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Oral Health Buzz

Clear Braces: A Less Noticeable Way to a Straighter Smile

Wendy J. Woudstra

When a teen finds out he needs braces to correct crooked teeth or a misaligned bite, one of the first concerns he will have is how they will look. While metal braces are often the most economical way to straighten teeth, they aren't the most aesthetically pleasing to image-conscious teens.

There are several alternatives to the standard metal brackets, including braces using tooth-colored ceramic brackets or clear braces that are less visible than standard metal braces.

What Are Clear Ceramic Braces?

Clear brackets for braces were originally made of monocrystalline sapphire, but are now most often made from a ceramic composite. They blend in with the color of your teeth, no matter what shade your natural tooth color is, and are not very noticeable in photographs. This is a major selling point for teens worried about being forever remembered as a "metal mouth" in their yearbook photos.

The ceramic brackets work in the same way metal braces do, and don't fall off or crack easily, making them a good option for normal orthodontic treatments.

Not for All Cases

Severe misalignments might not be suitable for clear braces, but they are well suited for the vast majority of cases. Your orthodontist will be able to explain the suitability of clear ceramic braces for any specific case, and whether using a clear brace will mean a longer treatment period than a metal brace.

The costs of clear ceramic braces can be slightly more expensive than metal braces. Talk to your orthodontist and insurance company to determine what is covered by your plan and within your budget.

Learn more about orthodontic treatments in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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