Based on your unique situation and style preference, there are different orthodontic treatment options available. Today, our Okotoks dentists compare traditional braces, clear braces, and Invisalign clear aligners.
Braces vs. Clear Braces vs. Invisalign
Start to research options for straightening your teeth and you’ll probably come across two main choices: traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners. But clear braces also present a compelling third option.
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 which option is best for you.
These tend to be the option most people are familiar with when talking about braces. They are also typically the most visible when worn, even though decades of advancements in orthodontic technology mean that the brackets and wires involved in braces are far smaller than they used to be.
Traditional metal braces are the go-to option for people who need to resolve complex orthodontic issues when it comes to straightening their teeth.
Invisalign Clear Aligners
Invisalign clear aligners are removable orthodontic appliances that straighten your teeth just like braces do, only without the metal and wires. Clear aligners are made of transparent plastic material, making them look nearly 'invisible' to the casual observer when worn.
Since clear aligners are removable, you can keep eating all the foods you love as there will be no dietary requirements - unlike with braces, which require you to watch which foods you eat. 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.
With Invisalign you can eat and drink as you normally would but you should always brush and floss before placing them back in your mouth after eating to avoid bacteria and food particles getting stuck getting stuck between your teeth and the clear aligners. The only beverage you should drink while the aligners are in your mouth is water.
Depending on the orthodontic work required, not everyone is a candidate for Invisalign. If you're not, but still want a more discreet option, clear braces may be a good choice.
Clear braces are a type of ceramic braces that help patients straighten their teeth just like traditional metal braces. 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.
The ceramic brackets match closely to the colour of your tooth enamel, 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.
Do clear braces stain?
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.
Regardless of which option you choose, you will have to be sure to maintain a good oral health routine to prevent damage to your teeth. Extra care must be taken when brushing and flossing around traditional and clear braces to ensure food particles do not get stuck around the brackets and wires. With Invisalign, you can brush and floss as you normally would, but have the added step of cleaning your aligners daily using gentle brushing and a cleaning solution.
What about cost?
The cost of Invisalign is comparable to the cost of traditional braces. Ceramic braces tend to be more expensive than traditional braces due to the materials they are made of. The cost of your orthodontic treatment is largely determined by the extent of the work that needs to be done. Speak with your dentist for a quote based on your situation.
How long will I have to wear braces?
Much like cost, the length of your treatment varies depending on the extent of work needing to be done. Most patients can expect their orthodontic treatment to last somewhere between 1-3 years.