Clear braces are a kind of orthodontic appliance that is virtually invisible. At Mark Lowe DDS, we also use clear brackets that are made of either plastic or ceramic materials, and the brackets are clear or tooth-colored to blend with your teeth. These braces are most popular among adults due to their cosmetic appeal. Even people in the public eye opt for these braces because they are less noticeable than traditional metal braces. Clear braces are typically only recommended for patients with mild to moderate alignment issues.
How Does Clear Braces Work?
Clear braces are transparent, meaning they’re practically invisible when wearing them. Upon closer inspection, they look just like their metal counterparts, except that the brackets are made of clear ceramic, making only the archwire visible.
Apart from being difficult to see, clear braces work very much like conventional metal braces. After a treatment plan that involves braces has been formulated, the plan is carried out by cementing the ceramic brackets onto each tooth that need to be treated. Then, a metal arch wire is threaded through the brackets and tightened to exert force on the misaligned teeth. As the teeth move, our orthodontist will adjust the tightness of the arch wire until the teeth are properly aligned. This process could take about 18 to 24 months, just like with metal braces.
Clear Braces vs. Metal Braces
As we mentioned before, clear braces and metal braces work the same way and, take the same length of time. Clear braces also need the same number of orthodontic appointments to check the fit and tightness as with metal braces. Ceramic brackets could break more easily, which is why our orthodontist should check it more often for cracks and other damage. This is also why clear braces are mostly used on the front teeth where it is more easily accessible.
The ceramic brackets are clear or tooth-colored, making them particularly susceptible to food and drink stains. If they are not cleaned immediately, ceramic brackets could turn into a visible yellow. This is why patients with clear braces should brush their teeth and braces after every meal, including snacks. As with metal braces, certain foods and drinks should be avoided to keep the braces from being damaged and to keep your teeth healthy. Patients with clear braces should pay special attention to this to keep their braces “invisible.”
If you’re wondering if clear braces are right for you, talk to our orthodontist about which option is best for you! Call to schedule your consultation now at (559) 435-0966.