How can you decide between metal or clear aligners?

During your teen years, did any of your friends have braces? Maybe you did as well. Nowadays, many people who did not have braces as teens, or whose teeth have become misaligned, are fixing their smiles later in life. However, there’s one snag: Metal brackets and wires could irritate your mouth. Straightening a crooked smile with clear aligners for teeth is another option.

Do you prefer metallic or clear braces?

Various orthodontic treatments can straighten your teeth, but metal braces are perhaps the most famous. Metal braces use brackets that are applied to your teeth, along with wires threaded through slots. Steel brackets and rubber bands keep the wires firmly attached to the brackets. These wires apply a consistent, but non-aggressive force to ensure your teeth are properly aligned.

These are thin, clear trays that fit over the teeth. Unlike metal braces, clear aligners for teeth can be taken out and put in by the patient. A set of aligners is intended to move a patient’s teeth using the same method as braces: constant, gentle pressure. Patients are responsible for putting them in and taking them out.

clear aligners for teeth

Clear aligners: their benefits

While metal braces provide some benefits, aligners offer others. Aligners are easily cleaned and removed and do not become clogged with food like metal brackets. The biggest benefit of clear aligners is that they are nearly invisible, meaning that fewer people will be able to notice you are wearing them. There are no brackets or wires that can loosen, so they may require fewer repairs and fewer emergency visits to the dentist.

The Treatment Process

To start on the road to straightening your teeth, you should visit an orthodontist. Your dentist will examine your teeth and take X-rays and photos of your head and mouth. An impression of your teeth will then help them determine the course of your treatment.

Most patients wear braces for between one and three years after developing their treatment plans, though your orthodontist will have a better idea after determining the appropriate time frame for your case.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends wearing aligners for at least one to two weeks if you choose to wear them. If you don’t wear them for that long, it can damage your teeth.

Which method is more effective?

Having metal braces can work better for treating severely overcrowded teeth. Metal braces can also be less expensive than aligners. And because they are fixed to your teeth, you won’t be able to lose or misplace them.