If you’re thinking about straightening your teeth, there are several options available. So many, in fact, that it can seem a bit overwhelming deciding which option is right for you. At Markham Orthodontics in Sacramento, CA, we offer a wide range of options, including traditional metal braces, clear braces, and Invisalign®. One of the most common questions we hear involve the differences between clear braces and Invisalign. Today, Dr. David Markham will explore the similarities and differences between these two orthodontic treatments.
About Clear Braces
Clear braces are quite similar to conventional metal braces – with one major difference: The brackets are clear ceramic and the wires are tooth-colored. This gives patients the opportunity to straighten their smiles a little more discreetly.
Unlike metal and clear braces, Invisalign doesn’t use brackets, wires, or bands at all. This system straightens the smile with clear, removeable, plastic trays. During treatment, patients will be given several sets of aligners, which they will switch out every two weeks to achieve the desired results.
What’s the Difference between Clear Braces and Invisalign?
Now that we’ve had a brief review of both clear braces and Invisalign, let’s look at a few key differences between the two.
Invisalign is more discreet.
If you want to forego metal braces for a more aesthetically pleasing look, then Invisalign is probably your best option. While clear braces are certainly less noticeable compared to their metal counterparts, Invisalign is virtually invisible to others.
Clear braces are more versatile.
Both clear braces and Invisalign can treat a wide variety of orthodontic issues. The difference is, clear braces can correct more severe cases. For example, if you have extremely crooked, gapped, or overlapped teeth, clear braces will be more effective than Invisalign.
Invisalign is removable.
Patients who choose clear braces will still need to clean around their wires and brackets, as these appliances are bonded onto the teeth until treatment is complete. Invisalign, on the other hand, is completely removeable. This means that you can enjoy all of your favorite foods without worrying about broken components. Just remember to place your aligner trays back in your mouth after meals; to be effective, Invisalign must be worn at least 22 hours every day.
Clear braces require fewer adjustments.
To successfully correct orthodontic issues with Invisalign, trays must be changed out every two weeks. However, those who choose clear braces will only need adjustments about every four weeks. No matter which option you choose, Dr. Markham will monitor your progress every few weeks to make sure you stay on track.
Clear braces are more likely to irritate soft tissues.
While clear braces certainly look different than traditional metal ones, the design is essentially the same. Therefore, the ceramic brackets and wires are more likely to irritate your lips, cheeks, and tongue compared to Invisalign trays. There’s no need to worry, however. Those who choose clear orthodontics typically become accustomed to their new appliance within a week or two.
Clear braces are more fragile.
The ceramic brackets used for clear braces are incredibly strong. However, they are still not as durable as metal. Therefore, they are more prone to breakage or other damage. Following the recommended guidelines set forth by Dr. Markham can help you avoid such situations.