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Clear braces are a fixed orthodontic treatment for teeth misalignment. They’re sometimes called ceramic braces. They’re an esthetic alternative to metal braces.
As the name suggests, clear braces are see-through, similar to clear aligners such as Invisalign. However, unlike Invisalign, they’re not removable.
Like traditional metal braces, clear braces use wires and brackets to move your teeth. The brackets in clear braces can be made of different materials, including:
Clear braces work in much the same way as traditional metal braces.
Brackets or orthodontic bands are attached to your teeth with a special glue. They hold the archwires in place while they gradually move your teeth.
Treatment with clear braces usually takes between 18 to 24 months. Similar to regular braces, follow up appointments with a dentist and/or orthodontist occur every 4 to 6 weeks to check treatment progress.
The metal brackets and wires on clear braces are colored to match your teeth. Any rubber bands or elastic components are see-through or white. This makes them a lot less noticeable than traditional metal braces.
The main difference between clear braces and metal braces is the way they look. Clear braces are made of ceramic or plastic materials, so they blend in with your teeth's natural color and are less noticeable than metal braces.
In addition, metal braces tend to be stronger than clear braces because of their material. Metal is more durable than the material used in clear braces.
Note: Clear braces and metal braces are different from lingual braces. Lingual braces involve the placement of brackets on the back of your teeth to make them more discreet.
Clear braces can fix problems that may be too difficult to treat with clear aligners.
This includes more severe types of teeth misalignments, such as:
Clear braces can also address complex cases, such as when there’s both crowded teeth and an underbite.
Here are some advantages of clear braces:
Here are some disadvantages of clear braces:
The per-arch cost for treatment with clear braces is usually between $4,000 and $8,000. This varies depending on the brand.
Here are some brands of ceramic braces and their costs per arch:
On average, treatment with clear braces costs $1,000 more per arch than traditional braces. But clear braces are potentially more affordable than Invisalign, which can range between $3,500 to $9,000.
Having fixed braces means taking extra care of your oral hygiene. Here are some tips to follow when wearing clear braces:
Clear aligners can save you thousands of dollars compared to braces. Learn about clear aligners.
Clear aligners (invisible aligners) are a removable orthodontic treatment that helps you achieve straight teeth. They’re a popular alternative for people who wear traditional braces because they’re less visible.
One of the most popular clear aligner brands on the market is Invisalign. Invisalign braces consist of a series of plastic trays custom-fitted to your mouth. They gradually move your crooked teeth into the desired position.
Unlike traditional metal braces, you can remove clear aligners when eating, brushing, or flossing. This makes them much more convenient and comfortable for many people.
Clear aligners work by gradually moving your teeth. You’ll wear custom-fitted trays that fit your upper and lower teeth.
Your orthodontist will give you a set of aligners. You’ll wear each set for about two weeks. The treatment time for clear aligners is around 12 to 18 months, depending on the severity of your condition.
There are three types of clear aligners: in-office, at-home, and hybrid. Here’s how they differ:
In-office aligners involve regularly visiting an orthodontist in their office. They’ll use special tools to create your aligners and check your progress. After the treatment, you may need to return for regular follow-up visits and adjustments.
At-home aligners don’t require visits to the orthodontist. You’ll receive an impression kit in the mail, and you’ll use this impression kit to create the molds of your teeth. The molds will be sent back to your orthodontist to create your aligners. The entire process happens remotely.
This setup combines visiting your orthodontist and monitoring your progress remotely. Sometimes, the company will initially require you to visit an orthodontist. After the orthodontist checks your teeth, the rest of the treatment is monitored remotely.
Clear aligners are used to fix minor to moderate alignment problems. These include:
Remember that clear aligners aren’t suitable for straightening teeth if you have severe alignment issues. Wearing braces or other orthodontic treatments is more suitable for severe conditions.
Here are some advantages of clear aligners:
Here are some disadvantages of clear aligners:
Aside from Invisalign, there are also various at-home clear aligners to choose from.
Here’s how some of them compare:
|Hybrid Model of Care||Fast Treatment||Budget Aligner Option||Original At-Home Aligner||Budget Aligner Option|
|Cost||$3,300 (varies by provider)||$1,999 to $2,399||$895 to $1,095||$2,250||$1,495 to $1,595|
|Treatment Length||4 to 12 months||4 to 12 months||4 to 6 months||8 to 12 months||4 to 6 months|
|Financing Available||Depends on provider||✓||✓||✓||✓|
The right teeth straightening option for you will depend on your needs and preferences. Here are some factors to consider when choosing teeth straightening treatment:
The severity of your condition usually determines what kind of teeth straightening suits you.
People with mild to moderate misalignment can achieve their desired results with invisible aligners. However, more severe cases may require braces or other orthodontic treatments.
Opt for invisible aligners to achieve quicker results. This orthodontic treatment promises results as early as four months.
The cost of treatment is also a factor to consider when choosing orthodontic treatment. Clear braces may be more affordable than in-office aligners, but that’s not always true.
Sometimes, clear aligner brands offer freebies with their impression kit. They may offer a free teeth whitening kit, free retainers, or other types of discounts. This can make the treatment more affordable than usual.
Invisible aligners offer more comfort and convenience than braces. You can remove them when necessary.
However, you may need to adjust your lifestyle when opting for clear braces. You must avoid consuming certain foods and drinks that can damage or stain the brackets or wires.
We recommend at-home clear aligners if you have mild teeth misalignment. View our top recommendations.
Insurance coverage will depend on your insurance provider. Many insurance providers may not cover the costs of clear braces or aligners because they’re considered cosmetic treatments.
Contact your insurance provider to know more about your coverage.
To place clear braces, the orthodontist will attach ceramic brackets to the front of each tooth and then thread a wire through the brackets. The orthodontist will then tighten the wire and adjust it as needed during visits.
Unfortunately, clear braces may turn yellow when not cared for properly. You can prevent clear braces from turning yellow by practicing good oral hygiene. Avoid highly staining foods and drinks and refrain from smoking as well.
You must avoid eating crunchy, sticky, and hard foods while wearing clear braces, as these can damage the brackets or wire. You should also avoid dark foods and liquids, which can stain your brackets. It’s also important to brush and floss regularly while wearing braces.
Yes, clear braces are an effective way to straighten your teeth. They work as well as traditional metal braces. Remember to follow your orthodontist’s instructions to ensure you achieve your desired results.
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