Clear vs Metal Braces: The Pros and Cons of Each
December 5, 2023

Dental care is a difficult thing to navigate. There are just so many different factors to think about! That’s especially true when it comes to braces. 

It can be complicated to decide about clear vs metal braces for yourself or your child. What’s the best choice for your teeth-straightening needs? 

We can help. Read on to learn about clear vs metal braces.

Pros of Clear Braces

Clear braces, also known as clear aligners, have become a popular orthodontic treatment option.

One of the primary advantages of clear braces is how they look. They are transparent or nearly invisible, making them a more discreet option compared to traditional metal braces. 

This can be particularly appealing to people who could feel self-conscious about their appearance while they’re wearing braces.

Clear braces are generally thought to be more comfortable than metal braces. They are custom-made to fit a person’s teeth, and there are no wires or brackets that can cause irritation or soreness.

The smooth, plastic material of clear aligners tends to be gentler on the soft tissues of the mouth.

They’re removable. That lets patients take them out for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing. This feature makes it easier for individuals to maintain good oral hygiene during their orthodontic treatment. It also means that there are fewer dietary restrictions compared to traditional braces.

Clear braces often require fewer in-office visits compared to traditional braces. The treatment plan is mapped out in advance, and patients typically receive several sets of aligners at each appointment.

This means fewer adjustments are needed. So, treatment is more convenient for people with busy schedules.

Clear braces use advanced technology to map out the entire treatment process from the beginning. Patients can see a virtual representation of how their teeth will move and what the final result will look like. This predictability can be reassuring for individuals undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Clear braces generally cause less discomfort than traditional braces. The absence of metal wires and brackets means there is less friction and pressure on the teeth.

Patients often experience less soreness during the initial adjustment period, and the overall treatment process is considered more comfortable.

Cons of Clear Braces

There are also drawbacks you’ll need to consider.

Clear braces tend to be pricier than traditional metal braces. The advanced technology and custom manufacturing processes contribute to a higher overall cost. In some cases, insurance coverage for clear braces may be limited compared to metal braces.

Clear braces may not be the ideal solution for complex orthodontic cases. Severe misalignments or issues with bite may require the precision and strength of traditional braces.

A thorough assessment by an orthodontic professional is necessary to determine the suitability of clear braces for a specific case.

The success of clear braces depends on the particular person’s commitment to wearing them for the proper amount of time each day.

Compliance is crucial for effective treatment. If a patient frequently removes the aligners or fails to wear them as prescribed, it can prolong the treatment time or compromise the final results.

Some people may experience temporary speech impediments when they first start wearing clear braces.

The aligners can affect tongue placement. That leads to slight changes in speech patterns. However, most people adapt to this over time as they become accustomed to wearing the aligners.

While clear braces are designed to be discreet, they may not be entirely invisible. Certain angles or lighting conditions can reveal the presence of the aligners. This may be a consideration for individuals who require absolute discretion in their professional or personal lives.

Pros of Metal Braces

Metal braces are often more cost-effective than clear options. This makes them a practical choice for individuals on a budget or people without comprehensive dental insurance coverage.

Metal braces are highly effective for correcting many different orthodontic issues, including severe misalignments, crowded teeth, and issues with bite. They are versatile and can address complex dental problems with precision.

Metal braces are known for their particular durability and strength. The materials used, such as stainless steel, are resilient and can withstand the forces exerted during the orthodontic treatment process.

Unlike removable aligners, metal braces are fixed onto the teeth. This eliminates concerns about patient compliance. There’s no risk of forgetting to wear or losing the braces. That ensures consistent progress throughout the treatment. That might be something to consider when it comes to rebellious kids or teenagers.

In certain situations, metal braces may lead to faster treatment outcomes compared to alternative methods. For specific orthodontic issues, metal braces may achieve results more quickly, making them a time-efficient option.

Unlike clear aligners, which can discolor over time, metal braces are resistant to staining. This can be an advantage for people who like foods and drinks that may cause discoloration.

Cons of Traditional Braces

One of the most notable drawbacks of metal braces is their visibility. The metallic appearance can be a source of self-consciousness for some individuals. In particular, they might not feel appropriate for adults who feel like they’re too old for braces.

Metal braces can cause discomfort and irritation, especially during the initial adjustment period and after subsequent adjustments. The wires and brackets may rub against the cheeks, lips, and tongue, leading to soreness and the development of small ulcers.

Maintaining good oral hygiene can be more challenging with metal braces. The brackets and wires create additional surfaces for plaque and food particles to accumulate. Special care and tools, such as interdental brushes and floss threaders, are often needed to clean between wires and around brackets effectively.

Traditional metal braces’ wires and brackets can be susceptible to breakage or damage. That’s particularly true if the patient does not follow dietary restrictions or engages in activities that increase the risk of injury to the mouth.

Clear vs Metal Braces: Decide Today

There are lots of pros and cons to think about when it comes to deciding between clear vs metal braces.

Are you searching for top-quality orthodontic care in Raleigh? Everyone at Carolina Braces is passionate about helping your mouth look and feel its best. 

Schedule a free consultation with our orthodontic dental professionals today.