With such a wide variety of orthodontic braces to straighten teeth available nowadays, people often begin to wonder, are clear braces good? In this article we will take a look at how clear braces compare with some of the other systems, what clear braces are and some of the pros and cons of clear braces as well as some other things to watch out for.
What are clear braces?
There are couple of systems and/or definitions which fall into the category of clear braces. Clear braces can either be fixed or removable.
Removable clear braces
These are systems such as ClearSmile aligners or Invisalign. They are made up of a clear plastic aligner, each aligner is removable and you wear it for approximately 2 weeks. At the end of the two-week period you swap it for a new aligner. Treatments typically last about 4-9 months in total.
Fixed clear braces
These braces are not strictly clear but they are tooth coloured meaning they blend into the oral environment, making them very difficult to spot. The brackets are bonded to your teeth with a special adhesive, flexible white coated wire is then attached to these brackets which move your teeth gently. Treatment times can vary and usually require adjustments every 4-6 weeks with the treatment lasting about 6-9 months in total.
Can you drink coffee with clear braces?
If you have removable type clear braces then you should take them out each time you drink, then rinse your mouth with a fluoride containing mouthwash prior to putting the aligners back in.
If you have fixed type clear braces then coffee is absolutely fine, we do however recommend rinsing with mouthwash afterwards.
Does turmeric stain braces?
Yes, turmeric stains everything!
If you have removable braces then always taken out prior to eating, especially eating turmeric. If you braces are fixed then you may wish to steer clear of this type of extremely strong coloured food whilst you are wearing the braces, it is usually not the brackets that stain, it is sometimes the small amount of special bonding resin around the brackets which picks up the stain. The white wire can also pick up the stain as it has a plastic covered coating.
If you do accidentally eat turmeric and stain the braces then don’t worry, the stain shouldn’t last too long and should fade away after a few days.
What are the pros and cons of ceramic braces?
- lower forces to improve the comfort of treatment
- discreet clear brackets and white wires means they are less visible than traditional metal braces
- rapid treatment for straighter teeth in around 6-9 months
- typically less expensive than traditional braces
- can be more difficult to clean than removable braces ie aligners
- can sometimes irritate inside of the cheeks causing ulcers
Can clear braces break?
Removable clear braces such as Clearsmile or Invisalign can be broken if mishandled. When removing the aligners you should use fingers on either side of your mouth, at first just release the aligner on one side, then release it on the other side and pull down with equal force. Trying to remove the aligner from one side only can cause it to split.
Fixed clear braces can also break, typically this is the bracket becoming detached from the tooth. If this happens simply call your dentist and let them know, you will need to visit for another appointment to have it bonded back into place. Sometimes the wires can become dislodged from the bracket if the bands break, again if this happens let your dentist know and an appointment can be made for you to visit to have things corrected.
Clear braces, whether they be fixed or removable can be an excellent way to straighten crooked teeth with the primary advantage being that they are almost imperceptible. Treatments typically start at around 4 months and go up to approximately one year depending on the complexity of the orthodontic movement required.
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Written by Dr Shrik Kotecha
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