Traditional Metal Braces and Invisible Braces: the Pros and Cons

  • By Peter
  • 28 Jun, 2017

Traditional Metal Braces and Invisible Braces: the Pros and Cons

Orthodontic braces have been around for decades, but the days of headgear and heavy-duty metal braces have passed as technology has improved. If you are seeking braces or orthodontic care of any sort in the La Jolla, CA or Carmel Valley, CA area, you likely have many questions about traditional braces and the newer options that are available to you and your child.

Advancements in orthodontics and general dentistry have provided both children and adults with many new and improved options. Now young people and their parents have several options to choose from, some so advanced that they may not look like you're wearing braces at all.

Traditional Braces

When you think of braces, the first thing that comes to mind is likely a mouth full of metal brackets with wires attached to these brackets. While these types of metal braces are still a good option for many orthodontic patients, today's traditional braces are far less obvious, invasive or uncomfortable as traditional braces were in the past.

Many traditional braces now feature smaller brackets and use heat-activated arch wires. These wires rely on the body's natural heat to reduce the pain associated with wearing braces and the repositioning of one's teeth.

What Are the Pros of Traditional Braces?

Traditional braces are generally the most cost-effective option for most patients. This is probably the biggest selling point. With traditional metal braces, colored bands are usually an option. This can be fun for younger patients, or at least a way to make the experience a bit more tolerable.

What are the Cons of Traditional Braces?

The biggest con that most people cite is simply that traditional metal braces are the most noticeable form of braces.

Ceramic or Clear Braces

Ceramic braces are an increasingly popular alternative to traditional metal braces. Once called clear braces, ceramic braces use brackets in the same size and shape as traditional metal braces but that are made of ceramic, rather than metal, that mimic the color of natural teeth, making them much less noticeable. Sometimes, they are even clear. Some orthodontists even offer clear wires, which further reduce appearance of braces.

What Are the Pros of Ceramic or Clear Braces?

The biggest benefit of ceramic braces is that they are much less obvious than traditional metal braces. Many consider this to improve their smile and general appearance. Ceramic or clear braces have also been demonstrated to produce results faster than invisible aligners, such as Invisalign.

What Are the Cons of Ceramic or Clear Braces?

Ceramic or clear braces generally cost more than traditional metal braces. For many patients—and especially their parents—this is the biggest drawback. Ceramic braces require specific care to maintain their "invisible" appearance. The brackets may stain easily, which, of course, means they no longer appear to be clear. In short, to maintain the "clear" appearance of ceramic or clear braces requires more attention and effort than the care of traditional metal braces.

While there are certainly other options like Invisalign invisible aligners and lingual braces, traditional and ceramic or clear braces remain the more popular options for a variety of reasons.

The type of braces you choose for yourself or your child is ultimately a personal decision but one that is best made in consultation with an appropriate professional, especially your La Jolla, CA or Carmel Valley, CA orthodontic specialist.

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