Clear Aligners vs Wire Braces: What Is Best for You?
Straightening Your Teeth Just Got Easier.
If you have crowded or crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw, chances are you don’t feel like smiling often. While many people get braces to improve their smile and facial appearance, braces are also a great way to reduce the likelihood of cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. When considering the best way to straighten teeth, you aren’t limited to just traditional metal braces anymore. Clear aligners and discreet ceramic wire braces are a great option too. All three options are a great way to provide straighter teeth and improve your oral health.
The best way to straighten teeth depends on your unique circumstances.
As we said earlier, there are three primary options for braces, orthodontic treatment, and straightening your teeth. Each option has advantages and disadvantages and best-use cases based on your situation. Though your dentist will be best able to help you find a treatment plan that is best for you, a great place to start is by understanding the various options available and going from there.
Traditional metal braces
Traditional braces are highly effective in treating extreme overcrowding of teeth, and metal braces are often less expensive than clear aligners. On the flip slide, special care is required for traditional braces because food often gets stuck between the wires and brackets.
Eating with braces comes with some pros and cons as well. Chewy, crunchy, hard foods such as bagels, popcorn, caramel, nuts, and hard candies are best avoided. Foods like corn on the cob, apples, and carrots are best avoided until after braces come off too. The best foods to eat when you have braces are oatmeal, scrambled eggs, soft cheeses and meats, mashed potatoes, yogurt, pasta, soups, and seafood. And, of course, special care needs to be taken when brushing around your braces, so patients must follow the care instructions provided by their dentist or orthodontist.
Clear aligners can address many problems and are much loved by teens and adults because of their discreet nature. No one will be the wiser that you are straightening your teeth. Clear aligners are a fantastic option for patients with mild to moderate crooked teeth and irregular gaps between their teeth. Individuals who get clear aligners can often expect straighter teeth in just six to 12 months compared to the 12 to 24 months of treatment required for traditional metal braces. Clear aligners are also completely removable, making the aligners and your teeth easy to clean.
Clear aligners offer the most flexibility when it comes to foods you can eat and beverages you can drink. After all, one of the biggest benefits is that you can remove your clear aligners to eat and brush your teeth. However, we recommend you avoid acidic beverages, energy and sports drinks, flavored waters, sodas (including diet soda), and fruit drinks; these items contain harmful chemicals and more sugar than you might realize. Stick to tooth-friendly foods and beverages whenever possible.
Ceramic wire braces
“Clear braces” made of ceramic wires are typically used to treat mild cosmetic issues and usually address the front teeth. More commonly called ceramic braces, this option is generally selected by older teenagers and adults who have cosmetic concerns. Ceramic braces are more delicate than their metal counterparts, so patients need to be exceptionally careful. And, for this reason, ceramic braces are primarily used on the upper front teeth. As with metal braces, patients need to be cautious with what they eat because food can often get stuck between the wires and brackets. Special care also needs to be taken when cleaning to ensure no damage is done to the oral device.
Ceramic braces have similar rules to traditional metal braces, but because of their clear nature, there are a few other guidelines. In particular, it is important to avoid stain-causing foods like dark chocolate, tomatoes, caramel-colored soda, dark teas, and coffee. Red wine can also cause unwanted stains or discoloration and is best avoided until after orthodontic treatment is complete.
Compass Dental Group is your partner to help you with the best way to straighten your teeth.
You don’t have to suffer in silence if you live with crooked or misaligned teeth. With the variety of orthodontic options available to you and the combination of sound science, current dental techniques, and the latest technology, the team at Compass Dental Group in Maryville, Missouri can help you identify the optimal treatment plan to get the beautiful smile you want and deserve. If you are ready for a better smile, schedule an orthodontics consultation today so you can learn about your options. We look forward to meeting you, evaluating your smile, and setting you on the best path forward to straighter teeth.