Braces are used as an orthodontic appliance to facilitate straightening of teeth as well as closing of gaps. They are very helpful in moving the teeth, so that flaws in alignments and spacing can be corrected and that teenagers and adults can smile and look better as a result. They can be used as well for correcting minor issues like underbite, overbite or crossbite. (Very severe underbite, overbite, or cross bite cases among children, adolescents and even adults, may require patients to use a headgear).
By tradition, metal braces are used to correct orthodontic problems among children and teenagers. Dentistry, along with its supporting technologies, has improved a lot and has now made them quite appealing on some patients. As a matter of fact, they are regarded as a definite sign of wealth in poorer countries. But, in highly developed societies, they can be an aesthetic handicap because they are very visible and can make the wearer very conspicuous.
As a result of this trend, the market has introduced several options to make them less visible. These, undoubtedly, are more expensive, but aesthetics are considered reasonable even if the cost is higher. The parts most visible include the metallic archwire, which travels across at the front of the teeth inside the jaw, and the line of brackets on every single tooth. Because the arch wire serves as their backbone, it has to be strong, and this is why it has to be metallic. But then, the wire can feature color coats to match the wearer’s natural teeth and the braces as well.
The arch wire and the brackets are joined together using colored bands or the stock elastic variety. These brackets are made of ceramic, an aluminum oxide, and thus they are sometimes referred to as ceramic braces. The elastic bands securing the brackets to the arch wire can as well be made transparent, otherwise tooth colored. Find out about other options for straightening teeth.
How They Work
They have the same corrective ability as the traditional metal type. The arch wire, which runs continuously along the teeth of a jaw, is the main component. Even the ceramic type have the metallic arch wire, which is typically made of stainless steel, and are available in frosted, silver, or tooth colored variants. The arch wire applies pressure on the patient’s teeth using the ceramic brackets that are individually fastened to the teeth. They are either bonded directly or by way of orthodontic bands, and are locked to the arch wire using tooth-colored elastic bands.
The pressure that the arch wire exerts on the brackets is passed on to the teeth. The dentist will then adjust the level of pressure to move them towards the desired direction gradually and without any pain at all. The pressure is released as the teeth are moved. The arch wire must be readjusted to facilitate additional movement. Such a procedure is performed at biweekly or monthly intervals at the dental office, and is regularly repeated for a year up to four years, depending on how severe the case is and the patient’s age. When they have reached the necessary tooth alignment, the oral surgeon may advise the patient to wear plastic retainers or tooth guards for a little while.
They are available after an impression of the natural teeth has been made. They are really helpful in consolidating the alignment already achieved. And while teeth have the tendency to return to their original alignment in some patients, these will definitely prevent that from happening. Your oral surgeon or orthodontist will be able to determine whether or not you need to wear them and to what extent.
How Do You Care For Them?
They are not as strong or sturdy as the metallic ones. At the same time, they are more expensive and require better care compared to the all-metal type need.
Here are some points to remember:
- Foods to Be Avoided – Avoid eating foods that are likely to stain the porous parts, particularly the bands joining the brackets and the arch wire. More specifically, do not smoke and do not drink liquor, dark sodas, or coffee, and avoid tomato products, berries, mustard, and other foods with too much artificial coloring.
- Oral hygiene – You must remember to maintain oral hygiene. Their structure is susceptible to plaque buildup. It is recommended that you brush and floss twice every day, and don’t forget to vigorously rinse your mouth after eating in order to prevent tooth decay. Remember to ask your dentist about using a special inter dental toothbrush.
- Dental checkups on a regular basis – A dentist will be able to see what’s inside your mouth, which you won’t be able to see on your own. Thus, it is important for all patients, kids, teenagers and adults alike, to see their dentists for a checkup twice a year or once every six months. The dentist can clean the parts of your teeth that you just cannot, no matter how hard you try.
- Never use whitening toothpaste – Whitening toothpastes are a “no-no” if you’re wearing while wearing them because dark patches are going to linger underneath them. Whitening toothpastes may also chemically alter the color of your brackets.
Advantages and Disadvantages
They have become a fashion statement among teens as well as pediatric patients for a variety of reasons. However, they have several advantages and disadvantages than the metal type, and we will look into both.
- Aesthetics – The most popular and the main reason for selecting them has to do with aesthetics. Ceramic is less visible and the brackets can be semi-translucent or tooth-colored. The semi-translucent variant is the best choice for really white teeth, while the tooth-colored one goes well with darker teeth.
- Very minimal irritation – they are not irritating to the gums so patients feel no pain at all, unlike their lingual invisible counterparts.
- Cost – The clear type are much more expensive compared to the traditional wire variety.
- Staining – They have parts that are likewise transparent or white, which are very likely to stain immediately, if not taken care of properly. Remember to abstain from foods which may stain them. Also, avoid smoking or drinking liquids that could stain throughout the orthodontic treatment.
- Not as Strong as Metal – The brackets of ceramic braces are likely to crack in very extreme cases. Thus, patients with severely misaligned teeth or very improper bites are unlikely to be offered these as an option.
They are otherwise referred to as sapphire braces and are often given to people whose teeth are really white. They blend in and are basically not visible. They are also very strong and normally do not stain. The ligatures, however, are slightly susceptible to stains, particularly if you are a smoker, or if you regularly drink coffee or red wine.
How Much Do They Cost?
They are much more expensive compared to several other types because of the great aesthetics that they offer (with the exception of Invisalign®). Their prices range between $4000 and $8000, based on how severe the case is. The metal alternative, on the other hand, have a price range of $300 to $7000. However, even with the price difference, along with their strength or sustainability limitations, the clear type are still very high in-demand; again, because of their aesthetics.
Clear Braces in Frisco, TX
Our dental office is located in Frisco, TX. Book an appointment with us, so we can find out which type are perfect for you or for your child. We have dental care specialists who will answer all of your questions, so you can feel confident about your decision. We are in the greater DFW close to The Colony and Prosper, Texas.
Dr. George’s Dental Affiliations
Dr. George is highly educated and experienced in providing dental care. She provides the dental care you and your family need to reach healthy smiles. Read Dr. George’s full bio…