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

Did you know that depending on your needs and aesthetic preferences, there are various types of braces available? Today, our Ottawa dentists will discuss the differences between conventional braces, clear braces, and clear aligners.

Clear Braces vs. Traditional Braces vs. Clear Aligners

Start to research options for straightening your teeth and you’ll probably come across two stark choices: traditional braces and clear aligners. But clear braces also present a compelling third option and middle ground.

Today, we'll compare traditional braces, clear aligners, and clear braces to assist you in making a decision. Each has several advantages and disadvantages, and your dentist can assist you in determining the best course of action.

Traditional Braces

These are the braces that the majority of people are familiar with when discussing braces. They are also the most visible when worn, but decades of advancements in orthodontic technology have resulted in wires and brackets shrinking in size.

When it comes to straightening teeth, traditional metal braces are the go-to option for people who need to resolve complex orthodontic issues, and you can choose from a variety of colours or tooth-coloured elastic bands.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are removable orthodontic appliances that work similarly to braces but without metal and wires. When worn, clear aligners are made of a transparent plastic material that makes them nearly 'invisible' to the untrained eye.

Because clear aligners are removable, you can continue eating whatever foods you want because there are no dietary restrictions - in contrast to braces, which require you to watch what you eat. Because braces are fixed and cannot be removed, you must avoid crunchy or sticky foods such as popcorn, hard fruits and vegetables, gum, and other snacks that could become lodged in your braces.

Another thing to remember about clear aligners is that you must drink only water while wearing them. Otherwise, remove them before eating or drinking. Brush and floss your teeth before re-insertion to prevent bacteria and food particles from becoming trapped between your teeth and the clear aligners. While clear aligners can be soaked in cleaning solutions or rinsed with warm water, braces require frequent brushing and flossing.

Not everybody is a candidate for clear aligners, however, and for those who are not, clear braces can be a good compromise.

Clear Braces

Clear braces are a type of ceramic braces that function similarly to traditional metal braces in terms of straightening teeth. They are less visible than the traditional metal brackets and wires that have been used for decades, but they still use wires and brackets to gradually move teeth into their new positions.

Ceramic brackets closely match the colour of your tooth enamel, blending in much more effectively than traditional metal brackets do. Occasionally, your wires can be coloured to match your teeth, further enhancing the natural appearance of your clear braces.

How should I care for clear braces and metal braces?

Regardless of whether you choose metal or clear braces, it is critical to maintaining proper dental hygiene while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Due to the ease with which food and plaque can become trapped in wires and brackets, brushing and flossing become even more critical to avoiding cavities and gingivitis.

Which foods should I avoid?

With either clear braces or more traditional metal braces, you should avoid eating sticky foods such as most candy, popcorn, caramel, and apples, as these can cause the metal to become displaced or damaged.

Do clear braces stain?

If you choose clear braces, you should exercise caution with the foods and beverages you consume, as the brackets on clear braces are more prone to staining than those on metal braces. Avoid foods and beverages with dark hues, such as cola and blueberries.

What about cost?

As previously stated, clear braces may be an excellent option for patients who do not qualify for clear aligners. Ceramic braces are normally priced in the middle of traditional metal braces and clear aligners. Metal braces are usually the least expensive option, while clear aligners are normally slightly more expensive. Naturally, this is contingent upon the nature and severity of your orthodontic problem.

How long will I have to wear braces?

The fact that braces are not removable may 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 in terms of treatment duration. Patients typically wear them for approximately one to three years, depending on the severity of their dental problems.

Would you like more information about braces and how they can help straighten your smile? Contact the dentists at Ottawa Dentistry to book an appointment.

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