be a viable option.
Clear braces are a type of ceramic braces that are used to align your teeth just as traditional braces do. They are less noticeable than the traditional metal that’s been used for decades, but they still use wires and brackets to gradually move teeth into their new positions.
For clear braces, the brackets will closely match the colour of your teeth, making them blend in much more than traditional metal brackets do. Sometimes, your wires can also be applied to match the colour of your teeth to further add to the natural appearance of your clear braces.
How are clear and metal braces cared for?
Regardless of the type of braces that you choose, it is important that you adhere to consistent and thorough oral hygiene practices throughout orthodontic treatment. Because food and plaque can easily get caught in the wires and brackets, brushing and flossing become even more important to avoid cavities and gingivitis.
What foods should not be eaten with braces?
While undergoing orthodontic treatment using clear braces or traditional metal braces, you should resist eating often delicious but sticky foods such as candy, popcorn, caramel, and apples, all of which can lead to the metal becoming displaced or damaged.
How to prevent clear braces from staining?
If you choose clear braces, you’ll want to be careful with which foods and drink you consume, as the brackets on clear braces can become more easily stained than on metal braces. Avoid dark-coloured foods and drinks like cola and blueberries.
What are the costs associated with braces?
As we mentioned above, clear braces may 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 may 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 or longer, depending on the nature of their dental issues.