Not so long ago, straightening teeth and aligning the bite required about two years of wearing conspicuous and unattractive metal braces. While metal braces are still widely used and are very effective at helping you achieve a great smile, you now have other options that do not draw unwanted attention to your mouth. Wearing braces with clear or tooth-colored brackets is one of those options.
Clear Braces: Not the Same as Clear Aligners
Clear aligners consist of plastic overlays that resemble mouthguards or teeth whitening trays. They are custom designed to fit over the entire upper or lower dental arch, and you have to change the aligners at prescribed intervals so that they can gradually shift the teeth into their proper positions.
Clear braces are made up of brackets and archwires just like metal braces. The sole difference is that the brackets, which are made of ceramic or composite materials, are not as noticeable. While the archwires are still made of metal, the brackets are either clear or close to the natural color of your teeth, making them difficult to spot from a distance or even in photographs.
Pros and Cons of Clear Braces
Your orthodontist will help you choose the right treatment to meet your unique needs for a healthy bite and properly aligned teeth. As with any orthodontic treatment method, clear braces have both pros and cons.
Pros: The main draw of clear braces is that they offer a better cosmetic appearance than metal. This is especially important to image-conscious adolescents and adults who want people to notice their smiles rather than their braces. Clear braces allow you to feel confident about your appearance throughout the treatment process instead of having to wait until your braces are removed.
Cons: There are a few disadvantages you should consider before choosing clear braces. They are more expensive and require longer treatment times than metal braces, Also, the clear ligatures used with ceramic braces may experience discoloration after you consume dark foods or drinks. However, many patients find that the benefits of clear braces outweigh the disadvantages, and they are willing to undergo longer treatment times, pay a little extra and avoid certain foods and beverages in exchange for an inconspicuous treatment method that helps them feel confident and attractive.
Choosing the Best Orthodontic Treatment
The only way to determine if clear or ceramic braces are a good choice for you is to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist, who will perform an examination, take X-rays and speak with you about your treatment goals. To learn more about perfecting your smile with clear braces or another treatment method, schedule your orthodontic consultation today.