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South Riding & Chantilly Ceramic Clear Braces Treatment

Clear Braces

Ceramic braces, also known as clear braces, are made of a translucent plastic material that is virtually clear. This makes them popular among our patients who are interested in maintaining a more natural-looking appearance during their treatment.

Structurally speaking, ceramic braces closely resemble metal braces, as they are composed of brackets cemented to the center of each tooth. This design gives ceramic braces more straightening power than Invisalign trays, while being less noticeable than metal braces.

However, ceramic braces may not be the best option for every situation. On this page we’ll explain the pros and cons of ceramic braces and help you determine which type of braces are best for you.

example of ceramic braces
Kyisha Walker
July 9, 2024

Absolutely Fantastic experience. Dr. Omar is patient, engaging and friendly. Arielle G., Treatment Coordinator is fantastic. She is warm, inviting and explained each step of the treatment plan in detail making the process seamless. My little one didn't want braces but after meeting Arielle she is very excited. She is looking forward to getting her braces put on in August. The entire team displays a very welcoming and friendly attitude. Just what we were looking for in our search for an Orthodontist.

June 26, 2024

I love the staff and everyone here!! They have made me feel so comfortable with the transition to braces. Glad I chose them!

T M Bowman
June 17, 2024

We absolutely couldn’t have selected a better team for our son’s braces. I spent quite some time researching and comparing different companies. Everything from price, speed of getting an appointment, their treatment strategy and bedside manner of the provider. They have been amazing to work with and we will continue to recommend them to our friends and family.

What are ceramic braces?

Ceramic braces are structurally very similar to traditional metal braces, as both types consist of brackets and archwires that work to move the teeth into place. However, while metal braces are made of steel, the brackets on clear braces are made of transparent ceramic material which closely resembles the natural color of teeth. The wires and rubber bands involved in ceramic braces can also be made of clear or tooth colored materials to manimize visibility.

Why choose ceramic braces?

More Discrete Than Metal Braces

The biggest appeal of ceramic braces is their discrete appearance. Clear braces can address many of the issues that clear aligners cannot, while also offering a less obvious appearance than traditional metal braces.

Stronger Than Invisalign

Unlike Invisalign trays that easily slip on and off as needed, ceramic braces adhere directly to the patient’s teeth. This added security means ceramic braces can effectively treat conditions which Invisalign can’t, such as open bites, overbites, cross bites, and more. Additionally, some patients who are eligible for Invisalign choose to go with ceramic braces because stronger braces often mean shorter treatment time.

What are the downsides of ceramic braces?

Less Durable Than Metal Braces

Because they are not made of steel, ceramic braces are more fragile than traditional metal braces. This means that you will need to be much more careful about what you eat during your orthodontic treatment. You’ll want to avoid biting and tearing actions by cutting your food into small, bite sized pieces. This applies to foods like pizza, sandwiches, burgers, and other foods that you would normally eat with your hands and require a tearing motion. You should also be especially cautious of chewy and crunchy foods that may cause damage to your braces.

More Maintenance Required

Because ceramic braces match your teeth, they need extra maintenance to stay in tip-top shape. When the clear braces get stained, they look like stained teeth. To avoid discoloring your clear braces, we recommend brushing and flossing regularly and avoiding highly pigmented foods and drinks.

The Cost of Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces do generally cost a little bit more in the long run than traditional brace. Since ceramic is a more delicate material than steel, ceramic braces are adjusted at a slower pace than metal braces and this increases the overall treatment time. Ceramic braces are also more prone to damage throughout the treatment process, which may lead to more orthodontic visits.

How do I know if ceramic braces are right for me?

Have an Orthodontic Consultation

Ceramic braces are wonderfully effective for certain treatments but are unable to treat other conditions, such as severe crowding.
For this reason, the first step in choosing your braces is to have a consultation with your orthodontist. Your orthodontist will evaluate your orthodontic needs and tell you which types of braces you’re a good candidate for.

Question for Your Orthodontist.

Once you know which types of braces are potential options, you and your orthodontist can review any personal preferences or concerns you may want to factor into your treatment plan. Here are a few things you may want to discuss with your orthodontist.

Budget: Feel free to ask about payment plans, financing, types of payments accepted, and which types of braces will best fit your budget.
Timeline: Braces that are made from stronger materials are able to align your teeth more effeciently than braces made of softer material. Metal braces are strongest, followed by ceramic braces and lastly by Invisalign.
Appearance: It’s natural to want to look your best throughout your treatment plan. Share your concerns and talk to your orthodontist about your options.
Active Lifestyle: If you participate in sports or other activities, you may want to talk to your orthodontist about how to protect your braces and which types of braces will be best for your activity.

How do I maintain my ceramic braces?

Every type of braces require dietary precautions and increased oral hygiene diligence. This is especially true for ceramic braces because they are clear or lightly colored, so any food particles or stains are much more visible than they would be for patients with metal braces. Because of this, patients with ceramic braces must be extremely vigilant about their oral hygiene.

Just as with metal braces, we recommend that patients brush and floss their teeth after every meal. If you have ceramic braces, you will want to brush your teeth as soon as possible after eating in order to minimize staining caused by food particles that have been left in your braces for too long. You may also want to clean your braces after small snacks too, even if all you have time for is a quick rinse. Anything you can do to reduce the risk of your braces becoming discolored is worth the time and effort.

Ligatures are the clear rubber bands on your ceramic braces, and they are the part of your braces that are the most easily stained. Luckily, your clear ligatures will be changed at each orthodontic adjustment appointment. If you notice your ligatures becoming discolored too long before your appointments, talk to your orthodontist about your dietary habits and oral hygiene routine to see if there are any more precautions you can take.

Are there other names for ceramic braces?

Ceramic braces are commonly referred to as “clear braces” because their translucent brackets. You may also have heard these braces referred to by their most common brand names such as Damon Braces, Speed Braces, and In-ovation.

Are Invisalign trays considered clear braces?

In the the most technical sense, the term “clear braces” is defined as “a dental brace, which generally utilizes a permanently installed, moveable component to entrap the archwire.” Since Invisalign doesn’t use wire or brackets that adhere to the teeth, Invisalign doesn’t technically fit the description.

However, it’s more and more common to hear people refer to Invisalign as clear braces as well, and that’s perfectly understandable. After all, Invisalign performs the same purpose of straightening teeth and is made from clear material.

Whether you’re interested in clear aligner trays like Invisalign or clear ceramic braces, the first step in your treatment plan should always be a consultation with your orthodontist. There, you can share your priorities and concerns and your orthodontist will be able to help you evaluate which braces will work best for you.

If you are ready to schedule your free consultation to learn about whether ceramic braces are right for you, schedule an appointment with our office today!