Crooked, crowded, or misaligned teeth can make you feel uncomfortable about your smile. They can also interfere with the way your teeth work. Orthodontic treatment, like braces, can help you get the attractive, functional smile you've always wanted. Today's braces are smaller and less noticeable than the braces of the past, explains the Canadian Dental Association . One of the less noticeable types of braces are ceramic braces.
Ceramic vs. Traditional Braces
You're probably familiar with traditional braces. The brackets are made of metal, and they're cemented to your teeth. A metal wire connects the brackets. Since these braces are made of metal, they're very noticeable.
Ceramic braces are similar to traditional braces in design, but the materials are different. Instead of metal, the braces are made of transparent ceramic. The wires can also be transparent to make the braces less noticeable.
The effectiveness of ceramic braces depends on the dental issues your orthodontist needs to correct. For example, traditional braces are a more effective treatment for patients with extreme overcrowding. If you have severe misalignments, your dentist may recommend traditional braces.
Ceramic braces are well-suited for many patients without severe misalignments. Your orthodontist will let you know if you're a good candidate for these braces after they examine your teeth. They'll also let you know if your treatment time will be extended by choosing these braces.
Caring for Your Braces
Tiny elastics, known as ligatures, hold the wires to the brackets. It's possible for these ligatures to become discolored. Highly pigmented foods, like tomato sauce, curries, or berries, can leave stains. Highly pigmented drinks like tea, coffee, or red wine can also leave stains. Smoking can stain the ligatures as well. Try to avoid any of these foods and drinks to keep your ligatures looking their best. If the ligatures do get stained, it's not the end of the world. Your orthodontist will change the ligatures when you go in to have your braces adjusted.
To keep your braces looking their best, remember to brush your teeth twice a day with toothpaste. Its fluoride formula strengthens teeth to help prevent cavities. Of course, it's also important to floss once a day. Flossing with braces can be challenging, but it's easier with the right tools. You can use an orthodontic floss threader to maneuver the floss underneath the wires of your braces. Then, you can carefully floss between your teeth and along your gumline.