Traditional Braces vs. Clear Braces for Teens

Clear Braces For Teens O'Fallon, MO

Clear braces for teens and traditional braces are two popular options for patients who want straighter teeth.

Most Americans grew up either knowing someone who had braces or having braces themselves, and that is a testament to how effective they are at straightening teeth and addressing bite issues. However, there have been some significant developments in orthodontics in the past few decades, including clear braces and clear aligners.

Clear braces and metal braces work using the same mechanical systems, but the materials used to make them are different. Both types of braces can be used to fix a wide range of teeth alignment issues like:

  • Overlapping teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Underbites
  • Overbites
  • Open bites
  • Crossbites
  • Crowded teeth
  • Malocclusion

Choosing between clear braces and traditional metal braces

Let’s take a closer look at how metal and clear braces are similar and how they are different from each other.

1. Traditional metal braces

Traditional metal braces are orthodontic devices that move teeth into a better alignment by exerting force on them. The metal brackets are used with wires, elastic or steel ties, and elastic bands to move teeth. A bracket is glued to each of the patient’s teeth, and wires are used to exert pressure on the teeth to get them to move. The bigger and less flexible these wires are, the more force they exert on the patient’s teeth.

Traditional metal braces are made of surgical-grade stainless steel and have that same color, which often leads to some patients looking at other alternatives. Since some patients are more conscious about their appearance, traditional braces may not be the best option for them. However, modern metal braces are smaller than their predecessors (and much smaller than clear braces), can be customized with colors, logos, and symbols to suit a patient’s style, and are much less protrusive from the surface of the teeth. They also come in “champagne” or “rose-gold” colors which (believe it or not!) can actually be less noticeable than stainless steel brackets.

Metal braces are typically less expensive than clear braces and also more durable. Their main (and, really, only) drawback is their esthetics.

2. Clear braces

Clear braces work similarly to how metal braces work but replace the metal components with more aesthetic, tooth-colored ones. Instead of metal brackets, tooth-colored or clear brackets are used, while the wires can sometimes be frosted to blend in better with the clear braces. The clear braces are less visible than metal braces thanks to this, making them a popular option with patients looking for something less noticeable.

However, clear braces are more fragile than metal braces, so they are more likely to need repairs or replacements. They are typically more expensive than metal braces, and treatment times can take longer since they do not exert as much force as metal braces apply on teeth.

Patients who opt for clear braces also have to make more alterations to their diet since they are more likely to be damaged during meals. People who wear any type of braces should avoid hard, crunchy, chewy, and sticky foods in addition to foods they have to bite into like corn on the cob and uncut apples. Ceramic braces are also more prone to staining than metal braces, so people who wear them should also avoid dark-colored foods and beverages (for example colas, tea, coffee, red wine).

Either choice effectively straightens teeth

Dr. Mooney can help you to choose what type of braces work best for you or your child after a complimentary orthodontic consultation and discussing personal preferences, advantages, and disadvantages of each. Call or visit our O'Fallon clinic to set up an appointment.

Request an appointment here: or call Mooney Orthodontics at (636) 875-1727 for an appointment in our O'Fallon office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Clear Braces for Teens in O'Fallon, MO.

Related Posts

What To Ask Your Orthodontist About Invisalign For Teens

Many people have questions about Invisalign® for teens. This post hopefully will help parents like you to know what their teenagers will experience during the treatment. First of all, it can be a comfortable, discreet way to straighten teeth so it is important to know a little bit about it before starting. If you want…

A Step-by-Step Process Of How Braces Work

Braces are one of the most popular ways to straighten teeth and gain a more attractive smile, but all too many who could benefit put off treatment because they do not know how the process works. By knowing the step-by-step process of braces, however, you can decide whether or not they are a good choice…

Reasons For Orthodontist Treatments For Adults

You may think that going to the orthodontist is only for children and teens. But, just because you are not a child or a teen does not mean you cannot benefit from orthodontic care. If you are unhappy with the way your teeth look, you can get help. You can achieve a brand-new smile regardless…

Making Braces For Kids Fun

Although receiving orthodontic treatment is not exactly exciting, you can make braces for kids fun. Braces are significantly less noticeable than they were in the past, and some are nearly undetectable. The latest braces are also more comfortable and dependable, allowing kids to focus on the things that matter. Today’s braces provide a wider range…