Unsure how you'll choose between clear aligners and traditional braces? Our dentists in Swift Current share some factors to consider, including cosmetic considerations.
Choosing Between Clear Aligners & Braces
Clear aligners including Invisalign vs. braces: a difficult choice! Fortunately, we can help you out. In this post, we'll share some facts to consider about each option while you think about which one you'll choose to help you achieve a straight smile.
Transparent clear aligners such as Invisalign are custom-made to fit your teeth. These removable orthodontic appliances consist of clear plastic material. They do not have the wires and brackets that accompany braces. Therefore, clear aligners are lower profile in appearance.
Your dentist will develop your individually customized treatment plan to help you achieve your smile goals. Typically, you'll spend less time in your dentist's office during treatment since you may not need as many checkups or appointments. This is because your clear aligners wouldn't need to be adjusted regularly like braces do. The dentist will book short appointments with you every 4 to 6 weeks. During these visits, they'll take the opportunity to review your progress and general oral health, answer questions and adjust treatment as needed.
Clear aligners may be in line with the cost of braces, or slightly more expensive, based on your specific treatment plan. A casual observer will not easily be able to tell you have them on your teeth, and you won't need to restrict the food and drinks you have.
However, patients must wear their clear aligners for 22 hours every day and remove them while drinking and eating anything except water. Commitment to treatment, self-discipline and scheduling meals to fit within the 2 hours allotted for meal times each day is key.
Traditional Metal Braces
These are the most common type of braces. Made entirely out of metal and supported by elastics, metal braces have received numerous upgrades in recent decades thanks to advancements in orthodontic technology.
Over time, braces apply continuous pressure to your teeth, slowly shifting them into their new, corrected positions. As this pressure is applied and the teeth move, the bone changes shape to accommodate their new positions.
Brackets today are more streamlined than those used in years past. Now, you’ll run less risk of the inside of your cheeks or lips growing irritated by a bracket, as the brackets have gotten smaller and more comfortable. However, some people are still reluctant choose metal braces because of their appearance.
In this case, clear braces may be a viable alternative.
Many patients choose clear braces as they are better able to blend in with their smile. They are not actually transparent; the brackets are constructed from tooth-coloured ceramic.
Clear braces come with a caveat: while they are a compromise between metal braces and clear aligners when it comes to appearance, they are actually more brittle and larger in size than the traditional metal braces you may have seen.
They also tend to be more costly. Therefore, they are commonly used only on upper front (your most visible) teeth to save on costs.
Keep in mind that your gums may feel sensitive with these, as the larger ceramic brackets can make it more challenging to clean around the brackets, leading to receding or swollen gums should your toothbrush not reach the gum line and enamel.