Fashioned from stainless steel, metal braces are permanently fixed to the front teeth using a series of brackets and wires. Although they have been proven over many years, they remain visible in the mouth for the duration of your treatment.
Also known as clear fixed braces, ceramic braces are attached permanently to the teeth. Instead, of visible metal, clear braces use ceramic brackets and tooth-coloured wiring so they remain less visible. On the flip side, they are expensive and tend to break easily.
Lingual braces are attached to the back of the teeth rather than the front so they remain hidden from view. They do, however, take a lot of getting used to and can be uncomfortable. Not only this, because not every dentist can fit them, they are also costly to buy.
Sometimes referred to as clear or invisible braces, our clear aligners are a removable orthodontic treatment that involve a series of custom-made removable appliances to move teeth. Each clear aligner fits over the teeth comfortably like an invisible mouth guard so no one need know you are even undergoing teeth straightening treatment.
When it comes to looks, many patients in the UK choose clear braces because they provide a discreet way to straighten teeth. The same can’t be said for fixed metal braces which are both prominent and visible.
While fixed metal braces are permanently attached to the teeth for the duration of treatment, clear aligners are designed to be taken out when eating and drinking. Alternatively, NightOnly clear aligners can be worn for as little as 8-10 hours a day – ideal if you have an active social life or lifestyle.
Teeth straightening in the UK can be problematic when wearing a fixed appliance. Food particles can easily become lodged between brackets and wiring making them difficult to clean. In comparison, clear aligners can easily be removed when brushing and flossing to help patients stay on top of their oral hygiene.
Unlike fixed metal braces that often come with dietary restrictions, clear aligners are easily removable, allowing you to enjoy your favorite foods without limitations. Just remember to brush and floss afterward.
Fixed metal braces contain sharp edges that may catch on the surface of the mouth or tongue. Alternatively, removable aligners contain no brackets or wiring and therefore no sharp edges, making them very comfortable to wear.
The average treatment for those wearing fixed metal braces is somewhere between 12-18 months. Whereas treatment times for a patient opting for clear aligners is 4-6 months on average.