What Are Clear Braces?
We all know that braces are a traditional teeth straightening tool, but did you know that you can also get clear or near-invisible braces? Thanks to innovative technology, clear braces offer a discreet way to straighten teeth.
These braces are still your typical braces with wires but with clear brackets, so are greatlyless obvious, making it easier for you to go about your day without too much worry about people noticing them. A popular choice of clear aligners includes Invisalign.
How Do Clear Braces Work?
As all braces or aligners do, they pull your teeth into the new and desired position.
As with conventional metal braces, initial diagnostic tests like 3D images and moulds will be collected from the patient. Soon after, the clear brackets are placed into the patient’s moulds and the whole tray is then inserted into the patient’s mouth and secured with dental cement. Regular dental checkups will ensure that the braces are repositioning the teeth accordingly.
The more traditional method of temporarily attaching the brackets directly to each tooth and connecting together by a normal or white archwire is still practised. The orthodontist will strategically place the brackets for optimal alignment correction, and when the time comes, they will also tighten the wire to help the straightening process. Patients often report minor pain for the first couple of days after a wire adjustment.
Nonetheless, the introduction of the self-ligating wire – an advanced technology wire which can self-adjust – means fewer checkups and a more convenient experience for the wearer.
The process of invisible aligners starts with dental scans and impressions being taken of the patient and is used to make several custom-designed clear thermoplastic aligners (trays). The patient must wear the tray for the majority of the day for 2 weeks or so before they switch to the next tray. By this method, the teeth start shifting into the desired position. This process can take from 9 to 18 months.
What Are Clear Braces Made Of?
Clear braces are either made out of ceramic or medical-grade plastic like polycarbonate, all connected by a wire. Alternatively, users can opt for a white archwire which is much less conspicuous.
Types of Clear Braces
- Ceramic or porcelain: These are very durable, do not change colour and aren’t very visible to others. They aren’t as transparent as sapphire brackets but are still discreet.
- Sapphire: the synthetic material is branded for its aesthetic cover. It’s very high-quality and ultra-clear to offer the utmost invisibility.
- Lingual: This is where the brackets are placed on the inside of the teeth, so, even though they aren’t clear, these brackets are not seen by others.
- Zirconium: Zirconium brackets are usually white or some sort of tooth-shade, like ceramic brackets.
- Resin: The materials used are resin and plastics like polycarbonate.
Pros and Cons of Clear Braces
All in all, the benefits of clear braces rely on the costs and aesthetic value. As well as providing a less-visible option and overall improving one’s smile appearance and confidence, clear braces are fixed onto the teeth so cannot be lost, unlike aligners. The frequency of checkups can range from 4-to 10 weeks depending on the type of wire, which can be convenient for some.
On the other hand, clear braces can be costly and take up to 24 months to correct your teeth. On top of that, they can’t be removed so it can make it harder to eat certain foods or clean our teeth after. And thorough care and cleaning are required so as to keep up oral hygiene and not damage the braces.
On balance, it depends what you and your child’s preferences are for your teeth straightening treatment.
Contact us today for further advice on treatment plans.