Clear Braces: A Less Noticeable Way to a Straighter Smile

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Clear brackets for braces were originally made of monocrystalline sapphire, but are now most often made from a ceramic composite.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.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Top Oral Care Tips Related to ADULT ORTHODONTICS

  • Flossing – creating a flossing routine is important during orthodontic treatment. Orthodontists and hygienists may recommend interdental brushes or floss threaders to make getting in between teeth easier.

  • Brushing routine – using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush are ideal for cleaning teeth with braces. Begin brushing at a 45-degree angle at the gum line using small circular motions. Then place the toothbrush on top of the brackets, angling down to brush on top of each bracket. Finally, reposition the brush to brush the bottom of the bracket as well as the wire, angling the toothbrush up.

  • Fluoride mouthwash – after brushing and flossing, rinse with a fluoride mouthwash to help prevent cavities and white spots.

  • Mouthguards – wear a mouthguard if you play sports. Mouthguards can protect your cheeks and lips from serious cuts and can prevent damage to your braces or orthodontic appliance if you fall down or are hit in the face.