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Straightening your teeth is an important decision to make and once you make the choice to do it, there is still one more question: Braces vs Clear Aligners? What type of orthodontic treatment is best for me? The best way to answer this question is by having a conversation with your orthodontist. However, here are a few things you can start thinking about that can help you understand the differences.

What do they look like?

Braces consist of a set of metal brackets and wires that will be fixed to your teeth for the duration of your treatment. The brackets will have small rubber bands that you can change colors depending on your preference or even coordinate with a special holiday.

Clear aligners are a set of clear, plastic trays that are basically invisible when you are wearing them. These are removable, but you must still wear them for 22 hours a day and should take them off only to eat or brush.

How long will I have to wear them?

This will have to be determined by your orthodontist, depending on your treatment plan. On average, a braces treatment usually lasts about 24 months whereas an aligner treatment is about 18 months.

Will I be able to eat anything I want to?

With braces, you should try to avoid sticky, hard, and crunchy foods that can get stuck to your braces or can cause a bracket to fall off. With clear aligners, just remove them before eating and you are free to indulge in any type of food you like. Don’t forget to put your aligners on after you’re done eating.

What will brushing and flossing be like?

With either treatment, it is always very important to brush and floss after each meal.
For braces, there are special cleaning tools that you can use that can make it easier to clean between brackets and wires with a traditional toothbrush or floss. Some examples are waterpiks, floss threaders, dental tape, and electric toothbrushes. When wearing aligners, simply take them off and you can brush and floss your teeth as usual. Remember to always keep your trays clean as well!

Whether it’s braces or clear aligners, you will be happy you made the decision to transform your smile! Be sure to follow the guidance from your doctor on your specific treatment plan. At the end of the day, your Risas Orthodontist will recommend the treatment plan that is best for your case.

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