Deciding to get braces is an important step when it comes to taking care of your teeth. Not only do braces align your teeth and correct your bite, but they result in a beautiful straight smile which can improve your confidence as well as your oral health.
As far as orthodontic treatment and braces go, the two main options are metal or clear braces. Both are effective treatments and come with a range of benefits that should be considered.
If you are unsure and asking yourself ‘should I get clear braces?’ then it’s worth comparing the two to help you decide.
Traditional Metal Braces
Many of us remember metal braces from our school days that were highly visible and glinted in the sun when you smiled. Fortunately, times have changed and with dental advancements, metal bands with brackets no longer have to be applied to each tooth. Even better, the brackets are smaller than they once were, and the wires are much less noticeable too.
While metal braces are a more visible form of orthodontic treatment than clear braces, younger patients, in particular, can turn this to their advantage by using brightly coloured rubber bands to express their style, support their favourite sport’s team, or display their school colours.
Also called ceramic braces, these are similar in style to traditional metal braces with the main difference being that the brackets and wires are made from clear plastic or tooth-coloured ceramic matched to your natural teeth. They are aesthetically more pleasing which makes them a better alternative for people who feel self-conscious about wearing braces.
You should be aware, however, that the ceramic brackets are larger than for metal braces which can make it more difficult to clean around them. If you can’t reach the enamel and gum line, your gums may become swollen or could start to recede.
It’s important to note that clear braces and clear aligner systems like Invisalign are not the same thing. Invisalign utilises a series of removable plastic trays to straighten teeth.
They are worn over the mouth like a mouthguard, making them barely visible. For this reason they are often referred to as ‘invisible’ braces.
Clear braces are generally more comfortable to wear because the materials used are less harsh than metal and don’t irritate the soft tissues of your mouth or cheeks as much as traditional metal braces.
Clear or ceramic braces, however, are generally not recommended if you actively play sports. A mouthguard should always be worn over any type of orthodontic braces during sports activities.
Both clear braces and metal braces require regular adjustments from your dentist as your teeth start to shift and you may experience soreness for a couple of days after this.
Both clear braces and traditional metal braces are effective options for fixing crooked teeth. Either device can treat all manner of dental problems both minor and complex and are particularly effective for treating severe crowding problems and malocclusions.
That said, sometimes, ceramic braces need to be worn for longer than metal braces. The tooth-coloured material provides a rougher surface which can cause additional friction to the wire. This in turn can slow down the time taken to move your teeth.
Patients facing extensive orthodontic treatment often opt for traditional wire braces over ceramic because the latter is not as strong, and the brackets are more likely to chip or crack which is inconvenient and costly when you have to factor in repairs and your time.
So, should I get clear braces?
These are just some of the factors to consider but ultimately your decision is likely to be swayed by personal preference and/or finances.
Metal braces are less expensive than clear braces. Typically metal braces cost in the region of $4000 to $8000 depending upon your treatment. Whereas you can expect to pay anywhere between $6,500 to $9,500 for ceramic orthodontic treatment.
You may be able to claim a portion of your orthodontic treatment costs from your health provider, so it’s always worth exploring this avenue first before moving forward with any orthodontic treatment.
Hopefully, this post has helped answer your question “should I get clear braces” but it’s always best to visit an orthodontist or dentist that’s experienced in orthodontics for an assessment of your teeth. He or she can recommend the best type of braces for your particular dental situation.
Why not book an orthodontic appointment with the experienced dentists at Randwick Smiles or call us at (02) 8188 4625. We can assess your teeth and discuss what you can achieve by wearing traditional metal braces or clear braces.