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According to the Pennsylvania Dental Association, approximately four million individuals in the US wear braces at any given time. 

Over the years, braces have evolved to be smaller, less intrusive, and practically invisible. Not only are they less conspicuous, but they’re also more effective.

Metal braces have long been the go-to teeth straightening treatment, especially for young children and adolescents. The problem with metal braces is that they’re a little too in-your-face, both figuratively and literally. The demand for more discreet orthodontic treatments for teeth straightening brought forth the creation of clear braces.

Clear braces work just like metal braces, but as the name connotes, they’re transparent. For adolescents who’ve had to deal with social awkwardness because of their metal braces, clear braces are sent from heaven. These braces blend much better with the tooth’s surface making them far less noticeable.

However, there’s no clear winner when it comes to metal vs. clear braces because each orthodontic treatment has its pros and cons. Join us as we look at both teeth-straightening solutions and try to find out which treatment is right for you.

Metal Braces

Metal braces are the traditional teeth-straightening solution. They consist of metal brackets that the dentist will fix on your teeth. They then connect these metal brackets to archwires to help pull the teeth inwards. Sometimes doctors use rubber bands together with the archwires for special situations.

Wearing metal braces requires regular visits to the dentist. These visits are important so the dentist can adjust the archwires and pressure on your teeth to align correctly. 

You’ll have to wear your metal braces for around eighteen months to three years before your dentists remove them. After that, you’ll need a retainer, so your straightened teeth don’t misalign again. 

Pros and Cons of Metal Braces

As mentioned earlier, there are both upsides and drawbacks to having metal braces. Let’s look at a few pros and cons of having metal braces.

Pros of Metal Braces

The pros of having metal braces include:

Affordable– Of all types of braces and corrective orthodontic treatments, metal braces are the least expensive. That’s why they’re a popular choice for people with overbite and underbite. If you’re on a tight budget, you should go for metal braces.

Super Effective– Metal braces are an effective teeth-straightening treatment and correct misaligned teeth and gaps faster than other types of braces.  It’s great for people with severe teeth misalignment or huge gaps between their teeth.

Don’t Stain Easily– Unlike clear braces, metal braces are less likely to show food stains and pigments stains from drinks. Food stains can be very embarrassing and are also bad for your oral hygiene.

Stylish– Who’d have thought stylish and metal braces would ever appear in the same sentence? It’s true; you can style your metal braces with different color rubber bands to match your personality

Durable– As the name connotes, metal braces are made from metal. Because metal is very durable, you rarely have to go for any repairs or replacements up until your dentist removes your braces.

Cons of Metal Braces

With so many advantages, metal braces don’t seem that bad, after all. However, there are some downsides to wearing metal braces. Some of them include:

Conspicuous– The most obvious con of metal braces is that they’re too conspicuous. Anyone can spot your metal braces from a mile away.  This can be detrimental to the quality of life, especially in young children, adolescents, and teenagers.

Hard to clean– Cleaning metal braces can take a lot of time because you have to brush and floss in a special way.

Mouth sores– Sometimes, metal braces can lead to the formation of mouth sores in your mouth’s soft tissue. These sores can get very painful and cause discomfort

Clear Braces

Clear braces are an excellent alternative to metal braces. They use clear brackets and wires made from plastic to align your teeth. Sometimes clear braces are made from ceramic that matches the shade of your teeth, making it unnoticeable.

Pros and Cons of Clear Braces

Just like metal braces, there are advantages and disadvantages to having clear braces. Let’s look at some pros and cons of these types of braces.

Pros of Clear Braces

If you’ve been mulling over getting braces, you should consider clear braces. That’s because they have tons of benefits, including:

Less conspicuous– The most significant benefit of clear braces is that they’re much less noticeable than metal ones. Someone would have to come really close before they notice you have braces on. If you’re very conscious about your appearance, clear braces can boost your self-esteem.

Easier to clean– unlike metal braces, cleaning your clear braces is much easier. That means you don’t have to waste a lot of time brushing and flossing your teeth.

Easier to remove– Once your teeth align properly, your dentist will remove your clear braces. The glue that fixes the braces to your teeth is easier to remove than that of metal braces.

Cons of Metal Braces

While metal braces are great for your self-esteem, they may not be ideal for the sporty individual. Here are a few downsides to wearing clear braces:

Expensive– Clear braces are costlier than metal braces, especially ceramic braces. That means you’ll have to dig deep in your pockets to get clear braces.

Damage easily– Clear braces damage easily because they’re made of less durable materials. This makes them not ideal for sports and other vigorous activities.

Staining– Because these braces are transparent, they stain easily, and you have to keep cleaning them more often.

Less effective– It’ll take a bit longer for clear braces to align your teeth than it does with metal braces. As such, they’re not the best braces to deal with severe malocclusion.

The Decision Is in Your Hands

Choosing between metal braces and clear braces is never an easy thing to do. However, the information above should help you make a more informed decision when it’s crunch time.

The right braces and a skilled orthodontist are all you need to get that perfect smile. For expedient and world-class dental services, contact us today.