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Metal or clear braces?

Posted in Braces, General, Tips & Advice

Are you debating whether to get metal braces or clear (ceramic) braces? The best option for you will be determined by a variety of factors. Our orthodontists in British Columbia explain why these options, along with Invisalign Clear Aligners, are so hotly debated.

How do Braces Help?

Braces will straighten and realign your teeth into their proper positions. They are appropriate for both simple and complex orthodontic problems such as misalignment, underbite, overbite, and crossbite.

Misaligned teeth can lead to other dental and oral health problems, such as tooth decay or gum disease because they are more difficult to clean than straight teeth. Teeth that are misaligned can also be worn down more easily due to an uneven wear pattern. There are also aesthetic considerations to consider. Many people who have misaligned teeth or a misaligned bite are self-conscious about their smiles. Finally, misaligned teeth can make normal daily activities such as eating and talking more difficult.

Braces can help correct misaligned teeth, addressing the aforementioned issues.

For braces treatment, a bracket is attached to each tooth and linked by a wire that is secured in the back. Brackets on the back molars are equipped with a mechanism that allows your orthodontist to tighten the wire.

Ligatures, which are rubber bands, hold the wire against the bracket. A special type of cement is used to secure the brackets to your teeth.

When you visit your orthodontist throughout your treatment, your braces are slightly adjusted. Through the braces, pressure is gradually applied to your teeth to bring your smile into alignment. You can express your personality by using coloured elastics (rubber bands).

The Difference Between Metal Braces & Clear Braces

Metal Braces

Because traditional metal braces are the most common type, you are probably familiar with them. These braces are entirely made of metal, as the name implies (though they are supported by elastics). Metal braces have received numerous upgrades as a result of advancements in orthodontic technology, and the brackets used today are much more streamlined than those used in the past.

Brackets are less likely to irritate the inside of your lips or cheeks now that they are smaller and more comfortable. However, some people are still hesitant to wear metal braces due to their appearance. If you're worried about people noticing your braces, consider 'clear' alternatives.

Clear Braces

Clear braces are not actually transparent. Instead, the brackets are made of tooth-coloured ceramic, allowing them to blend in better with your smile.

Beware: While clear braces appear to be a cross between metal braces and Invisalign Clear Aligners, they are actually larger and more brittle than traditional metal braces. They are also slightly more expensive than metal braces, so they are typically only used on the upper front (most visible) teeth to save money.

Option 3: Invisalign Clear Aligners

Invisalign Clear Aligners such as Invisalign are transparent, removable orthodontic appliances that are custom-made to fit your smile.

Made of clear plastic material, they are lower profile than braces and do not come with metal brackets or wires. The casual observer will be hard-pressed to see them on your teeth.

What about cost?

Clear braces may be a good compromise for people who aren't candidates for Invisalign Clear Aligners. Clear braces are also typically priced in the middle of the spectrum, depending on your treatment needs.

Metal braces are typically the most cost-effective option, with Invisalign Clear Aligners costing slightly more than the average cost of braces. The cost of your orthodontic treatment will, of course, be determined by the nature of your orthodontic problem, the duration of your treatment, and other factors.

Are you wondering which orthodontic treatment option is best for you? Our British Columbia orthodontists can assess your smile and provide advice about your options, along with a custom treatment plan. Contact us today.

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