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Pickering Smiles Blog

How to Choose Between Clear Aligners & Braces

Once you have made the decision to straighten your teeth you will then need to decide what type of orthodontic appliance you will use. Our Pickering dentists share everything you need to know about clear aligners and traditional braces in order to help you make your decision.

Everything You Need To Know About Braces & Clear Aligners

Choosing between clear aligners and traditional braces can be difficult. Luckily, our Pickering dentists offer some facts to consider about each option while you think about which one to choose to help you achieve a straight smile.

Clear Aligners

Transparent clear aligners such as Invisalign are custom-made to fit your smile. These removable orthodontic appliances are constructed from clear plastic material. Because you will not have brackets and worse as you would with traditional braces it allows this option to keep a low profile while you wear them.

You'll receive an individually customized treatment plan that will help achieve your smile goals. You will typically spend less time in your dentist's office during treatment as you may not need as many checkups or appointments, since your clear aligners wouldn't require regular adjustments as braces do. Your dentist will schedule brief appointments with you every 4 to 6 weeks, and take the opportunity to review your progress and general oral health, answer questions, and adjust treatment as required. 

It is most likely however that this orthodontic appliance will be more expensive than braces would be. A casual observer will be hard-pressed to see them on your teeth, and you won't have any restrictions on the food and drinks you can enjoy.

However, clear aligners must be worn for 22 hours each day and removed while drinking and eating anything except water. Commitment to treatment, self-discipline and scheduling meals to fit within the 2 hours allotted for meal times every day. 


Traditional Metal Braces

For those that opt for orthodontic treatment, traditional metal braces are still the most common option. Made entirely out of metal and supported by elastics, metal braces have received numerous upgrades in recent decades thanks to advancements in orthodontic technology.

These braces gradually apply 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 and those patients may opt for clear aligners.

Clear Braces

Clear braces blend in with your natural teeth minimizing their visibility when you smile or talk. 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.

This option however is more expensive than traditional metal braces. 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. 

Are trying to decide whether you should choose clear aligners or traditional braces? Contact our Pickering dentists to schedule a consultation.

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