Clear braces are an alternative to traditional metal braces. Patients who request clear braces are looking for a more discreet option for orthodontic treatment. One of the most common conditions that can be corrected with orthodontics is gaps or spaces between the teeth. By closing spaces you can improve your smile as well as the health of your teeth.
If you’re in need of orthodontic treatment and you’re considering clear brackets, you may be wondering if they are effective at closing gaps between teeth. Here’s how they work.
Types of Clear Orthodontic Treatments
There are two basic types of clear orthodontic treatments:
- Clear brackets. Clear brackets are similar in size and shape to metal brackets, but they are made of ceramic. They are more tooth-colored than clear, but the ties that attach the archwire to the brackets are clear. The archwire connects the brackets and is made of metal. It is used to shift the teeth back and forth to straighten them and close spaces between them. Clear brackets are less noticeable overall, but the archwire is still highly visible.
- Clear aligners. Clear aligner systems, such as Invisalign, consist of clear plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each aligner is slightly different from the last with the purpose of gradually shifting the teeth into proper alignment. The aligners are also capable of closing gaps between the teeth.
Why Are Spaces Between Teeth a Problem?
Spaces or gaps between the teeth increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. It is easy for food to get stuck in the spaces between your teeth and turn into plaque. Plaque that is not removed with brushing and flossing will harden into calculus, which is much more difficult to remove. Plaque and calculus can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Gaps between the teeth also pose a cosmetic concern for some people. If you don’t like the way you look when you smile in pictures or in the mirror, clear braces can close the gaps and straighten your teeth to improve the appearance of your smile.
Clear Brackets vs Clear Aligners
If you’re not sure which clear orthodontic treatment would be best for you, it may help to compare the pros and cons between the two.
Pros of Clear Brackets:
- Can correct more severe orthodontic problems.
- Capable of moving the teeth in a wider variety of ways.
- Can’t lose or forget to wear them.
Cons of Clear Brackets:
- They can develop stains that make them look less clear.
- The brackets are prone to breaking.
- They often cost more than metal braces and clear aligners.
Pros of Clear Aligners:
- They are the most discreet option. The aligners are virtually invisible on the teeth.
- They are made of smooth plastic that is comfortable and minimizes irritation.
- They are removable for eating and cleaning your teeth. No food restrictions or special brushing and flossing techniques.
Cons of Clear Aligners:
- They are only effective for mild to moderate orthodontic cases.
- They can’t rotate teeth more than 20 degrees or move teeth up or down in the socket.
- You can lose or forget to wear your aligners.
Which Option is Best for Me?
The best orthodontic treatment option for you depends on a combination between your orthodontic needs and your personal preferences. It doesn’t make sense to get clear aligners just to close the gaps between your teeth if they can’t correct some of the other orthodontic issues you may have. If your top priority is your appearance, you may find that clear brackets are still too conspicuous. An evaluation and consultation with your orthodontist can help you make the best decision for your treatment.
Demko Orthodontics Provides Both Clear Options
If you want clear orthodontic treatment, Demko Orthodontics provides both clear brackets and clear aligners for you to choose from. After a brief evaluation and discussion about your preferences we can make a recommendation for the best treatment option for your needs.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.