If you need orthodontic treatment the question of clear braces vs metal braces has probably crossed your mind. And, in light of the fact that treatment could take up to 18 months to be completed, it is a major decision that needs to be weighed up objectively. Both clear and traditional braces have their pros and cons – let’s have a look at the scenarios where each is most effective.
The Importance Of Orthodontic Treatment
Remember that orthodontic treatment is not only an aesthetic decision; it is also a dental hygiene decision. Straight teeth are much easier to keep clean than crooked teeth, and less likely to experience tooth decay for that reason. The choice between clear braces vs metal braces is a very personal decision, and a decision you would arrive at in consultation with your dental practitioner.
Traditional Metal Braces – What Are The Pros?
Traditional metal braces are affordable
One of the reasons that metal braces are so popular is their cost-effectiveness. They are the most affordable orthodontics currently available.
They are effective at straightening teeth
Metal braces can be used for mild to major correction and they can address all bite issues effectively. They have been used for many years, and while their basic structure and functionality hasn’t changed much, some effort has gone into improving their comfort level.
They are strong and long lasting
Unlike clear or ceramic braces, metal orthodontics cannot be stained or discoloured over time. They are robust and durable.
What Are The Cons Of Metal Braces?
They are noticeable
Traditional metal braces are the most noticeable type of orthodontics, and many adolescents are put off using them because they don’t like the way they look.
They take some getting used to
Metal braces have a reputation for being uncomfortable, and while their design has improved significantly over the years, they can still cause irritation. Bumps in the mouth and adjustments at your dental practitioner may be uncomfortable.
You need to have them adjusted regularly
Metal braces must be adjusted by your dental practitioner on a regular basis. This means that you need to spend more time at your dentist, which can impact on your free time and personal life.
Clear Braces – What Are The Pros?
Clear braces may refer to clear aligners (such as Invisalign®) that are fitted over the front of your teeth, or braces that make use of wires and brackets.
Because they are more likely to discolour under certain circumstances clear aligners and braces are best suited to more mature patients.
They are discreet
The biggest advantage of wearing clear orthodontics like Invisalign is the fact that they are hardly noticeable. Many adolescents and even adults may become self-conscious at the prospect of wearing orthodontics, even though they know what the health benefits are.
They are effective at straightening teeth
Clear braces can straighten your teeth and correct minor to moderate bite issues. They may also take longer to straighten teeth.
They are comfortable
Clear braces are considerably more comfortable than metal braces because they do not make use of brackets and wires, and are fitted over the front of your teeth. They do not need to be adjusted, which can be uncomfortable, and which also means you do not need to visit your dentist as often.
What Are The Cons Of Clear Braces?
The cost of clear braces is higher than metal braces
The biggest con of choosing clear orthodontic appliances like ceramic braces or Invisalign is probably the cost of treatment. For their convenience, discretion and aesthetic appeal, they are more expensive than traditional braces.
Clear braces may be more fragile
Ceramic braces are not as durable as traditional braces and maybe more easily damaged.
Stains may be a problem over time
Clear orthodontics are more prone to staining because of their light colour. Their archwires are also white or clear-coloured, so they require impeccable dental hygiene.
How Do You Weigh Up The Pros And Cons – What Do You Choose?
When deciding which type of orthodontic appliance is best, you will consider a number of different factors such as:
- Your correction and treatment needs
- Your budget and what the braces cost
- Your lifestyle and practicality
- Your age and maturity
- Your commitment to dental hygiene
Taking Care Of Your Braces
Regardless of the type of orthodontics you choose, sound dental hygiene is essential. You will need to take special care when brushing and flossing, to ensure that your teeth are clean and are not likely to decay. When you wear braces it is very easy for food particles to get trapped inside the orthodontic appliance so they need to be cleaned after every meal.
If you’re still wondering whether clear braces vs metal braces are best for your correction needs, it’s best to speak to a professional. Please contact our practice for a professional opinion and a convenient appointment: (03) 9626 9581.