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How to Choose Between Clear Aligners & Braces

Are you unsure about whether to choose between clear aligners and traditional braces for your orthodontic treatment? Here, our Slave Lake dentists offer some factors to think about, including cosmetic considerations.

Choosing Between Clear Aligners & Braces

Clear aligners like Invisalign, or traditional metal braces: this can be a difficult choice. Thankfully, our dentists are here to help make your decision a bit easier. The following are some facts worth considering when thinking about which option you should rely on to help you achieve a straighter smile. 

Clear Aligners

Transparent clear aligners such as Invisalign are custom-made to fit your smile. These removable orthodontic appliances are constructed from clear plastic material. They forgo the brackets and wires that accompany braces and are therefore lower profile in appearance.

You will receive an individually customized treatment plan that can help you to achieve your smile goals. This will typically involve spending less time in your dentist's office during treatment since you may not need as many appointments or checkups with clear aligners when compared to traditional metal braces. 

Your dentist will schedule brief appointments with you every 4 to 6 weeks, and take the opportunity to review your progress and general oral health, answer questions, and adjust treatment as required. 

Depending on your specific treatment plan, they may be in line with the cost of braces or slightly more expensive. A casual observer will be hard-pressed to see them on your teeth, and you won't have any restrictions on the food and drinks you can enjoy.

With that being said, clear aligners must be worn at least 22 hours of each day and removed while drinking and eating anything besides water. Commitment to treatment, self-discipline and scheduling meals to fit within your extra 2 hours each day takes a lot of

However, clear aligners must be worn for 22 hours each day and removed while drinking and eating anything except water. Commitment to treatment, self-discipline and scheduling meals to fit within the 2 hours allotted for meal times every day. 


Traditional Metal Braces

These are the most common type of braces. Made entirely out of metal and supported by elastics, metal braces have received numerous upgrades in recent decades thanks to advancements in orthodontic technology.

Over time, braces apply continuous pressure to your teeth, slowly shifting them into their new, corrected positions. As this pressure is applied and the teeth move, the bone changes shape to accommodate their new positions. 

Brackets today are much more streamlined than you may remember them from movies or friends in decades past. Now, you won't run as much of a risk of your lips or cheeks becoming irritated by a bracket since they have gotten smaller and more comfortable. However, some people are still a bit reluctant to choose braces because they don't like the way these orthodontic appliances look. 

In this case, clear braces may be a viable alternative.

Clear Braces

Many patients choose clear braces as they are better able to blend in with their smile. They are not actually transparent; the brackets are constructed from tooth-coloured ceramic. 

Clear braces come with a caveat: while they are a compromise between metal braces and clear aligners when it comes to appearance, they are actually more brittle and larger in size than the traditional metal braces you may have seen.

They also tend to be more costly. Therefore, they are commonly used only on upper front (your most visible) teeth to save on costs.

Keep in mind that your gums may feel sensitive with these, as the larger ceramic brackets can make it more challenging to clean around the brackets, leading to receding or swollen gums should your toothbrush not reach the gum line and enamel. 

Are you wondering whether braces or clear aligners are the best choice for you? Contact our Slave Lake dentists to book an appointment today. 

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Looking for a dentist in Slave Lake? We're happily accepting new patients at our dental clinic! Contact us to get started today. 

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