Getting a Perfect Smile with Transparent Braces
Braces have seen significant improvement in their design over the years. Previous generations experienced more bulky, uncomfortable, and noticeable versions of braces. These undesirable characteristics led to significant improvements in braces development, now making them the perfect solution for adults and teens interested in the best orthodontic care. Learn about your best options when it comes to clear braces for adults with our top doctors in Temecula and Lake Elsinore.
Dr. Redford and Dr. Burke at Burke & Redford Orthodontists keep their practice up to date with technology and software in order to stay on top of the latest trends regarding clear braces for adults and teenagers. To make sure clear braces are the best choice for a patient, several aspects of this treatment modality should be considered. This article outlines several questions that may arise during the consideration process.
What are Clear Braces?
Clear braces are an alternative to the more common and conventional metal braces, with the difference being the use of clear brackets. White coated wires are often used together with these clear brackets, making these braces even more inconspicuous. Clear braces are just as precise and efficient as metal braces, with their advantage being a better cosmetic appearance during treatment. This is especially helpful for adults or teens who may otherwise feel apprehensive about the thought of wearing traditional braces.
Who Can Wear Clear Braces?
One of the most common misconceptions in orthodontics is that braces are only effective during a person’s youth. While the tween and teen years are ideal for orthodontic treatment, a person can get amazing results as an adult, too.
Almost any orthodontic condition can be improved with the help of clear braces, which include:
- Open Bite
- Teeth Gaps
Metal Braces vs. Clear Braces
Some people question the effectiveness and durability of clear braces. Clear braces are attached to each tooth in the same way and with the same bonding materials as metal braces. All braces are then connected with a white-coated or metal wire. The wires are what move the individual teeth and this entire system can correct any tooth misalignment. The clear braces systems used in our office are equally durable to our metal braces systems.
Burke & Redford Orthodontists are able to manipulate each separate tooth in order to correct its position and misalignment. Treatment times depend on case complexity, an individual’s unique rate of tooth movement (all people’s teeth move at a different speed!), and how well each patient takes care of their braces and cooperates with treatment directions. Clear braces can move teeth just as quickly and efficiently as metal braces.
All braces systems require periodic adjustment from an orthodontist. Self-ligating braces are used in our office and have some inherent advantages. No ties are necessary to secure the wire to each brace, making cleaning around braces an easier task with fewer places for plaque to accumulate. At the same time, self-ligating braces reduce time for adjustment during check-up visits, making for a more enjoyable overall experience. These self-ligating braces systems are available in a clear version.
Patients can opt for traditional metal or white archwires. When white wires are combined with clear ceramic brackets or plastic polycarbonate brackets, a patient experiences the full “clear braces” look that is highly esthetic.
Taking Care of Clear Braces
Just as with metal braces, clear braces should be taken care of with responsibility.
The doctors instruct their patients thoroughly on how to clean braces and teeth properly during treatment. It is important for patients to allot the appropriate amount of time each day for brushing and flossing. This will keep teeth looking fresh and braces working as they are designed.
Make sure to brush both morning and night as well as after every meal. Rinse well with water and consider using an interdental cleaner to clean hard to reach areas below the archwire.
People may also hear about some dietary restrictions while wearing clear (or metal) braces. Try and avoid the following:
- Hard foods (ice, hard chips or nuts)
- Chewy and sticky food (chewing gum, candies, caramels, marshmallows)
- Crunchy food (chips, croutons, crusty bread, raw apples, carrots, celery)
- Acidic food (fruit and vegetable juice, vinaigrette dressing, pickles)
There are several good alternatives to the food items listed above that are compatible with wearing braces. For treats, consider softer chocolates (Ex. Reese’s peanut butter cups), ice cream, or frozen yogurt instead of the hard or sticky candies. Wearing braces doesn’t disqualify a patient from all sweets, just ones that may cause damage to or break braces and extend treatment time!
At the same time, habits such as pencil chewing and nail-biting should be avoided so as to keep braces in good shape and working properly.
Maintaining a Perfect Smile after Clear Braces
Once braces are removed, some responsibility is needed to ensure the perfect smile is maintained long-term. The following are some ways to do this:
- Brush and floss twice a day
- Floss and brush well around fixed (“permanent” or “bonded”) retainers
- Rinse with a fluoridated mouthwash
- Continue making regular visits to your general dentist
- Wear and clean removable retainers daily
What is a Retainer?
The truth is that even after wearing braces, well-aligned teeth tend to revert to their initial and crooked state. Fortunately, retainers can keep this from happening, and there are multiple choices to consider.
- Permanent retainers – they are made of a thin wire fixed behind the front teeth. They are the most “retentive” type of retainer and don’t carry the risk of being accidentally misplaced or thrown away. Permanent retainers are typically advised for lower front teeth that are most prone to shifting over time.
- Removable retainers – they are made of plastic or acrylic and can be removed easily for eating and cleaning teeth.
Just before braces are removed, a discussion with the orthodontist will take place about retainer types and patient preference. The patient, along with their orthodontist, will agree upon the best retainer plan to make sure unwanted tooth movement is avoided for years to come.
If you need more details about clear braces for adults such as Damon braces, Invisalign, ceramic braces or any other orthodontic appliance, contact the best orthodontist in Temecula and Lake Elsinore at the offices of Burke & Redford Orthodontists at (951) 699-8011 or fill out the contact form on our website to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Redford or Dr. Burke today.