What Are Clear Braces?Clear braces are not invisible braces, like Invisalign and similar companies that offer clear aligner systems that are almost imperceptible. Instead, clear braces are similar to metal braces, but instead of a metal bracket they have a clear ceramic one. This makes them far less visible than the dark metal of traditional braces.
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Pros and Benefits of Clear BracesHow are clear braces better than traditional metal braces? Clear braces have several benefits worth considering. The main benefit of clear braces is their look. People aren’t going to notice your braces quite as quickly when they look at your face when you have these, whereas metal braces draw instant attention. These braces are simply more aesthetically pleasing. Yet there’s another benefit you may not realize. Ceramic braces aren’t going to irritate the inside of your mouth the same way metal braces do. The materials are more comfortable on the soft tissue inside your mouth. Finally, clear braces are strong. They are able to handle most types of misalignment with the same effectiveness as metal braces. You can straightened your misaligned teeth more attractively without fear that your braces will break.
Cons and Disadvantages of Clear BracesClear braces aren’t a perfect solution. First, the cost of clear braces tends to be higher than traditional braces with metal brackets. The materials are more costly, and thus the entire process costs more. Those considering clear braces in Houston Texas will need to decide if the additional cost is worthwhile. Second, clear braces are strong, but they may not be quite as effective as regular braces. If you have severely misaligned teeth, you may need metal braces for the appropriate amount of correction. Finally, you may not be able to have clear braces on all of your teeth. The porcelain material can be highly abrasive to the teeth, and patients with a severe overbite may bite down on the brackets on their lower teeth. Over time, this can damage the top teeth. In these instances, your orthodontist will recommend clear braces on top, where they are most visible, and traditional braces on the bottom.
Clear Braces Vs. InvisalignNow, you may be wondering why you would opt for clear braces instead of Invisalign or another aligner system. To answer this, you must ask yourself, “Is Invisalign really better than braces?” the answer depends on your needs and goals. Here are the main differences:
InvisibilityClear braces and Invisalign only have one thing in common – both are very difficult to see. This makes them particularly popular when considering braces for adults. That said, clear braces are not invisible. If you are looking for something that’s completely transparent, Invisalign is the better choice. Are invisible braces working well? If you are a good candidate for invisible aligners, they can work quite well, and provide the only true option for orthodontics that you can’t see.
RemovabilityAnother difference between the two clear alignment systems is removability. Invisalign aligners are removable, so you can take them off to clean or while you are eating. Clear braces remain in place for the duration of your treatment, and you must learn to brush and eat around them. Removability is also important in reducing the risk of staining. When you have clear braces, you must learn to brush and clean around them, and this can allow stains to occur if you don’t do the job well. Removing Invisalign aligners and brushing your teeth normally prevents this risk.
AdjustmentsAll types of alignment systems, whether aligners or braces, must be adjusted regularly. With clear braces, you will visit the orthodontist every four weeks for adjustment. Invisalign aligners must be changed every two weeks. This is a benefit of clear braces, especially for busy people.
Treatment AbilitiesInvisalign aligners are meant for mild problems. If you have gaps, crowding, or a small bite issue, they will work for you. Clear braces can be used for these problems as well as more severe misalignment issues. Your orthodontist will be able to help you know which option is viable for you.
Clear Braces Vs. Traditional BracesHow are clear braces better than traditional braces? Metal braces and clear braces both work in a similar way to straighten misaligned teeth. Both types of braces have brackets placed on the teeth using dental cement. Wires running through these brackets place pressure on the teeth to move them in to a proper position. The only difference is the material the brackets are made from, which is metal for traditional braces and ceramic for clear braces. Traditional metal braces are strong and versatile. They work well for a wide range of alignment problems. They also can work more quickly than ceramic braces. So why wouldn’t you want traditional color braces? The main drawback is their aesthetics. They are quite noticeable and not attractive in many people’s minds. When comparing clear braces to invisible braces, you must also consider the cost. The cost of braces is directly tied to the materials used. Ceramic braces have more costly materials than traditional, so they cost more.
What Clear Braces Cost in HoustonThe average cost of braces in Houston can range from $3,000 all the way to $10,000. orthodontic treatments are highly personalized, and your cost will depend on the severity of your misalignment. That said, the different types of braces have different cost ranges. In Houston, you can expect to pay:
- Between $3,000 and $6,000 average for metal or color braces
- Between $4,000 and $8,000 for ceramic braces
- Between $3,000 and $8,000 for Invisalign or “invisible braces”
How to Care for Your Clear BracesCeramic braces need careful care to protect both the braces and the teeth underneath. The ceramic on the brackets is easy to stain, and sometimes the staining will impact your teeth as well. To keep your braces and teeth looking their best, consider these tips:
- Brush your teeth after every meal to remove food color, plaque, and bacteria.
- Floss and rinse your mouth after meals as well. Wind floss between the brackets, or use a water pick.
- If you smoke, stop immediately to avoid unwanted stains on your teeth that show where your brackets once were.
- Avoid red colored foods, coffee, wine, and soda, which can all stain the teeth.
- Avoid using whitening toothpaste while you have the braces, because it cannot whiten behind the ceramic brackets, so your teeth could end up with two different shades.
- Maintain your orthodontic appointments on the right schedule.