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When most people think of braces, a teenager with braces on their teeth likely comes to mind. However, about 25% of people in the United States actually wear braces. Dental technology continues to evolve and braces are no exception, such as the case of clear braces. But what are they and what are the benefits of getting them?

If you’re thinking about correcting and improving your smile, keep reading on to discover more about clear braces.

What Are Clear Braces?

When you think of clear braces, you might be thinking of Invisalign or clear aligners. However, those braces are aligners that come in sets and vary greatly from clear braces.

They are made of ceramic called polycrystalline alumina or sometimes porcelain. These braces are clear brackets, except for the wiring which is usually metal. However, in some orthodontist offices, you can get a lighter-colored wire if it’s offered.

They are different from Invisalign and other clear aligners because they work like traditional metal braces. They’re bonded to your teeth and connected with a wire used to shift your teeth. Unlike aligners, they’re not removable until your treatment is complete.

Clear Braces vs Metal Braces

Clear braces and metal braces are very similar in functionality but different in appearance.

Since clear bracket braces are made of clear materials, they blend in well against your teeth. This is especially important for adults who want a more discreet treatment and for teenagers who are self-conscious about dental work.

At your dental check-ups, the orthodontist will adjust your braces and wires similar to metal braces. Sometimes the adhesives that bond to metal braces can be more damaging to your enamel, but the adhesive used to attach ceramic braces is more gentle.

Ceramic braces may also be more comfortable than metal braces. While metal braces have their place in dental treatments, they can rub up against the inside of your cheek causing some discomfort. While clear braces can touch the inside of your cheeks, they’re usually more comfortable and tolerable.

Important Things to Know

Straightening your smile is not just about improving the appearance of your teeth. In many cases, straight teeth allow you to have healthier teeth because they’re easier to clean and not subject to decay or cavities.

Getting a healthier smile is achievable, but there are some things you need to know.

Discreet

One of the main reasons people choose clear ceramic braces is because they’re less noticeable than metal braces. This is important for adults who work in professional settings and wish to not draw attention to their braces.

Discoloration

Even with the discreetness, there’s a possibility that they may be subject to discoloration. This is due to dark liquids like wine, coffee, or tea. However, if you find an orthodontist that specializes in clear braces, make sure to get high-quality materials because they’re less likely to stain.

Taking care of your teeth and braces by eating healthy foods and brushing and flossing will also combat any discoloration. If you are going to have dark liquids, drink through a straw to lessen your chances of discoloration.

If you have children who want clear braces and don’t want discoloration, you’ll need to help them responsibly clean and care for their teeth regularly. If your child has trouble maintaining their oral routine, perhaps metal braces would be a better fit.

Durability

Clear braces are strong, but they occasionally are prone to breakage. To avoid any broken brackets, you’ll want to avoid an abundance of crunchy foods and be gentle when you’re cleaning your teeth. If you do break a bracket, be sure to contact your orthodontist immediately.

Your orthodontist will also give you instructions about how best to care for your clear braces so you can do your part to avoid breaking any.

What Do They Cost?

They have many advantages, with less noticeability being the most important. But what about the cost? Are they affordable?

The cost of is almost always slightly more expensive than metal braces. This is because the materials used are of higher quality and metal is so widely used.

However, this doesn’t mean that they are not affordable. If you have insurance, particularly orthodontal insurance, you can contact your insurance company to see if they will cover the cost and what your options are. In many cases, orthodontic offices will work out payment plans for you so you can afford the treatment you want.

Another factor that’s important to remember is that everyone’s timeframe of treatment is different. While one patient may have braces for 18 months, another patient’s treatment might last longer. The length of time the patient has their braces will impact the cost as well.

Can Anyone Get Clear Braces?

Generally speaking, anyone can get clear braces if they choose. However, in some severe cases, metal braces or other treatments might be a better option to achieve the results you’re looking for.

Remember that even if you cannot get clear braces, your orthodontist has your best interest in mind and will help you choose the treatment plan that works best for you.

Are They for You?

Clear braces offer a wide variety of benefits to help you get a straighter smile and healthy teeth. If you’re thinking about getting braces for you or your child, contact your dentist to see if they are a good fit for you!

Are you looking for an orthodontist in South Charlotte? We’ve got you covered. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation.