Many patients visiting a general dentist do not fully understand the use of dental X-rays. Patients may wonder if this type of imaging is completely necessary, and it is important to understand the risks and benefits of the procedure. Dental X-ray exposure is safer than ever before, and when patients are knowledgeable about the procedure,…
Clear Braces: A Discreet Solution for Crooked Teeth
Clear braces are very similar to traditional metal braces, except clear braces have either tooth-colored or clear brackets. These brackets are made out of ceramic or another similar material. Because the brackets and wires blend in with your teeth, this type of braces offers a nearly unnoticeable solution for straightening your teeth, no matter what your age is. Read on to learn more about this type of braces.
Clear braces are a form of fixed braces. Like traditional braces, clear braces require the dentist to make adjustments. The dentist can use rubber bands and other orthodontic appliances to manipulate the teeth in the desired directions. With both clear and traditional braces, the treatment time lasts anywhere between 18 to 24 months, depending on the patient.
Depending on the dentist, patients may be able to choose to have a white wire. This will make the braces even less noticeable in the mouth. This is especially true when the braces are viewed from a distance.
Caring for clear braces
One thing that patients should keep in mind is that unlike with traditional metal braces, clear braces can stain. The light color of the brackets and wires will make any food or beverage stains very noticeable. As with traditional braces, patients should clean clear braces after every meal if possible. Bits of food can easily become stuck between the wires and brackets, creating an inviting place for bacteria.
Patients should try to clean the teeth and braces after every meal, snack and even beverage. This will not always be possible, so patients should rinse with water or mouthwash if a toothbrush is not available. Once a day, patients should floss their teeth and braces. The patient can use an interdental brush or a floss threader to guide the floss below the wire of the braces. This will allow the patient to floss right up to the gumline.
With clear braces, patients should avoid certain foods that can stain or cause the braces to break. Other foods, such as very sugary ones, can cause cavities. Patients should avoid:
- Hard foods, such as nuts, apples, potato chips or hard bread
- Sticky foods, such as gum, sticky candies or granola bars
- Acidic foods, such as fruit juices and pickles
- Beverages that can stain the teeth and braces, including coffee and tea
With clear braces, it is especially important to avoid hard and sticky foods. The brackets that are used for clear braces are more delicate than metal brackets and they can become broken more easily than others.
Visit a dentist today
Clear braces offer a discreet solution for straightening your teeth. It is never too late to consider getting braces. The inconspicuous quality of clear braces means that you will be able to have a bright smile both during and after your treatment. If you are interested in getting clear braces, visiting a dentist for a consultation is the first step in getting your straight teeth.
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