Roughly 4 million people in the United States currently wear braces.
Are you thinking about joining them? If so, you know that it can be overwhelming trying to decide which kind of braces will work best for you.
Whether you’re on the fence about clear braces vs metal or are trying to choose between braces vs Invisalign, keep reading. Outlined below are some pros and cons to help you make the right choice.
Pros and Cons of Metal Braces for Adults
When most people think of braces, they think of traditional metal braces. Orthodontic care has come a long way over the last several years, but plenty of people still favor this classic approach.
The following are some of the most frequently mentioned pros and cons of metal braces:
Traditional braces are, in most cases, the most affordable teeth-straightening option. They’re more accessible than some other modalities, too. They’ve been used for a long time and virtually any orthodontist, anywhere in the world, will offer this treatment and know what’s required to care for your teeth properly.
Traditional metal braces are often more affordable than clear braces, too. Some insurance companies may cover the cost of metal braces as well, especially if they’re recommended for an issue that could affect your health (for example, if you have jaw alignment issues that are altering your bite).
One of the biggest downsides to traditional metal braces is the fact that they’re very visible. Once the orthodontist has applied them, there’s no hiding the fact that they’re there.
Some people don’t mind this. However, others, including adults, may feel self-conscious about walking around with a mouth full of metal brackets and wires.
If you want to straighten your teeth but don’t necessarily want everyone to know about it, traditional metal braces may not be the best choice for you.
That being said, it’s become more common for adults to wear braces over the last few years. You might feel a bit self-conscious at first, but most of the people you interact with likely won’t bat an eye when they realize you have them.
Pros and Cons of Clear Braces for Adults
Now, let’s move on to invisible clear braces. Why would someone choose these over traditional metal braces?
Here are some of the pros and cons to keep in mind if you’re considering this option:
The main benefit of clear braces is that they’re much more discrete. If you want to straighten your teeth and correct jaw issues without people knowing instantly that you’re wearing braces, clear is the way to go.
Clear braces can help you to feel confident, and they also photograph better than metal braces. If you have your picture taken often, or if you just love to take selfies and don’t want to keep your mouth closed in every picture, clear braces will help you to feel less self-conscious when you show off your smile.
Some people report that the brackets of clear braces are smoother than those used for metal braces, too. This can make them a bit more comfortable and less likely to cause canker sores.
When you start looking into clear braces cost vs metal braces cost, you’ll notice that clear braces are more expensive. The cost can be much higher, and insurance may not cover all of it, especially if you’re choosing an expensive treatment over a more affordable one.
Clear braces are more likely to develop stains or discoloration, too. Over time, they may start to change color, even with regular brushing. This is not ideal when your main reason for getting them was to be discrete about your tooth-straightening efforts.
Alternatives to Braces
If you’re not particularly jazzed about clear or metal braces, perhaps an alternative teeth straightening method will be a better fit. Here are some other options to consider instead:
Lingual braces consist of the same components are traditional and clear braces: Brackets, wires, etc. The only difference is that they are worn on the backside of your teeth.
For those who value discretion above all else, lingual braces are a great choice. Because they’re worn on the backs of the teeth, they’re invisible and won’t get in the way of your selfie game.
Some people do find that these braces affect their speech, particularly when they’re first applied. They may cause canker sores at the beginning, too.
Invisalign aligners are a more modern way to straighten your teeth. They involve the use of clear retainers that sit on top of your teeth and gently nudge them into place.
Because Invisalign aligners are clear, they’re very discrete. They’re more comfortable, too, and you can even take them off to eat and brush your teeth.
Invisalign is more expensive than traditional braces and clear braces. However, you typically don’t have to wear the aligners for as long as you have to wear regular braces, so the trade-off is worth it for many people.
It’s worth noting that Invisalign isn’t ideal for everyone, including those who have serious orthodontic issues. Before getting your heart set on them, talk to your dentist to learn more and see if Invisalign is a good choice.
Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are placed permanently on top of your natural teeth. They can be used to cover up minor gaps or overlaps in the teeth without having to go through a long straightening process.
Veneers can be expensive, but they last forever and good for those who don’t want to spend months straightening their teeth. If you want a quick fix and don’t mind paying more for it, veneers are a great choice.
Clear Braces vs Metal braces: Which Is Right for You?
Deciding between clear braces vs metal can be tricky at first. Now that you know more about the pros and cons, though, is it easier to make a decision?
If you need more advice on other dental health treatments, we have plenty of helpful resources on our site. Head to the Health section of our site today to expand your research and keep learning.