What Are Clear Braces?

Ever wondered how you could fix your smile without everyone noticing your braces? Clear or ceramic braces may be the solution. What are clear braces, and how do they work? Let’s dive into the details of this alternative and examine the pros and cons to keep in mind as you decide whether they are right for you.

How do Ceramic or Clear Braces Work?

The purpose of clear braces is to correct dental issues like crooked teeth, bite problems, overlapping teeth, and gaps between the teeth. They work in the same manner as metal braces; however, instead of being made out of stainless steel, the material used is transparent or tooth-colored ceramic.

The orthodontist uses a bonding material to attach ceramic brackets to the front of each tooth. A clear or tooth-colored wire connects the brackets, and clear elastic bands attach each bracket to the wire. This wire is periodically tightened, every six weeks, to guide the teeth into the desired position over time. 

What Is the Difference Between Clear and Metal Braces?

What are clear braces as opposed to metal?

Although clear and metal braces work the same, there are some key differences to be aware of:

  • Appearance: Because they are made of tooth-colored materials, clear braces are much more discreet than metal ones. For this reason, adults and teenagers who are self-conscious about aesthetics tend to choose this option.
  • Durability: Ceramic braces are not as strong as metal braces. They are more prone to breakage, which results in more maintenance. Orthodontists also warn that clear may not be the best choice for individuals who play contact sports.
  • Cost: In many orthodontic offices, clear options cost more than metal ones due to the technology and materials used. Repairing damaged brackets can also increase the overall expense. On average, clear braces cost $1,000 to $2,000 more than metal braces.
  • Treatment length: Both clear and metal braces are effective at fixing orthodontic issues. However, because ceramic is not as strong as stainless steel, the alignment process generally takes longer. Also, for complex orthodontic problems, metal braces may be a better choice.
  • Staining: Ceramic brackets and clear or tooth-colored wire and elastic bands are more likely to stain. Wearers should avoid consuming dark-colored food and beverages and clean their teeth more thoroughly.

Both types of braces will be on your teeth for months or years, so it is worth taking the time to understand the differences between each type.

Are They the Same as Aligners?

The short answer is no.

Removable aligning trays, such as Invisalign, straighten teeth differently than braces. However, they are another option for those who want a more discreet orthodontic option.

Ready To Upgrade Your Smile?

If you think that clear or ceramic braces may be the right choice for your situation, our team at Peterson Family Orthodontics can discuss the option more thoroughly with you.

For your orthodontic needs in San Tan Valley, contact us to schedule a complimentary in-office or virtual consultation with Dr. Peterson.