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Clear braces, also known as ceramic braces, have become a popular alternative to traditional metal braces for those seeking a less conspicuous orthodontic treatment. These braces offer a more aesthetically pleasing option while still providing the effective results expected from traditional braces. Let’s explore the details of how clear braces work, their benefits, and what to expect during the treatment process.

Introduction to Clear Braces

Clear braces function similarly to traditional metal braces but with a crucial difference: they are made from clear or tooth-coloured ceramic material. This makes them much less noticeable on the teeth, which is a significant advantage for adults and teenagers who might feel self-conscious about wearing braces. Despite their discrete appearance, clear braces are just as effective in correcting dental issues such as misalignment, crowding, and bite problems.

How do clear braces work - Moray Orthodontics - Moray OrthodonticsThe Mechanism Behind Clear Braces

  1. Application of Brackets: Clear braces use ceramic brackets that are bonded to the front surface of each tooth using a special dental adhesive. The process begins with a thorough cleaning of the teeth to ensure that the adhesive will bond properly. Each bracket is then carefully positioned on the teeth to ensure that they will apply the correct amount of pressure needed to move the teeth into their desired positions.
  2. Archwires and Elastic Ties: Once the brackets are in place, an archwire is threaded through them. The archwire is a thin metal wire that connects all the brackets and is responsible for applying the necessary force to move the teeth. Clear or tooth-coloured elastic ties are used to secure the archwire to the brackets, further enhancing the braces’ inconspicuous appearance. In some cases, clear braces may use self-ligating brackets that do not require elastic ties.
  3. Gradual Teeth Movement: The archwire applies gentle, continuous pressure to the teeth, guiding them into their correct positions over time. As the teeth move, the bone in the jaw gradually remodels around the teeth, allowing them to shift. This process can take several months to a few years, depending on the complexity of the dental issues being addressed.

The Treatment Process

  1. Initial Consultation: The journey with clear braces begins with an initial consultation with an orthodontist. During this appointment, the orthodontist will evaluate your teeth, gums, and jaw to determine if clear braces are the best option for you. This evaluation may include taking X-rays, photographs, and impressions of your teeth to create a precise treatment plan.
  2. Customised Treatment Plan: Based on the evaluation, the orthodontist will develop a customised treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. This plan will outline the expected duration of treatment, the estimated costs, and the specific movements required to achieve the desired results.
  3. Fitting the Braces: Once the treatment plan is finalised, the orthodontist will proceed with fitting the clear braces. This process involves cleaning the teeth, applying the brackets with dental adhesive, and threading the archwire through the brackets. The orthodontist will then make any necessary adjustments to ensure that the braces are comfortable and effective.
  4. Regular Adjustments: Throughout the treatment period, regular appointments with the orthodontist are essential. These appointments typically occur every 4 to 6 weeks and are necessary to adjust the archwire, check the progress of the teeth movement, and make any other necessary modifications. Each adjustment helps to ensure that the teeth are moving according to the treatment plan.
  5. Completion and Retention: Once the teeth have moved into their desired positions, the braces are removed. However, this does not mark the end of the orthodontic journey. To maintain the new alignment, the orthodontist will provide a retainer. Retainers are custom-made devices that keep the teeth in their new positions while the surrounding bone and tissues stabilise. The orthodontist will give specific instructions on how often to wear the retainer to prevent the teeth from shifting back.

Benefits of Clear Braces

  1. Aesthetic Appeal: One of the most significant benefits of clear braces is their aesthetic appeal. The clear or tooth-coloured brackets blend in with the natural colour of the teeth, making them much less noticeable than metal braces. This feature is particularly appealing to adults and teenagers who may be concerned about the appearance of traditional metal braces.
  2. Effectiveness: Clear braces are just as effective as traditional metal braces in correcting a wide range of dental issues, including misalignment, crowding, and bite problems. They apply the same level of pressure to the teeth, ensuring that they move into the correct positions over time.
  3. Comfort: While wearing any type of braces may cause some initial discomfort, many patients find that clear braces are more comfortable than metal braces. The ceramic material is smoother and less likely to irritate the gums and cheeks.
  4. Durability: Clear braces are made from durable ceramic material that is designed to withstand the forces exerted during orthodontic treatment. While they may be more prone to damage than metal braces, with proper care, they can be just as long-lasting.

How do clear braces work - Moray Orthodontics - Moray OrthodonticsPotential Drawbacks of Clear Braces

  1. Cost: Clear braces tend to be more expensive than traditional metal braces. The increased cost is due to the materials used and the additional time required to fit and adjust them. However, many patients find that the aesthetic benefits are worth the extra expense.
  2. Staining: While the ceramic brackets themselves are resistant to staining, the elastic ties used to secure the archwire can become discoloured over time, particularly if the patient consumes a lot of coffee, tea, red wine, or other staining substances. Regular cleaning and good oral hygiene can help minimise staining.
  3. Fragility: Clear braces are generally more fragile than metal braces. The ceramic material can be more prone to chipping or breaking, especially if the patient engages in activities that could cause trauma to the mouth. Patients with clear braces need to take extra care to avoid hard or sticky foods that could damage the braces.

Mild to Moderate Orthodontic Issue - Good Candidates for InvisalignWho is a Good Candidate for Clear Braces?

Clear braces are suitable for both adults and teenagers who are concerned about the appearance of traditional metal braces. However, they may not be the best option for everyone. Ideal candidates for clear braces are those who:

  • Have mild to moderate dental issues such as misalignment, crowding, or spacing.
  • Are committed to maintaining excellent oral hygiene to prevent staining and damage to the braces.
  • Do not participate in contact sports or activities that could increase the risk of damage to the braces.
  • Are willing to follow the orthodontist’s instructions and attend regular adjustment appointments.

Maintaining Clear Braces

  1. Oral Hygiene: Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial when wearing clear braces. Patients should brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to remove food particles and plaque from around the brackets and wires. Using an interdental brush or a water flosser can help clean hard-to-reach areas.
  2. Dietary Restrictions: To prevent damage to the clear braces, patients should avoid eating hard, sticky, or chewy foods that could break the brackets or wires. Additionally, limiting the consumption of staining foods and beverages can help keep the braces looking clean and clear.
  3. Regular Dental Visits: In addition to regular orthodontic adjustment appointments, patients should continue to see their general dentist for routine check-ups and cleanings. This helps to ensure that the teeth and gums remain healthy throughout the orthodontic treatment.

Clear Braces vs. Other Orthodontic Options

  1. Clear Braces vs. Metal Braces: While both clear braces and metal braces are effective in correcting dental issues, clear braces offer a more aesthetically pleasing option. However, they are generally more expensive and can be more fragile than metal braces.
  2. Clear Braces vs. Invisalign: Invisalign is another popular option for those seeking a less noticeable orthodontic treatment. Instead of brackets and wires, Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to straighten the teeth. While Invisalign is more discreet and allows for easier oral hygiene, it may not be suitable for more complex dental issues that require the precise control provided by clear braces.

Sara ALWhy Choose Moray Orthodontics for Clear Braces?

At Moray Orthodontics, we prioritise your comfort and satisfaction by offering clear braces for just one arch starting from £2,500. Clear braces provide a discreet way to straighten your teeth while blending seamlessly with your natural smile. Our skilled orthodontic team tailors each treatment plan to meet your individual needs, ensuring the best possible results. We offer a range of clear brace options and use advanced orthodontic techniques to give you a comfortable and efficient experience. Choose Moray Orthodontics for personalised care and expertise in clear braces to achieve a beautiful, confident smile.

What Our Patients Are Saying

Norman Browne
Norman Browne
2021-01-06
First class treatment
Jacob James Sutherland
Jacob James Sutherland
2017-10-23
About a year into my treatment, very pleased with everything. Very polite and helpful staff. looking forward to seeing my teeth when my braces come off.

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Interested in getting clear braces from Moray Orthodontics? Book an appointment with us today. A member from our team will be in touch shortly.