Clear braces are also called ceramic braces. These are similar to traditional braces, though some people confuse them with invisible aligners. Knowing the pros and cons to ceramic braces can help you determine if it’s the right treatment for you, as well as help clear up the differences between these dental appliances and invisible aligners.
What are Clear Braces?
Ceramic braces are similar to traditional braces in that the patient still has brackets glued onto their teeth by an orthodontist. Ceramic brackets are made of aluminum oxide instead of stainless steel. This material is almost as hard as diamonds, which makes it a great choice for dental structures. These brackets are clear or tooth-colored, rather than metal. You can also get white archwires instead of metal to make them even less visible.
More Attractive than Metal Braces
For those that worry about cosmetic appearance, ceramic braces are an attractive choice because they are less visible on teeth than regular metal braces. In a survey of two hundred adults, the majority of adults found ceramic braces to be more attractive than traditional braces. Clear braces with white archwires were also found to be more attractive than clear braces with metal archwires.
Dentists tend to prefer metal braces because they are the easiest to control and have the best durability. Ceramic braces are a great middle ground between the control of metal braces and the cosmetic appearance of invisible aligners.
Great Option for Adults Needing Braces
One in four people getting braces for the first time is an adult. Some people may feel embarrassed about needing braces or worry about how others will perceive them. By choosing clear braces, you can get the orthodontic treatment you need and still feel confident.
Ultimately, braces are a short-term investment for a long-term reward: your beautiful smile. Your orthodontist will work with you to hear your concerns about cosmetic and professional appearance. Clear brackets and white archwires are an almost invisible combination that will keep your treatment plan on track.
Works Faster than Invisible Aligners
You might think of clear aligners when you learn about clear braces. These are plastic molds that are custom fit to your teeth. Aligners only move your teeth a little bit at a time. Traditional braces will move your teeth at a rate of about 1 millimeter every four weeks. Clear aligners will only move your teeth about one-half millimeters in the same amount of time.
Your orthodontist can make custom aligner trays in-office if this kind of treatment is right for you. However, many dentists and orthodontists prefer traditional braces because they are more efficient and reliable than aligner trays. Especially if you tend to forget to replace your aligners after eating, a different style of orthodonture (like clear braces!) may be right for you.
Cost is Comparable to Other Treatments
The process and cost for getting ceramic braces is similar to traditional braces, though you may need to pay an additional cost for clear brackets. An adult can expect to pay between $3,000 and $8,000 for ceramic braces, without insurance. Your costs may be less depending on your treatment plan or insurance coverage.
Invisible aligner trays are another popular option for people seeking orthodontic treatment. There are several over-the-counter options for straightening trays that you can order online. These at-home treatments may cost less, but they may not be verified by dental professionals. It’s better to work with a professional to make sure that you get the treatment you need. If you still want to pursue aligner trays, your orthodontist can make custom trays for about the same cost as clear braces.
Extra Care is Needed
There are a couple of drawbacks to choosing clear braces. The clear material means that your smile shines through, but it can also stain. Foods like coffee, red wine, and blueberries can stain your brackets just like they have the potential to stain your teeth. Your orthodontist or dentist can help you make a plan to keep your smile bright and white.
Ceramic brackets are also more brittle than metal brackets. Even though they are very hard, they are less flexible and can chip or break. They may even leave pieces on your teeth during removal that need extra treatment from your orthodontist to safely take off from your teeth.
Talk to an Orthodontist about Clear Braces
Clear braces are the best of both worlds. Ceramic brackets are more visually appealing than metal braces, but move your teeth at the same rate. Clear aligners are nearly invisible, but move your teeth at a much slower speed than traditional braces.
An orthodontist can explain all of these choices in detail and help you decide what kind of braces are right for you. Dr. Angela at Palm Beach Orthodontics specializes in making beautiful smiles and can help you make a plan for your treatment. She considers the whole individual when she makes her orthodontic treatment plans making your orthodontic vision a reality.