While researching options for teeth straightening, many patients consider the use of clear braces instead of traditional metal braces. There are pros and cons to each option. Before making a decision, learning more about the differences between clear braces options and traditional teeth straightening can help patients decide which route works for their circumstances.
Traditional metal braces are not the only option for teeth straightening for most individuals. Getting clear braces is an option that provides more discretion and is especially popular with teenagers and adults for this reason. Getting the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions can help expedite the decision-making process.
1. What are the different types of clear braces?
Clear braces come in a few different forms. Some are attached and adjusted the same way as traditional braces but are constructed with clear or tooth-colored materials to blend in better with the natural teeth. Other types of clear braces are removable tray systems that are virtually invisible while being worn.
2. What are the benefits of clear braces?
The primary benefit of clear braces over metal braces is a higher level of discretion. Ceramic braces are adjusted and tightened in the same way as traditional braces but are less noticeable, especially from a distance. Tray systems or invisible braces offer further advantages. The plastic aligners are removable while eating or for special events such as a photography session. During everyday wear, they are difficult to spot and nearly invisible from a distance.
3. What are the limitations of wearing clear braces?
Ceramic braces are strong and can withstand the tension required to move the teeth into position but are not quite as strong as metal braces. Clear options can crack or chip, so some dentists recommend metal braces for those who play contact sports or are at risk of being hit in the mouth. Tray systems also have some limitations on what they can effectively treat. Some patients are not good candidates for a tray system due to the type of alignment issue.
4. How are clear braces maintained?
Braces that are tooth-colored or clear have the potential to get stained, so when wearing them it is important to avoid staining foods and beverages. Oral hygiene is important for all types of braces, and clear ones are no exception. Tray systems need to be removed when eating and the teeth must be cleaned before replacing the tray.
5. Why doesn’t everyone get clear braces instead of metal ones?
Metal braces may still be recommended for patients who need major adjustments because metal brackets can apply the most amount of force. Younger patients who may be rough on the braces may also do better with the traditional version. Other considerations include time and budgetary constraints.
Getting braces involves a commitment, so it is important for patients to consider all options before moving forward. Those considering clear braces can learn more about the different options by consulting with a dentist to get the answers to further questions.
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