Orthodontics 101: Clear Aligners vs. Braces

Orthodontics Forest Hills, NY

When it comes to orthodontics, clear aligners and braces are two popular options. These appliances can be used to correct myriad bite issues, like spaces between teeth, crooked teeth, and protruding teeth.

Braces have been around for much longer than clear aligners, but they remain the best way to tackle severe orthodontic issues caused by jaw irregularities. Clear aligners tend to be most effective on mild to moderate alignment issues caused by teeth positioning.

Choosing between clear aligners and braces for orthodontics

Let us go over the details of these two popular orthodontics so patients can make an educated decision on what might work best for their situation.

1. Metal braces

Metal braces are conspicuous devices because they involve placing metal brackets and wires on the patient’s teeth. They are fixed appliances, so they stay in for the duration of treatment once a dentist attaches them to a person’s teeth. Fixed appliances are typically recommended when straightening a child’s teeth, since it eliminates having to worry about the child wearing their device as instructed.

Benefits associated with straightening teeth with braces include:

  • Being non-removable ensures that the patient’s teeth are constantly being pushed to a better alignment
  • They cannot possibly be lost
  • They are most effective for severe orthodontic issues

Drawbacks of metal braces include:

  • Have poor aesthetics
  • Can promote tooth decay
  • Restrict food choices
  • Can make oral hygiene more challenging
  • Need to be adjusted periodically

Ceramic braces are conventional braces that have had their metallic parts replaced with tooth-colored or transparent ones. This makes the appliance less sturdy but provides significantly improved aesthetics compared to metal braces.

2. Clear aligners

Clear aligners are thin, transparent trays that push teeth to more ideal positions. These devices are removable, so patients do not need to restrict what they eat or learn new ways to clean teeth during treatment.

Treatment involves multiple sets of aligner trays that essentially work as a relay team. Each is used for two weeks, which is how long it takes for each set to push the patient’s teeth as far as they can.

The benefits of clear aligners include:

  • Do not need periodic maintenance like braces
  • Do not affect the wearer’s smile
  • Are comfortable than braces
  • Can be removed for oral hygiene
  • Do not restrict meals

The drawbacks that come with clear aligners are:

  • Removable trays can easily be misplaced or lost
  • They are not effective on severe alignment issues caused by the jaw

We can correct your smile

Ready for a straight smile that you can gladly show off? Call or visit our Forest Hills clinic to learn more about your options.

Request an appointment here: https://metrosmiles.com or call Metro Smiles Dental at (718) 841-9591 for an appointment in our Forest Hills office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Orthodontics in Forest Hills, NY.

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