Are There Clear Braces Options?
Clear braces are the way to go when wanting discreet teeth straightening. These devices make it possible to straighten teeth without having metal wires and brackets fill the mouth. Braces improve the alignment of teeth by gradually pushing them to a better alignment. Treatment times with clear braces are typically somewhere between one to two years.
The different types of clear braces
The term "clear braces" is often used to describe teeth straightening appliances that are hardly visible when worn. The two main types are:
1. Ceramic braces
These share a similar design with conventional metal braces, but they blend in with the patient's teeth a lot better. The metal brackets and wires that come with traditional braces are swapped with tooth-colored ceramic brackets and transparent wires. As a result, the patient gets an appliance that is virtually as effective as metal braces when it comes to straightening teeth but is difficult to notice in the wearer's mouth.
Like metal braces, ceramic braces are permanently fixed in place once installed by a dentist. Noteworthy facts about ceramic clear braces include:
- Clear braces can be used to treat most of the orthodontic issues metal braces can be used to fix
- Like metal braces, clear braces increase the patient's risk of tooth decay and gum disease
- Ceramic braces do not irritate soft tissues in the mouth as much as metal braces because the materials are ceramic-based
2. Clear aligners
Clear aligners are removable plastic trays that are used to straighten teeth. These trays are transparent making them almost impossible to detect when worn, hence the clear braces name. Treatment with clear aligners involves getting a series of aligner trays at the beginning of treatment. These trays progressively push the patient's teeth towards better alignment. Each is worn for two weeks, which is the time it takes the tray to push the teeth to a position where the next set of aligners can take over.
Clear aligners are removable devices and that makes treatment more convenient for the patient. The aligners do not get in the way of meals or hinder the wearer's ability to clean their teeth. The person simply removes the aligners and reinserts them when they are done. Other benefits of clear aligners include:
- There is less of an adjustment period with clear aligners
- Clear aligners sometimes lead to shorter treatment times
- They only need to be worn for about 20 hours each day
- They are easy to remove and insert
- Aligners are the most discreet way to straighten teeth when it comes to clear braces
There are not as common as clear braces, but they are less conspicuous than metal braces. Lingual braces are just like metal braces, but the wires and brackets are attached to the back of the patient's teeth instead of the front. As a result, lingual braces are not easily detected. However, they are the most uncomfortable type of braces which is why only a few patients decide to go this route.
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