Dental Blog

Clear Braces or Traditional: Which do You Choose?

Friday, October 13, 2017
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Thought Invisalign was the only clear option for straightening your teeth? Think again. Search for an orthodontist near me, and you’ll find an orthodontist in your area that offers clear braces as a treatment option. At Castle Dental, we’ve got orthodontists knowledgeable in clear braces, Invisalign and traditional braces. Attending regular teeth cleaning appointments and dental checkups can steer you in the right direction, as you’ll need your teeth to be in tip-top shape before scheduling a free orthodontic consultation. Read along to find out which will better serve your smile – clear, or traditional braces?

The right choice comes down to you, the patient. Each orthodontic treatment, be it clear braces, Invisalign, or traditional metal braces have their pros and cons unique to each patient. While one might be preferred over another, each set of teeth and the complexity of their issues should be looked at by a professional orthodontist during a consultation. This is the first step in deciding the direction you’ll take when it comes to straightening your teeth.

Brace for these Factors

Visibility

Did you know there is a difference between clear braces and Invisalign? In the orthodontic world, these are two different types of orthodontic treatment options. Clear braces are a type of ceramic braces. They offer the ability for patients to straighten their teeth with the same technique as traditional metal braces, but with less noticeability. This is a great option for patients looking to straighten their teeth with the same method as metal braces, without their appearance. They’re also different from Invisalign in that they still use brackets and wires to move teeth into their new positions, not clear aligners. What makes clear braces “clear” is that the brackets are made out of ceramic. The ceramic brackets are the same color as your tooth enamel, helping them blend in with your teeth for a more natural look. Sometimes tooth-colored wires can also be used in lieu of metal wires to further enhance the natural appearance.

Invisalign is different when it comes to visibility because the technology creates custom made aligners to fit very tightly to your teeth. The plastic used to make the aligners is BPA-free and extremely clear, making it as invisible as an orthodontic treatment can be. If you’re a patient still working in a professional environment, or don’t want your peers or colleagues to notice that you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, discuss Invisalign with your orthodontist to see if it’s a good fit for you.

Metal braces tend to be the most visible option when it comes to orthodontic treatment. However, with increased technology brackets and wires have gotten smaller in size, making them less noticeable than they once were. Metal braces can tackle many issues when it comes to complex dental work needed to straighten your teeth. Patients can minimize the look of metal braces by choosing elastic bands that are the same color as your tooth enamel. Otherwise, if you’re looking to make a statement with your metal braces some patients have fun choosing a variety of colors.

Diet

Depending on which route you choose, metal braces, clear braces, and Invisalign might pose different challenges. With both metal braces and clear braces, patients may have to abstain from eating particular foods that can pull at the metal or wires in any way. This includes foods like caramel, candy, apples, corn on the cob, or popcorn. These types of foods can push the metal out of place, potentially causing harm to your mouth or damage to the wire or brackets themselves.

One advantage that metal braces have over clear braces is their inability to stain. With clear braces, foods and drinks can sometimes stain the brackets a bit easier than metal braces. This includes coffee, tea, soda, and tomato sauce. With metal braces, you won’t need to think twice about staining the metal.

When it comes to Invisalign, many patients love that their diet is not impacted with this type of orthodontic treatment. When it comes time to eat or snack on anything patients simply remove the aligners and eat as they normally would. Patients should refrain from consuming any beverages other than water with the aligners still on. Even beverages like soda, coffee, or wine can seep into your aligners and cause them or your teeth to stain, or trap in bacteria.

Cost

Clear braces are great for patients that can’t use Invisalign as an orthodontic treatment option. In some cases, Invisalign can’t be used to correct issues like rotating canine teeth or moving teeth vertically. This leaves behind clear braces, metal braces, or lingual braces as the other options for straightening your teeth.

When comparing the average cost to Invisalign, ceramic braces are the less expensive option. This opens the doors of possibility (and less visibility) for patients looking to spend less than an Invisalign treatment and still receive the benefits of having a less noticeable orthodontic treatment.

However, when comparing clear braces to traditional metal braces, clear braces are more expensive. Traditional metal braces are the most affordable option for orthodontic treatment. Metal braces can range anywhere from $3,500 to $5,500 depending on the patient and their needs.

If cost is a main factor in choosing your orthodontic treatment plan, consider payment plans or financing options offered by Castle Dental. With no interest, our payment plans can greatly reduce the financial burden placed on choosing the method you prefer to straighten your teeth. Depending on the orthodontist near me search results, you may find a Castle Dental office running their own offers or promotions on a particular orthodontic treatment option. Taking advantage of these offers can sometimes surprisingly reduce the cost in your treatment plan, and make an option available to you that you had initially crossed off – including Invisalign. These are just several ways you can make your new, straight smile more attainable.

Treatment Time

Clear braces and metal braces are relatively the same when it comes to treatment time. As they’re using the same method to straighten your teeth with brackets and wires, the time spent in treatment will come down to you. The advantage that clear braces or metal braces have over aligners like Invisalign is that they’re irremovable, lessening the chance for lack of self-discipline to get between you and your new smile. Depending on the complexity of your dental issues, time can vary anywhere between one and three years.

Oral Care

When you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, it’s especially important to remain vigorous in cleaning your teeth at home. This is especially true when you’re wearing traditional braces or clear braces, as they can require a bit more effort to keep clean. With wires and brackets, food and plaque can easily get stuck and left behind. Your orthodontist may recommend using a waterpik to help floss the areas of your teeth that are behind the wires. There are also tools called soft picks that patients can use to clean in between the wires and teeth. Keep these handy in your pocket or purse after a meal to keep your mouth bacteria free. You want to make sure that your smile is just as healthy as it appears once you’re able to complete treatment.

Cleaning with Invisalign is a bit different because the aligners are actually removable. This allows you to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would before you underwent treatment. However, with Invisalign it’s especially important for patients to brush and floss after every meal or snack. As the aligners fit very snug to your teeth, they can also trap in any plaque or bacteria left behind, making your smile more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay.

Orthodontist Near Me

We know that choosing the right option can be tough. While you may know your preferences, knowing the state of your teeth is another obstacle to consider – something only an orthodontist can help with. If you’re scheduled for a professional teeth cleaning with your dentist, ask them about the process of straightening your teeth. They may already have insight into what solutions would be best for you. They’ll likely recommend you see an orthodontist for a full consultation once you’re ready.

At your consultation your orthodontist will give you some professional insight into which teeth-straightening method will work best for your smile. Add in some of your own personal preferences and you’ll be on the straight track! You can make an appointment with one of our highly skilled orthodontists at Castle Dental by visiting us online or calling us at 1-800-867-6453. Get ready to choose your new smile, we know it’ll be beautiful whichever route you take!