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Braces vs. Clear Braces vs. Clear Aligners: Which treatment is right for me?

Braces vs. Clear Braces vs. Clear Aligners: Which treatment is right for me?

Did you know that depending on your needs and style preferences, there are different types of braces out there that could work for you? Today, the dentists from our five Toronto locations (Brookfield Place Dental, College Park Dental, King-York Dental, Richmond-Adelaide Dental, and Bay Adelaide Dental) compare traditional braces, clear braces and clear aligners.

Orthodontic Treatment Options

When you begin looking at orthodontic treatment options for straightening your teeth, you’ll probably come across two stark choices: traditional braces and clear aligners. But clear braces also present a compelling third option, and a middle ground.

Today, we’ll compare traditional braces, clear aligners, and clear braces in an effort to help you decide between the three. Each have their pros and cons, and your dentist can help you decide which option is right for your smile.

Traditional Braces

Metal braces are the option most people are familiar with when talking about braces. They tend to be 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 more complex orthodontic issues, and can provide wearers with some fun as they choose elastic colours and personal style to either highlight or play-down their braces.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are removable orthodontic appliances that straighten your teeth just like braces do, only without the metal and wires. Made from thin, clear plastic, aligners are nearly 'invisible' when worn.

Clear aligners are also removable, so you can keep eating all the foods you love as there will be no dietary requirements. Traditional braces are fixed and not removable, meaning that you'll need to avoid hard, crunchy or sticky foods such as popcorn, hard fruits and vegetables, gum and snacks that can get stuck in your braces or damage them. 

Caring for Clear Aligners

That said, with clear aligners you'll need to drink only water while you have them in. If you are eating or drinking anything else it is essential to take them out. Always 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 easily be soaked in cleaning solutions or be rinsed in warm water, braces will need to be brushed and flossed regularly.

It's important to note that 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 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 corrected positions.

With clear braces, the ceramic brackets match closely to the colour of your tooth enamel, making them less noticeable than traditional metal brackets. In some cases, wires can also be matched to the colour of your teeth to further add to the natural appearance of your clear braces.

Caring for Clear & Metal Braces

Whether you choose metal braces or clear braces, excellent dental hygiene will be essential throughout your 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.

Foods to Avoid With Braces

With both clear braces and more traditional metal ones, you should resist eating often delicious but sticky foods such as most candy, popcorn, caramel, and apples, all of which can lead to the metal becoming displaced or damage.

Keep Clear Braces Looking Their Best

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.

The Cost of Different Orthodontic Treatment Options

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 typically 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.

Length of Orthodontic Treatment

The fact that braces are not removable can prove to be an advantage if you lack the self-discipline needed for removable clear aligners. In part, the length of your clear aligner treatment will depend upon how well you adhere to keeping your aligners in place for 22 hours every day, as well as the severity of your dental issue.

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, depending on the nature of their dental issues.

Would you like more information about braces and how they can help straighten your smile? Contact the Downtown Toronto dentist at the Toothworks Dental Clinics location nearest you to book an appointment.

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