Orthodontics

Metal Braces vs. Clear Aligners – Which One Is The Best Fit?

If you are considering metal braces or clear aligners for sure, you have a lot of questions. With so many options available nowadays, it is customary to ask questions like – Which orthodontic treatment is more effective? Which one will cost me more? Which one is easier to maintain? 

The aim of orthodontics is to correct poorly positioned teeth, correct and optimize the bite, and enhance your teeth’ appearance and function. Orthodontics is not only recommended to children; every year, more and more adults are undergoing orthodontic treatments to correct the alignment of their teeth permanently. 

The most popular treatments are metal braces and clear aligners, but do you know the main differences between these two orthodontic treatments? 

Metal Braces Or Clear Braces?

These decisions shouldn’t be taken lightly since these orthodontic tools won’t only improve the appearance of your smile; they will impact your dental health and your overall health. The best way to make a decision is to consult your dentist and see what he has to recommend to you.

Metal braces

Many teeth-straightening treatments are available, but one of the most used forms of braces is traditional metal braces. Metal braces are made of stainless steel brackets that are affixed to your teeth. 

Through slots in the brackets, wires are threaded and connected to the brackets with small rubber bands. The wires put a constant and gentle force to your teeth that will help in proper alignment. Unfortunately, metal braces are not removable.

They are incredibly efficient at fixing complex issues, and they work faster than clear aligners. The average time that you must spend wearing metal braces is from 18 months to 3 years. But since you will see the signs of improvement reasonably early, it will encourage you to stay on the course until the end.

The bad side of the metal braces is that they are hard to maintain clean since it is hard to navigate around wires while brushing and flossing. Also, there are certain foods that you must give up on while you wear braces. 

The orthodontist visits are frequent, between four and six weeks since the wires must be tightened and bands changed. It is crucial not to skip the appointment since, that way, you will prolong the treatment.

Clear aligners

Clear aligners are clear thin trays made to perfectly fit your teeth. One of the advantages of clear braces is that the aligners are removable, but that means that the patient is responsible for putting them in and wearing them for at least 22 hours each day. 

Clear aligners are designed to move your teeth using the same method as braces – constant, gentle pressure that corrects alignment.

Aligners allow easier brushing and flossing since they are removable, and food can’t get stuck in between like with metal brackets. However, since they do not have brackets and wires, they require fewer repairs and fewer orthodontist visits. 

The biggest benefit of clear aligners is that they are nearly invisible, making them perfect for working adults who must maintain a professional look.

Which Is More Effective?

The basic process of tooth movement is the same in both types of treatment, no matter if it is applied to children or adults. Some of the main reasons why you should consider wearing braces are:

  • Correction of the overbite or to correct the teeth that are placed too high
  • Realignment 
  • Correction of space between teeth 
  • Dental overlap
  • Prevention of premature erosion

Straightening improves the functioning of the teeth and the jaw muscles, which can prevent dental disorders and complications such as:

  • Increased number of cavities due to overlapping teeth
  • Chronic gum inflammation
  • Fractures of poorly positioned teeth
  • Temporomandibular joint complications

Anyhow, metal braces tend to be more effective at adjusting teeth with severe overcrowding, and they will cost less than aligners. Also, if you tend to lose your stuff easily, you won’t feel anxious about misplacing them and forgetting to put them back on when wearing metal braces. 

Clear aligners offer invisibility, faster results, and more comfort, but they require discipline, and they tend to be misplaced easily. Remember, clear aligners will cost you more. 

If you want to improve your smile yet, you cringe at the thought of having a mouth full of wires and metal brackets; talk to your orthodontist about your options and see if you are a good candidate for clear aligners.

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