Wondering how you'll choose between clear aligners and traditional braces? Our dentists in Selkirk offer some factors to think about, including cosmetic considerations.
Choosing Between Clear Aligners & Braces
It can be a tough choice to make the decision between Invisalign vs. braces. Fortunately, we can help you out. Here are some facts to consider about each option while you think about which one to choose to help you achieve a straighter smile.
Invisalign clear aligners are transparent and custom-made to fit your smile. These removable orthodontic appliances are constructed from clear plastic material. They do not have any wires or brackets to accompany braces. Therefore, they are lower profile in appearance.
You'll receive an individually personalized treatment plan to help you achieve your smile goals. You'll typically spend less time in your dentist's office during treatment, since you might not need as many checkups or appointments, since your clear aligners wouldn't require regular adjustments like braces do. The dentist will schedule brief appointments with you every 4 to 6 weeks and take the opportunity to review your progress and overall oral health. They can also address questions and adjust treatment as needed.
Depending on your specific treatment plan, clear aligners may be in line with the cost of braces or slightly more expensive. A casual observer will be hard-pressed to see them on your teeth and you won't have any restrictions on rinks or food you can enjoy.
That said, patients who choose clear aligners must wear them for 22 hours every day and remove them to eat and drink anything except water. Self-discipline, commitment to treatment and scheduling meals to fit within the 2 hours allotted for meal times every day will be essential to your success.
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.