Everything About Clear Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces have been around for several decades. They are of the same size and shape as metal braces, only that they have a tooth-coloured like appearance that is known to blend with the teeth. That said, they work in such a way that every orthodontics patient can achieve the much straighter teeth they desire, without having to sacrifice their white smile.
Ceramic braces, what are they?
Ceramic braces often referred to as clear ceramic braces are becoming one of the most commonly sought after alternatives to traditional metal braces for orthodontic treatment. They are made with a clear material so that they appear aesthetically soothing to the teeth. Fixed ceramic braces are often attached to each tooth, such that they are connected with an archwire. Small elastic bands or ligatures, which are also of the same colour as the brackets are fitted, to hold the wire in place to each bracket
During your orthodontic treatment, you will need to go for routine checkups with your orthodontist, at least every 6-10 weeks. During each appointment, your dentist will check for changes in your smile, to ensure the improvement and progress of each treatment process, as well as making possible adjustments to the wire to keep your teeth fixed and moving to its suitable position. The treatment time is usually between 18-24 months, but this is highly dependent on the severity of your dental issues.
It is normal for every orthodontic patient to feel a little discomfort in their teeth for two to three days after their braces have been fixed and tightened. But asides from this, most orthodontic patients rarely experience any form of discomfort
Most ceramic braces utilise self-litigating technology that allows the wire to automatically tighten and adjust itself periodically, thereby making the treatment process less strenuous and effective. More so, the needs for ligatures are no longer essential since the brackets themselves are known to clasp the wire.
Advantages of ceramic braces
Ceramic braces come with several benefits, including the following:
- A discreet way of straightening the teeth: although, ceramic braces are of the same shape and size with metal braces, their brackets appear bright and small, in such a way that they appear almost invisible. Thus, they make teeth straightening more intriguing, attractive and discreet. This can be linked to the primary reason why ceramic braces are becoming one of the most sought after solution to crooked teeth.
- Less painful: most orthodontic patients that have straightened their teeth with the use of ceramic braces often believe that the treatment process is known to be less painful and strenuous, since they rarely experience any form of gum irritation, as some other treatment solution would be.
- Stronger than you may think: ceramic braces are solid than they tend to appear, especially for high-quality braces. They rarely chip nor break unless in cases where they have been badly abused.
- Can be used by just anybody: they are suitable for most orthodontics patients, including both adults and teens.
- Wide variety of orthodontic problems can be solved: ceramicbraces can be used to treat a large variety of dental misalignments, including bite issues, wide overcrowding gaps and severe malocclusion.
Drawbacks of ceramic braces
Generally, a lot of people undergo orthodontics treatment with the use of ceramic braces because they are barely happy with the appearance of their smile and teeth. However, there are few drawbacks of ceramic braces; this may include the following:
- More expensive: they are often more costly and may appear more prominent than other braces, like metal braces. Regardless, they blend in perfectly with the teeth in such a way that this is rarely an issue for most patients.
- Can get stained quickly: ceramic braces, like traditional metal braces, are made of clear or white ligatures, which are constructed to hold the archwire in place. These ligatures are little rubber bands that can quickly get stained.
- May not be recommended for people in need of extensive treatment: since ceramic braces cannot withstand severe pressures, ceramic braces may not be recommended for people in need of comprehensive treatment.
Ceramic vs metal braces
Although Ceramic braces make use of the same component like metal braces which are known to produce the same results, they are often made with different materials.
More than 50% of UK orthodontists are beginning to offer ceramic braces as unique alternatives to metal braces. Because of the type of advanced materials they use, ceramic braces are known to cost more than metal braces
Alternatives to ceramic braces
- Invisalign clear aligners:
If you are considering to straighten your teeth more discreetly, then you may need to consider Invisalign clear aligners. They use a different system which includes a series of clear plastic aligners that can be fitted over the teeth.
Indeed, they provide a great alternative to ceramic braces since they are almost entirely invisible, with a unique bonus of being removable. In essence, every Invisalign clear aligners’ users should be able to have some amount of self-control to be able to wear them for an extended period. This orthodontics treatment option is suitable for more than 90% of orthodontic cases, and the price is almost equivalent to ceramic braces, or they may appear less expensive than ceramic braces
- Lingual Braces
Although they are made from metal, they are another unique alternative to ceramic braces since they are often hidden behind the teeth, so that they are very hard to detect. These are also completely custom made to fit every individual specific orthodontics case while providing more accurate results. A major drawback to this alternative is that they are often more expensive than other braces.
Types of ceramic braces
- Clear ceramic braces: clearceramic braces are usually from either ceramics or polycarbonate. However, the aluminium compounds that are used in making clear ceramic brackets are usually long lasting and stain resistant than polycarbonate. If you have naturally white teeth, then clear ceramic braces should be the best option for you because of its aesthetic quality. The transparent-like material typically disappears from the surface of the teeth, when utilised. One major benefit of clear ceramic braces is that; while the clear ligatures may get stained occasionally, the braces don’t usually get stained easily. They are changed at every check-up or visit to your orthodontics provider. Extra care should be taken regarding the intake of food and drink that can stain your braces.
- White ceramic braces: These braces are often designed to appear like the colour of your teeth. Since most teeth are naturally a bit yellow, they are made to fit the teeth without being easily noticed. In other words, they look best against teeth that have a slightly darker shade. A white ceramic brace uses a different aluminium compound that is often used to create off-white –like the colour of these brackets. With some brands, you can easily get brackets, which are made to match the shade of your teeth, while others may come in a standard shade that doesn’t match the teeth. These braces don’t easily get stained just like white clear coloured braces. Regardless, their elastics or ligatures can easily get stained.
- Coloured ceramic braces: while a lot of people may decide to go for ceramic braces because they want them to be less visible. However, some others may need a jazzing look; this is where coloured ceramic braces come in. Just like some coloured metal braces, you can easily personalise them by choosing from a wide range of coloured ligatures. These ligatures are easily replaced at every visit, allowing the patient some chances to easily change their look.
Some common ceramic braces brands in the UK
Most dentists may prefer to work with varieties of braces brands. In some cases, several factors will determine the selection of some brands, some of such factors may include:
- Customer service
- Product quality
- The patients choice.
Some of the most commonly used ceramic braces brands in the UK may include the following
- InVu: these braces are not only tooth coloured, they are also uniquely made in such a way that they match the colour of your teeth specifically. They also come with tooth-coloured wires. The wires are coated in Teflon so that it allows the coating to chip or become scratched.
- Clarity: this system makes use of a translucent tooth coloured bracket, which is known to provide comfort and flexibility to users, especially during and after the treatment process. These brands are self-litigating in nature.
- Radiance plus: radiance plus braces are often strong since they are made with sapphire. With their unique appearance, they are often regarded as the clearest braces that are available in the market. Nevertheless, they are also expensive than other brands.
- Damon clear: the system is known to be self litigating in nature that helps to evade elastic ties. A lot of orthodontics patients find self-litigating braces to be more comfortable than other braces since the teeth are moved gradually under constant pressure, rather than the braces being tightened in each treatment process or visit. With this self litigating property, the treatment process is significantly reduced with fewer checkups. This unique property makes them the most sought after braces, specifically for orthodontics patients who want a good result within a given schedule.
How much do they cost?
There is usually no fixed cost or price for most private dental treatment since every dentist is allowed to set their price. Regardless, ceramic braces are typically priced between £1,500 and above, depending on the type and brand of each brace. We recommend you take quotes from more than two dentists if possible, to give you a better overview of the cost of your treatment process.
Life with ceramic braces
Orthodontics patients rarely experience any form of discomfort.
They provide a unique appearance, such that they are rarely noticed. Nevertheless, since these braces are unique and different from the commonly used traditional metal braces, people tend to be less familiar with clear and white braces, and when seen, they may like to take a more prolonged glance at your mouth to figure out what is placed there.
Do they ever get stained?
Although the material used for the brackets are designed to be stain resistant, there are still chances that the bands placed on each bracket will become stained, if care is not taken.
Certain foods and drinks are known to stain these elastic bands; ideally, you keep your braces stain-free, by brushing and rinsing your teeth after each meal, while flossing your teeth and braces daily. Your dental care provider should be able to advise you on the best tool that can be used in cleaning every nook and cranny of your braces.
Your orthodontist may also advise you on foods and drinks that should be limited; they may include the following:
- Red wine
- Tea and coffee
- Tomato-based sauce
- Balsamic vinegar
- Brightly coloured sweets, etc
More so, you may also be asked to avoid excessive intake of crunchy and hard foods, as well as to practise proper oral hygiene.
If your ligatures eventually become discoloured, you will only have to live with it for a few weeks, since they are changed at every visit. Ideally, you should keep up with your scheduled appointments to avoid any form of complications.
The scenario may be a bit different if you choose a self litigating appliance. You do not necessarily have to worry about your ligatures. Adequate cleaning and proper oral hygiene as advised by your dental care provider should be enough to keep the brackets and wires neat.
Teeth whitening, how does it affect my ceramic braces?
It is normal for most orthodontics patients to get their teeth whitened to complete the aesthetic appearance of their smile. Regardless, it is advised that you wait until your braces have been completely removed. This is because the whitening agent will barely reach all areas in your teeth, where the brackets are bonded, leaving you with a much darker spot on each tooth. Whitening toothpaste should also be avoided while wearing braces because of the effect.
Make your choice
Indeed, revitalising your smile is essential. If you are considering between ceramic and metal braces, your choice will be streamlined to the budget and aesthetic quality of the braces, since they function in the same way. If you haven’t already considered the use of Invisalign invisible braces, you may notice that they are a better solution for your needs.
We hope this article was quite informative and helpful in guiding you with the right decision on how to get your teeth straightened.