Ceramic (Self Ligating) Before & After Pictures
Clear Braces – An Affordable Alternative
Whether you’re an adult, teen, or child, ceramic braces can transform your smile without being as noticeable as metal braces. Often, clear braces are referred to as ceramic braces; however, clear braces are also mentioned when people discuss Invisalign®, which Burke & Redford Orthodontists also offer at our beautiful practice.
Self-Ligating Clear Ceramic Braces
Record numbers of adults are seeking orthodontic treatment today. According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), adult patients seeking treatment increased by 14% between 2010 and 2012. This number has continued to rise ever since.
Many teens ask their parents for braces now, because they are more accepted than years ago when metal braces were the only option. These clear braces have helped increase a child’s self-esteem, which is important for their emotional growth into adulthood.
At Burke & Redford Orthodontics, we’ve seen the same trend. Our offices in Temecula and Lake Elsinore have more patients than ever before. Patients come from as far away as Orange, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties to see the doctors in the Inland Empire of Riverside County.
Many adults seeking orthodontic treatment want to boost their self-confidence after years of being sensitive about crooked teeth or a less than perfect smile. Improving their oral health is a great motivating factor. After all, having well aligned teeth decreases the risk of tooth decay, periodontal disease and other oral health issues.
Another factor is that orthodontic treatments are more affordable, especially with the rise of flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs). The cost of invisible braces is within reach for most families today, especially with zero interest financing at Burke & Redford Orthodontists.
The biggest reason why more adults, teens and kids are seeking orthodontic treatment is because of technological innovations, comfort, and convenience. Today’s orthodontic patients can choose braces that are clear—giving them an effective but discreet way to improve their smile.
The option of having less noticeable braces is the driving force behind their decision to seek orthodontic treatment.
Why Choose Ceramic Braces for Adults and Teens
Ceramic braces effectively straighten teeth and offer almost all the same benefits of metal braces while being much less noticeable. Because they don’t want to draw attention to their braces, most patients opt for ceramic clear braces.
Braces made from ceramic are more discreet because ceramic brackets (or clear brackets) are used instead of metal. These types of brackets blend into the teeth. When used with white-coated wires and clear elastics, they are hardly noticeable.
The differences between ceramic and metal braces are primarily cosmetic. Both types of braces have similar treatment times, use wires and brackets, and treat similar issues such as crooked, crowded, or misaligned teeth. However, metal braces are made from stainless steel and braces that are clear are made from clear or tooth-colored ceramic.
Using metal versus ceramic brackets should be a lifestyle decision for each patient. If a bracket that blends in with a patient’s natural tooth color will make them feel more confident and comfortable, clear brackets will be used.
How Clear Braces are Different from Invisalign and Damon Braces
A popular option for adult orthodontic treatments is Invisalign, which is often called “clear braces” or “invisible braces.” However, Invisalign isn’t a braces system at all.
Unlike braces (which use wires and brackets), Invisalign uses a series of transparent, customized aligners (trays) to reposition and straighten teeth. Although Invisalign offers some advantages over braces (e.g., trays can be removed while eating and brushing, no dietary restrictions), patients seeking Invisalign should be informed by an orthodontist about the limitations with this type of teeth straightening method.
- Invisalign is not as effective for serious orthodontic issues. It is best suited for patients who have mild orthodontic problems and whose teeth are in good condition. Braces are typically the best option for treating more complicated cases.
- Invisalign treatment may take longer and can cost more.
- Invisalign aligners may cause a slight speech impediment (lisp) for some patients initially.
While Invisalign can make improvements to teeth in virtually any type of case, having a consultation with a specialist at Burke and Redford Orthodontists is important to learn about the upsides and downsides of clear aligners for your unique presentation.
Benefits of Self-Ligating Braces
One of the biggest breakthroughs in braces technology is self-ligating braces, which are like traditional braces except they don’t need elastics to secure brackets to the archwire. Instead, special clips (or doors) help the archwire move teeth into place. Self-ligating braces can use either ceramic or metal brackets. Self-ligating braces provide many benefits.
- The clips allow for greater and gentler freedom of tooth movement and prevent the need for the traditional “tightening” of braces.
- Fewer office visits are needed for adjustments. Teeth move into place at a more even, gentle, and continuous pace with the use of lightweight, high-technology, shape-memory wires. This means fewer appointments are needed for adjustments.
- These types of braces are easier and faster to adjust because the doors can be easily opened and closed. This means less time spent in the chair at the orthodontist—a critical factor for busy adults, teens and children.
Damon braces are simply a system of self-ligating braces that don’t use metal clips or elastic ties of any kind. At Burke & Redford, we offer patients the option of getting clear self-ligating or Damon braces.
After a thorough clinical examination, Dr. Burke and Dr. Redford will recommend the treatment option best suited to a patient’s specific needs. This may include self-ligating braces made of ceramic, Invisalign, or Damon braces. Our mission is to provide patients with the best treatment for their individual needs.
Caring for Ceramic Braces
Braces made with ceramic materials need to be well taken care of. The actual braces used in our practice are virtually resistant to staining. If staining does occur, it is typically to a colored or clear elastic ligature (“tie”) around an individual bracket. This staining to a ligature usually happens after eating or drinking dark-colored foods. Smoking will also stain the ties. With self-ligating braces that don’t require elastic ligatures, problems with staining can be virtually eliminated.
Still, being diligent while wearing clear braces is important for adults, teens, and children. Tips for preventing staining of ceramic brackets include:
- Brush and floss as soon as possible after every meal.
- Use a mouthwash in the morning and at night to reach areas missed during brushing and flossing.
- Consider buying a water flosser (such as a Waterpik).
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid dark-colored food and drinks during treatment. The biggest culprits are tomatoes, berries, wine, coffee, dark-colored sodas, curries, and mustard.
- Avoid whitening toothpastes. Although this may seem like odd advice, whitening toothpaste can’t get behind the braces, which may lead to darker areas when the braces are removed.
- Maintain regular dental and orthodontic check-ups. At each check-up, Dr. Burke or Dr. Redford will change the elastics (if they were chosen)—giving you a fresh start in this area.
Price of Ceramic Braces
Although clear braces cost a little bit more than metal braces, the difference is usually quite small. Most times, the advantages far outweigh the differences.
At your complimentary consultation, Dr. Redford or Dr. Burke will discuss a treatment plan and provide a breakdown of fees and payment options. Burke & Redford Orthodontists offers payment plans for different budgets, including an option with no down payment and zero interest.
We work with most PPO insurance plans, such as Delta Premier, United Concordia and Metlife. We also accept other PPO insurance plans. Our expert staff will go over everything with you and fill out all of the necessary insurance forms.
To schedule a free consultation, contact Burke & Redford Orthodontists in Temecula or Lake Elsinore by calling our main office at (951) 699-8011. Another option is to fill out a consultation form on our website, and we will contact you to make an appointment that works with your schedule.