What Are Clear Braces?
Clear braces, or invisible braces, are less conspicuous than traditional braces. These are ideal for both adolescents and adults. The purpose of clear braces is to not draw attention to the mouth. Hence, they are less obvious. As a result, the wearer is more confident about their appearance whilst undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Traditional braces are made from stainless steel. The brackets are cemented onto your teeth. The metal wires, known as a metal archway, is run through the bracket. Invisible braces perform the same job as traditional braces. While traditional braces make use of metal wires, or a metal archway, clear braces allow patients to choose between clear ceramic archways or metal ones. Clear archways are preferred by people who struggle with the prospect of sporting unsightly braces.
After the orthodontist affixes the braces to your teeth, you will visit him/her every 4-6 weeks for adjustments. The typical amount of time that one wears clear braces is 1-3 years. After treatment is complete, patients wear retainers to keep their teeth in the right place.
Patients are advised to follow their orthodontists’ instructions about maintenance of the braces. Not doing so can cause noticeable discoloration of the braces. We advise patients to stay away from consumables that cause staining, like coffee, tea, red wine, tomato based sauces, curry and smoking.
It is also important that you brush your teeth three times a day. These are best practices for good oral health, and it will help protect clear braces from staining. Additionally, you should carry on your person a travel toothbrush and a small container of toothpaste the event that you are dining out and discover food stuck in your braces. While the same holds true with metal braces, it becomes distinctly more noticeable with clear braces.
What Are the Differences Between Clear Braces and Clear Aligners?
Clear braces and clear aligners are not the same thing although they serve the same purpose. They both straighten your teeth in a way that is less obvious than wearing traditional braces or a traditional aligner. A series of clear aligners are designed for you based on the goals set by you and your orthodontist to straighten your smile.
Clear aligners can help straighten moderately crooked smiles and can sometimes even be used to correct problems with your bite. Of course, clear braces can be used to treat a wide array of orthodontic issues.
Regardless of your age, if you worry about misplacing items or if you worry that you will forget to wear the aligner, then you may want to consider clear braces. Invisible braces are attached to your teeth. So, you don’t have to worry about losing them or forgetting to put them in your mouth. Clear aligners are worn for up to 22 hours each day. You should only remove them when you eat, brush your teeth, or floss.
Clear aligners may require you to have attachments placed on your teeth. Attachments are a build up of a composite that matches the color of your teeth. They’re like little ridges. They help keep your aligners in place.
Clear braces stay in your mouth while you eat which is why orthodontists advise that you avoid foods that could stain your braces or your teeth. Cleaning clear braces is easy. You simply brush your teeth regularly. You don’t necessarily need anything special. With clear aligners, the manufacturer may recommend that you use only their cleaning system. Although may also be able to remove your clear aligners and brush them with toothpaste and rinse them out, the specialized systems keep bacteria at a minimum.
When it comes to the cost of clear braces and clear aligners, here’s what you need to know. Often, clear braces are a little more expensive than traditional braces. However, your dental insurance company may pick up a portion of the cost. Many people find that the extra expense is worth it since they are less obvious than traditional braces. Clear aligners are also a little more expensive than clear braces. Then, you may also have the added expense of a cleaning system. Your dental insurance policy may not cover the use of clear aligners.
After your orthodontic treatment is completed, you may need a retainer (regardless of whether you used clear braces or clear aligners). Talk with your orthodontist about how many retainers you may need and if that cost was included in your treatment.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Clear Braces?
There are two distinct advantages of clear braces. The first is that clear braces are more favorable aesthetically. The brackets are distinctly less obvious with clear braces. This is because they are made from ceramic. This is a huge benefit for people who feel self-conscious about the fact that they will be pursuing orthodontic treatment. The second advantage is in the treatment time. In many instances, clear braces provide results faster than clear aligners.
There are some disadvantages with invisible braces. The first is that some may find the cost restrictive. Invisible braces are more expensive than traditional braces. If you find that invisible braces are outside of your financial reach, talk with your orthodontist about financing options. The second disadvantage is that the ceramic brackets are susceptible to staining. If any staining occurs, the brackets will likely become more conspicuous. Patients usually dedicate considerable time and effort to keep clear braces clean.
Are Clear or Ceramic Braces the Right Choice for Me?
Your orthodontist will likely refer to clear braces as ceramic braces. To determine whether or not clear braces are the right option for you, you need to:
- Make sure that you really can and want to devote the extra time it will take to keep your invisible braces clean.
- Make sure that you can devote yourself to giving up certain foods and drinks (and smoking) during your treatment. Not doing so will stain ceramic brackets.
- Check on the cost and check with your dental insurance company. Find out what portion you will be responsible to pay. Talk with your orthodontist to ask about financing options, if needed.
- Consult with your orthodontist about whether clear braces are the best choice for you. Although orthodontists may use invisible braces to treat those issues typical of traditional braces, it is important to speak to your orthodontist first. He/she is the only professional who will be able to help you decide which treatment is best for you.
Want to learn more? Interested in using clear braces to straighten your smile? we encourage you to contact Orthodontists Associates of Western New York for a free screening.
Our reputation as a leader in orthodontic care is based on one thing… Making a Healthy and Beautiful Smile