Deciding between clear or metal braces?

By talking to your orthodontist and our treatment coordinator, you can decide if clear or metal braces are the right treatment for you. Our office can provide answers to your questions and extra information explaining the benefits of each treatment. If you would like to learn more about clear braces, ceramic braces, and all of the options available to you, please contact our practice and schedule an appointment today. Did you know clear braces are a great alternative if you’re considering Invisalign® or Invisalign Teen® treatment?

Additional Reading: Braces for Teens and Adults

Clear or Metal Braces? SmileLife Orthodontics - El Paso Orthodontist - Corpus Christi Orthodontist - Las Cruces Orthodontist

Clear Braces

Clear braces serve the same function as traditional metal braces, except that they are clear! Clear braces are a less visible alternative to conventional metal braces and provide patients with an equally effective treatment.

Clear aligners are different from clear braces. Clear aligners are pieces of hard plastic designed to fit into your mouth like a mouthguard.

What are the advantages and disadvantages to clear braces?

As with any orthodontic treatment, it is important to choose the right option for your needs and lifestyle. Clear braces are a great alternative to traditional metal braces and our SmileLife Orthodontists will help you determine whether they are the right treatment for you.

Advantages of Clear Braces
  • Appearance: Ceramic braces and clear braces are much less noticeable than traditional metal braces. Clear and ceramic braces offer an aesthetic alternative for patients who seek options other than traditional metal braces.
  • Confidence: Many patients who choose ceramic or clear braces feel more confident about their orthodontic treatment, especially knowing that people are focusing on their smiles rather than their braces.
Disadvantages to Clear Braces
  • Cost: Ceramic and clear braces may cost more than traditional metal braces. Our office may offer convenient payment plans to help control the costs of your treatment. Be sure to talk to our office staff about all of your financial options.
  • Discoloration: The clear elastic ties used with clear and ceramic braces may become slightly discolored when you drink tea, coffee, or wine, and eat certain foods or smoke. Ask us about how you can keep your braces looking their best.
  • Treatment Time: Orthodontic treatment with clear or ceramic braces may take longer than with traditional metal braces. If you don’t mind investing a little more time in your smile, then talk to our SmileLife Orthodontists to find out how long your treatment time will be with clear or ceramic braces.

How do braces work?

Braces achieve your desired result by placing consistent pressure on your teeth. Slowly and painlessly, the connective tissue in your gums shifts, allowing your bone to grow into place while holding your teeth in their new, desired position. This process is called bone remodeling.

Metal braces are the most common type of braces for orthodontic patients. Today’s metal braces are much smaller, flatter, and more comfortable than in the past. Patients of all ages choose metal braces to help them achieve straight, beautiful smiles.

How are metal braces made?

Traditional metal braces are built of high-quality stainless steel or titanium. The three main parts of your braces are:

  • Brackets — Brackets are attached to the teeth using a special glue that bonds them to the tooth surface and holds them in place.
  • Archwire — The archwire is the thin metal wire that connects each bracket and puts pressure on the teeth to help guide them into place.
  • Ligature Elastic (also known as the “rubber bands”) — Tiny colored ties that secure the archwires to the brackets. The colored rubber bands get switched at each appointment.

How do braces work?

Once placed on your teeth, braces apply a constant force on the teeth that induce movement into the proper position. The effect is created by the wire that is tied to the brackets. A combination of the placement of the brackets and shape of the wire determine how the teeth are moved. At each appointment, our skilled Orthodontists may determine if the wire needs to be changed to a different size or shape. In addition to braces, some patients may need to wear rubber bands or additional fixed or removable appliances. Patients who wear braces may notice their teeth feeling a little loose. This is normal and temporary; once the teeth are done moving, this feeling will go away.

Metal braces for children and adults.

Traditional metal braces are still the most popular, quickest, and most cost-effective orthodontic treatment available. We can help you determine what treatment is best for your individual case. Please contact our practice location nearest you to schedule an appointment and learn more about how braces can enhance your smile.

Having braces doesn’t necessarily require highly noticeable metal brackets and wires. In fact, many of today’s braces are made from either clear or natural tooth-colored materials to provide patients with an attractive, less noticeable alternative to traditional braces.