Traditional metal braces were the only way to treat misaligned teeth for decades. Now that clear braces are available, many people who need orthodontic treatment prefer to receive this kind. The clear color makes them easier to disguise, and the soft material used to create them makes them more comfortable to wear. Despite the many benefits, you are bound to have questions about clear braces before finalizing your dental braces treatment and process.
The first thing to understand is that clear braces differ from Invisalign and similar types of braces in that they are not invisible or removable. Orthodontists use brackets and wires, but they are clear in color instead of the standard metal color.
How Do Clear Braces Compare to Invisalign in Key Treatment Areas?
Perhaps you are still debating on types of dental braces and need more information to make your decision. We compare clear braces to Invisalign below.
Keeping Braces Less Visible
Invisalign and other types of see-through braces that come in the form of an aligner are the only true form of invisible braces. People will be able to see that you wear braces, but the clear color of the brackets and wires means they are not as easy to detect.
Removing Dental Braces
Invisalign is the brand name of a tooth alignment system that provides patients with a series of customized removable aligners. People who choose Invisalign can remove the aligner to eat and brush their teeth. They can technically remove aligners at any time, but that slows down the total treatment time.
Clear braces are like metal braces in that they remain affixed to your teeth until your orthodontist removes them when you have finished treatment. You need to learn to brush around the brackets and wires as well as avoid hard or sticky foods that could damage them.
Invisalign users replace one aligner with the next in the set approximately every two weeks. If you choose clear braces, you should plan to visit your orthodontist approximately every four weeks for adjustments to the brackets and wires.
How Braces Work
You can be a good candidate for Invisalign if you have only minor alignment or cosmetic problems. Typical examples include teeth crowding, gaps, or a small issue with your bite. Your orthodontist will likely recommend clear or traditional braces if you have more serious alignment issues. All types of braces place pressure on the teeth to move into proper alignment. Adjustments such as tightening the wires of standard braces help to ensure that you stay on track with your progress.
Comparing Clear Braces with Traditional Braces
Clear braces and metal braces have an identical function of applying pressure to your teeth to facilitate movement. They look different because dental laboratory workers create traditional braces with metal and clear braces with porcelain. Metal braces are usually more durable, which means length of the braces may be shorter compared to dental braces made from ceramic. Clear braces typically cost more because dental labs must pay more to source the materials needed to make them.
How Much Do Braces Cost On Average in 2022?
The amount you pay for orthodontic care depends on the type of braces you choose, geographic location, how long you wear the braces, and expertise of the dentistry team assisting you. Ceramic braces cost an average of $1,000 more than standard metal braces. Here are the price ranges:
$2,500 to $8,000 for Invisalign
$3,000 to $7,000 for traditional metal braces
$4,000 to $8,000 for clear ceramic braces
The cost for Invisalign is the most variable among these three types. Some contributing factors include whether patients require repairs or choose to continue treatment by wearing night time retainers. You also need to consider that these figures represent national averages. Because Houston is a large metropolitan area in a large state, estimates tend to run on the higher side of these ranges. Orthodontic treatment for adults is typically more than it is for children. You should always receive a breakdown of costs with a rationale of why you need a particular service.
Caring for Your New Clear Braces
Ceramic brackets can stain easily and can be more delicate than metal braces. Here are some care tips to keep in mind:
Brush your teeth after each meal to prevent food, plaque, and bacteria from becoming trapped in your brackets. Be sure to floss and rinse your mouth out as well.
If you smoke, stop now to avoid bracket-sized stains on your teeth after your orthodontist removes your braces.
- Avoid drinks that can stain your teeth while wearing clear braces, including coffee, soda, and wine.
- Do not use whitening toothpaste during treatment because it could cause you to have two different shades of teeth once your braces come off.
- Make sure that you attend all your braces appointments to keep them all adjusted and aligned.
Who Needs Braces and Where Should They Get Them?
Anyone with crooked, crowded, or overlapping teeth can benefit from orthodontic care, as can people with an underbite or overbite. If you have decided that clear braces are the best option for you, the next step is to contact our dental practice in Houston, Texas, for an estimate of cost and treatment time. You should also find out how much your dental insurance company will pay towards your total cost. You do not need to worry about paying the cost all at once if you have a large balance left after the insurance payment. Our dentistry team is happy to help you explore the various financing options available to you.
Why Clear Braces Can Be a Great Choice
The primary benefit of clear braces over traditional metal braces is aesthetics. They do not draw instant attention to your mouth, which may cause you to feel self-conscious in public. Ceramic braces are more comfortable and cause less irritation than their metal counterparts. They are also nearly as strong as metal and are a good choice for moderate to severe alignment issues.
Potential Drawbacks to Consider
If you are on a tight budget, you need to consider whether the extra cost associated with clear braces is something you want to take on right now. For most people with strong concerns about their appearance during orthodontic treatment, the answer is yes. Clear braces are probably not the best option if you have an overbite or severely misaligned teeth. Some people also experience irritation due to ceramic causing abrasiveness in their mouth. If this is true in your situation, your orthodontist may recommend placing ceramic braces on the more visible top teeth and metal braces on the bottom teeth.
Finding and scheduling your next appointment with an Orthodontist in Houston, Texas
Deciding between different types of braces can be challenging. An experienced orthodontist is the best person to advise you on the dental braces that would work best for your situation. Feel free to contact our clinic at your convenience to schedule a time to learn more about clear braces and other alternatives to improve your smile and oral health. You can click here to schedule your next braces appointment with one of our orthodontists at Zara Dental.