Which braces should I get metal, ceramic or clear?

by: Roy Smith, D.D.S.

If you’ve recently received the news that you need braces, your
next thought may be about how it will affect your physical appearance. Should
you opt for the old-school metal kind, a ceramic of “tooth-colored” option, or
go with an option like Invisalign?

 You’ll want to weigh quite a few factors in this decision,
including cost, durability and length of time to wear the braces. For example,
ceramic and tooth-colored braces are popular because they blend in with the
color of your teeth, are strong and don’t stain easily. They also don’t tend to
irritate gums the way some metal braces can. But on the other hand, they are
usually more expensive than metal braces, and tend to take longer to treat your
bite than using a metal option.

 Metal braces may get a bad rap as nerdy-looking, but modern
versions can be quite stylish, in shiny silver or gold. They are strong and
tough, and you can liven them up by swapping out the colors of your rubber
bands. Treatment tends to cost a little less and last a little shorter than
other options. But, they certainly are much more visible.

An option like Invisalign has become very popular among my
patients – at least, I get a lot of questions about it! It’s appealing because
it’s almost impossible to tell if someone is wearing braces. But Invisalign (a
strong plastic tray molded to your mouth) is really only for those with minor
orthodontic issues. And none of these orthodontic procedures are entirely
pain-free. After all, we are trying to move your teeth around, and it’s going
to cause a little pressure no matter what.

 Ultimately your choice of braces is up to you – but your
orthodontist, dentist or dental hygienist is a great resource for helping make
that decision.

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