Understanding Orthodontics: Metal Braces or Clear Aligners?

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Are you unhappy with your smile? Are your teeth crooked? Has your child's dentist mentioned that it would be a good idea to look into orthodontic treatment for them? Fortunately, there are experts who can meet your needs. According to IBISWorld, as of 2023, there are 15,817 orthodontics businesses in America. Are you curious about the difference between clear aligners and traditional metal braces? Read on to learn more.

Metal Braces

Braces have been around in one form or another since the days of the Ancient Egyptians. Fortunately, orthodontics are much more advanced these days. The orthodontist will put brackets on the front of the teeth and then run metal wire through them. Over time, they will periodically tighten the wires to help the teeth move into the correct position.

Metal braces are highly effective at moving crooked teeth. They can also turn a tooth that might be at an odd angle into the correct position. They are ideal for people who have severe tooth positioning issues or a pronounced overbite or underbite.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligner treatment involves a patient wearing a series of clear aligners that look similar to mouthguards. These aligners will discreetly direct the teeth over the course of time. Our patients usually change them every 10 days to two weeks. These should be worn all day except when eating or brushing one's teeth.

Patients might choose clear aligners because they don't want everyone around them to see that they are wearing braces. The aligners are very discreet and are only noticeable up close. This is perfect for those who want to look good smiling in photos. However, be aware that clear aligners are usually only for people who have mild or moderate tooth placement issues, as the aligners aren't strong enough to move very crooked teeth.

Clear aligner patients like that they can take the trays out to eat whatever they want. Metal braces, on the other hand, require a stricter diet. It's easier for clear aligner patients to brush their teeth, too.

Metal Braces vs. Clear Aligners

Metal braces and clear aligners each offer their own unique advantages. Both treatments can last a year or more, depending on the initial state of the patient's teeth. For more guidance on the differences between the two, be sure to ask a trusted orthodontist which option they think would better suit your needs.

Are you interested in orthdontic treatment for yourself or your child? If so, contact Smile Brite Orthodontics today. We'll be happy to help you explore your options, including metal braces, clear aligners, and more!