Everywhere, image matters. As an adult, when you want a straighter smile, you usually want to achieve it as discreetly and as quickly as possible. Luckily, adults in the market for dental braces will find more than just clunky metal.
Clear braces are one of the most popular options for straightening teeth for adults. Note that every case is different and not everyone is a candidate for each method. Here are some of the pros and cons of both clear braces and traditional braces.
These braces are clear, removable plastic trays which straighten teeth. Every two weeks, the patient receives new trays that are closer to the teeth’s ideal position. Most patients who are candidates choose clear braces.
The pros: Clear braces are nearly invisible to the naked eye, and trays can be removed for cleaning the teeth and for meals—eliminating worries about what you eat or about food stuck in the braces. Dental appointments are relatively short because the system is easy to apply and requires little maintenance. There’s also less discomfort compared with other options. Clear braces, or clear aligners, are going to become the standard for adults. The ability to remove the trays occasionally is good for gum health.
The cons: The big one is compliance. Patients have to wear the aligners for up to 22 hours a day. Anything less will result in a longer treatment time—treatment averages one year.
Visible Metal Braces
Anything fixed on the front of the tooth. This could mean traditional metal wires with stainless-steel brackets, metal wires with clear plastic brackets, or metal wires with tooth-colored ceramic brackets.
The pros: Traditional braces are often suggested to fix more severe alignment problems, such as a turned tooth, because they have a better grip on it.
The cons: These braces are completely visible. The brackets can cause discomfort and irritate the inside of the mouth for the first week or so until a patient adjusts. There are also issues with eating certain foods and keeping the teeth and braces clean. Clear brackets can stain. Treatment time for metal braces is typically longer, an average of 20 months, because cases tend to be more severe.
For more information about if you are a candidate for clear braces, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.