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Clear Braces: The Pros & Cons and Other Alternatives Available

Clear Braces: The Pros & Cons and Other Alternatives Available

April 18, 2021

Thinking about getting clear braces? Sure, the sound of it is enough to consider them over the conventional metal braces. But make sure to read this first before getting them. This article contains all the information you should know about getting clear braces.

Clear Braces: The Pros & Cons and Other Alternatives Available

To get teeth aligned, the best time to do it is during your teenage years. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get your pearly whites when you get older. With clear braces, more and more adults are embracing (no pun intended) the idea of getting their teeth aligned as adults.

 In case you haven’t heard of clear braces before, they are another form of teeth alignment treatment that gives the same result as traditional metal or wire braces. However, because they are clear, they are almost unnoticeable.

So, these braces are perfect solutions for those who are hesitating to get the conventional metal braces because they feel like they’ll look like teenagers. Clear braces or also known as clear aligners can make your teeth aligned without making you feel self-conscious.

How Do They Work?

As you know already, conventional braces are made of metal. On the other hand, clear braces are made of different materials.

These teeth aligners are usually made of polypropylene material that radically reduces the visibility of the dental fitting. With clear braces, your teeth will be covered entirely with materials of the same color, usually ceramic, which reduces their visibility.

Clear braces work the same way as traditional metal braces do – they exert pressure on the teeth to align them. The only main difference is that the materials used for brackets and wires.

What is the Common Material Used for Clear Braces?

Clear braces are made of two main different materials. The clear brackets are usually made of ceramic or polycarbonate, or sometimes, a combination of the two. On the other hand, the flexible wire that connects the brackets is usually made of titanium and/or nickel.

 

How Much Do Clear Braces Cost?

The less visible clear materials used in these types of braces cost more than the traditional metal braces. Clear braces for adults usually cost between $3,500 and $8,000 if you don’t have insurance.

But of course, the prices heavily depend on where you’re getting your braces from. Orthodontists in more rural places are usually cheaper compared to the professionals that are based in bigger cities.

How Long Do Clear Braces Straighten Your Teeth?

Clear liners are made to work at a much faster pace compared to conventional metal braces. So, you can expect the same level of results as conventional metal braces, but within a shorter period. 

On average, the clear braces treatment completes in 12 months – this can be shorter or longer, depending on the severity of the case.

Do Clear Braces Break Easily?

Clear braces with ceramics tend to be more fragile. The pressure of your teeth aligning can cause low-quality ceramic brackets to break. This can also lead to the straightening process taking longer because of the delays in the straightening process.

How Do You Clean Clear Braces Properly?

Orthodontists recommend brushing, rinsing, and flossing your teeth immediately after eating. The same thing goes for any type of braces, but this is especially more important if you’re wearing clear braces. 

Prolonged contact with food particles increases the concentration of stains. So, removing food from your teeth as quickly as possible is the best way to keep your clear braces clear.

Brushing your teeth right after every meal is highly recommended. Not only this will keep your clear braces less prone to stain, but this will also help you prevent tooth decay and other oral-related problems.

Foods to Avoid Eating When Wearing Clear Braces

The white ceramic brackets don’t stain. However, the elastics that hold the wire to the teeth tend to turn yellow. This discoloration is usually due to the kind of food that is being consumed.

And while wearing clear braces shouldn’t prevent you from eating the foods you enjoy, it’s still a good idea to make yourself aware of the foods that have a higher tendency to stain your braces.

  • Fizzy/Sugary beverages: Sodas, juice, and other colored drinks can stain your braces when consumed regularly. It’s a good idea to try to avoid them or at least minimize your consumption. Using a straw while drinking them can also help.
  • Coffee and tea: Just like sugary drinks, you may also want to minimize your coffee and tea consumption. These drinks contain pigmentation known as tannins, which can stain your braces over time.
  • Spicy food and soup: Dishes with brightly colored spices like curries and soup can also stain your teeth. Tomato soup, green curry, and the like, should not be consumed regularly.
  • Certain fruits: While fruits are healthy, they are not aesthetically healthy for your clear braces. Citrus and berries are some of the fruits you may want to avoid due to their high pigmentation that may stain your braces.

The truth is, determining the foods to avoid can truly be a challenge. However, the rule of thumb you may want to remember is: if it stains your tongue, then it will likely to stain your braces.

The Pros & Cons of Clear Braces

Just like any other form of orthodontic treatment, you must be aware of all the fine print associated with the process you’re planning to do. And just like any other teeth aligning treatment, clear braces have their fair share of pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Appearance: Clear braces are far less visible compared to metal braces. So, they offer an aesthetic solution for those who are looking for an alternative to conventional braces with metal as the main material used.
  • Comfort: Clear braces are more flexible than metal braces. If fitted correctly, ceramic braces are more comfortable and barely impede speech. On top of that, they’re not as bulky and can be adjusted easily.
  • Faster: Clear braces can move teeth much faster than metal aligners. The conventional metallic braces usually take 2-3 years to complete.

Con:

  • Cost: Clear braces are more expensive than traditional metal braces. Fortunately, a lot of dental clinics accept insurance and offer finance options to make it easier for the patients to afford the expenses.
  • Discoloration: The clear ties that are used with clear braces have a tendency to stain. These stains may come from the consumption of colored beverages and smoking.
  • Durability: Clear braces are more prone to chipping and cracking. So, if you do sports regularly, they might not be the best option for you.

Other Alternatives You Can Consider Before Getting Clear Braces

Best invisible aligners

1. NewSmile® Invisible Aligners

Price: $92/mo. With $0 or $1,799 if you pay once

Invisible aligner is another orthodontic treatment that aligns the teeth without the use of metal braces. In this process, you’ll have a series of custom-made clear braces that pull the teeth into position gradually.

Unlike conventional braces, clear aligners use plastic molds that cover the teeth. These are also a great solution for adults who don’t want to wear old-school type of braces.

Pros:

  • More comfortable
  • Removable, so you can wear them only when it's convenient for you
  • Convenient to use
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Faster process

Cons:

  • Can be more expensive
  • Depending on what type you choose, you might have to wear them for 22 hours per day for all day aligners, and 10 continuous hours for night aligners

2. Lingual Braces

Price: $5,000-$7,000

Lingual braces work like traditional braces, the main difference is that they are placed at the back of the teeth (by the tongue and palate) instead of in front.

So, they are another great cosmetic alternative for those who don’t want to show their teeth alignment process. The treatment may take 18 to 36 months, depending on the severity of a patient's overcrowding of teeth or bite.

Pros:

  • Completely invisible from the front
  • Might only require a shorter treatment period
  • Doesn’t require monthly appointments
  • Precise results

Cons:

  • Not very comfortable
  • The process may take longer
  • Not ideal for those who have smaller teeth
  • Permanent and can’t be removed like metal braces

In summary…

Clear braces have brought so much hype within the past few years. After all, they are an incredible alternative form of treatment to conventional metallic braces. This makes them an ideal option for adults who don’t want to look like middle school students.

However, while clear braces are not as visible as traditional braces, they are not completely invisible. Especially when you’ve been wearing them for a longer period and they become stained.

Fortunately, there are better options. Invisible aligners from  NewSmile® can be the better option if you’re looking for a more unnoticeable way of aligning your teeth. Aside from being less visible, they are also more affordable and a faster aligning process.

Invisible aligners are designed with comfort in mind, so you don’t have to worry about feeling weird while you’re wearing them unlike when you wear clear braces. And because they are removable, eating and drinking remain enjoyable – you don’t have to worry about food getting stuck in your braces!