If you experience common dental concerns like crooked teeth, gaps, or a misaligned bite, your dentist may have mentioned braces as a possible solution. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll need metal brackets and wires. Ceramic braces are a less noticeable alternative to traditional braces. They are proudly offered as a treatment option at Rollins & Peterson Orthodontics in Mesa, AZ, where you’ll find top-quality professional care designed to help you achieve your perfect smile.
What Are Ceramic Braces?
These braces are a translucent or tooth-colored alternative to traditional metal brackets. They’re comprised of the ceramic brackets, which are typically more rounded than metal brackets, metal archwires colored to blend in with your natural smile, and elastic bands to help pull your teeth into correct alignment over time.
They’re similar to traditional braces in their application, duration of treatment, and removal but offer a more discreet appearance to patients who want to avoid noticeable metal brackets or a longer treatment time with invisible aligners.
These braces are used to correct the same dental issues as metal braces and invisible aligners. Common issues include overbites and underbites, protruding or crooked teeth, crossbites, and mismatched dental midlines. These issues can contribute to improper chewing habits, misaligned jaw growth, tooth stratification, and patient dissatisfaction with the appearance of their teeth and smile.
Since these braces are designed to blend seamlessly into your smile, your orthodontist will select the perfect shade to match your natural tooth color. For those with naturally whiter teeth, a clear ceramic is used to render the brackets almost invisible. Those with darker tooth shades have the option to select colored ceramic matched to their teeth for best aesthetic results. The metal archwire is similarly colored to complement your teeth, and the elastic bands are typically clear.
For younger patients, these braces can be made in almost any color, which offers full creative control to those who want more colorful braces for a more fun and memorable experience along with a perfect smile.
The main advantage of these braces is their ability to fit any smile without being distracting or unattractive. They’re popular with adult patients who want braces which are almost imperceptible in photos and difficult to notice in face-to-face interactions. In addition, ceramic brackets may cause less irritation to your lips and gums thanks to their rounder, smoother shape.
They are also bonded to your tooth with a high-strength adhesive designed to avoid tooth enamel demineralization and discoloration. This preserves your teeth during treatment and prevents damage when your braces are removed.
These braces are able to fit into your lifestyle without detracting from it and can deliver results almost as quickly as traditional braces and faster than invisible aligners, making them an excellent choice for patients who want the fastest, most aesthetically pleasing, and most convenient treatment plan available.
Am I an Ideal Candidate?
Maybe you had braces as a child and dread the thought of metal brackets getting in the way of your lifestyle and career. Maybe you’re a teen who wants something that will work faster than invisible aligners but avoid the appearance of traditional metal braces. Or maybe you want braces that can blend into your natural smile. If any of these scenarios describes you, these braces may be the treatment you’ve been waiting for.
Braces are the quickest, most effective way to correct the alignment of your teeth and see a positive change in related jaw and bite issues, not to mention your overall satisfaction with your smile.
Typically lasting between 18-24 months, treatment plans are highly flexible depending on your unique needs. These specific braces could be right for you if you’re seeking an alternative to metal brackets which can keep your smile looking its best while correcting dental concerns. In general, they are best-suited to patients between the ages of 15-55.
These braces may not be ideal for patients who regularly play contact sports. Modern ceramic is durable and not prone to cracking, but these brackets may be more likely than metal to break while playing sports.
In addition, the ceramic material may be prone to staining if you regularly drink coffee, tea, or wine. This requires dedicated cleaning to ensure that your brackets don’t become darker than your teeth. Other corrective options with less maintenance may be recommended for younger patients or adults who can’t commit to keeping brackets clean and stain-free.
To help you determine whether this treatment is right for you, you’ll sit down with your orthodontist to discuss the treatment plan, care of braces, and expected results. Your orthodontist will conduct a thorough exam of your teeth and explain how braces will correct your dental concerns. They will also consult your dental history and discuss your dental care routine to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy.
Finally, your orthodontist will recommend the best treatment plan for your unique situation—ceramic brackets may be the ideal option for those concerned about the appearance of braces. You should feel free to ask your orthodontist any questions you may have during your consultation.
How Are Ceramic Braces Put on?
These braces are similar to traditional braces in the way they’re attached, adjusted, and removed. The main differences are the material used in making the brackets and the size and shape of the brackets as compared to the classic square metal brackets. Your orthodontist will highlight these differences for you during your consultation session to ensure that you are adequately prepared for your new braces.
Once your orthodontist suggests braces as a solution to your dental concerns, you can begin preparing for your first appointment. This process is relatively easy since braces are a non-invasive treatment—you’ll need to ensure that you’ve recently visited your dentist for your regular cleaning and checkup, taken care of any cavities or fillings, and thoroughly brushed and flossed before your appointment.
Healthy teeth and a good dental care routine at home are the best ways to ensure that your teeth adjust well to braces. Before your appointment, you should make sure that your house is stocked with foods that aren’t hard, chewy, or crunchy. Prepare some soft foods like yogurt, soup, bananas, and protein shakes for the first few days of having braces.
It’s also a good idea to buy orthodontic wax, which can help protect your gums and lips from irritation caused by the brackets and wire ends. Finally, avoid sugar and sugary carbonated drinks before your appointment and as much as possible in your daily life to prevent tooth decay.
On the day of your appointment, you’ll arrive at your orthodontist’s office and have a chance to ask any last-minute questions. Your orthodontist will do a final exam of your teeth and make sure they’re clean and ready for braces. Next, the ceramic brackets will be attached to each tooth with a high-strength, tooth-friendly bonding adhesive designed to keep the brackets in place until it’s time to remove your braces. The adhesive is set and hardened with a blue light.
Your orthodontist will generally anchor your braces to your back molars with metal bands. These bands fit around your teeth and are also bonded with the adhesive. The metal archwires will be attached to each bracket and secured in the anchors before your orthodontist trims the ends to keep the wire from poking the back of your mouth.
A typical appointment takes 1-2 hours, depending on whether you’re having braces put on both your upper and lower teeth. You may feel pressure as your orthodontist works, but the attachment process is painless and relatively quick.
Life With Braces
Once your braces are attached, you’ll be able to return to your normal daily activities with no downtime. Your teeth and jaw may feel sore for the first few days and after your regularly scheduled adjustments. This is a normal part of the process and can be minimized by taking pain relievers as needed. When your braces are new, you may want to eat softer foods as your teeth will be more sensitive. Your orthodontist will give you a list of snacks and food to avoid while you have braces to prevent damaging or dislodging the brackets or wires.
Some foods and beverages are likely to stain the braces. While modern ceramic is less prone to staining, it’s important to brush your teeth after enjoying a coffee or wine to prevent any unwanted discoloration. Some patients wear clear elastic bands with their braces, which your orthodontist changes during your visits. These bands will be prone to discoloration as they are porous and retain color, but as long as you limit your intake of foods and drinks which may stain your bands, the discoloration will be minimal.
Depending on your treatment plan, you could be ready to have your braces removed in just a few months. However, it’s more common for patients to wear braces for about 2 years to fully correct more significant dental concerns. Once your orthodontist is happy with your new alignment, the bonding adhesive connecting your brackets to your teeth will be gently broken, and the brackets will be removed from your teeth.
Your orthodontist will remove any residual adhesive and recommend that you schedule a dental cleaning appointment to thoroughly clean your teeth and gums. Thanks to your braces, your teeth should be straight and properly aligned, allowing for better jaw function, a more natural bite, and a more genuine smile as you show off your new look.
Depending on the extent of your previous dental issues, your orthodontist may fit you for a retainer to help keep your teeth in place. While teeth are susceptible to shifting over time, the results of your braces are permanent and can be enhanced by wearing your retainer as long as your orthodontist recommends to prevent movement.
In the past, braces were largely seen as a corrective treatment for children and teens only, but adults can also benefit from this fast and proven way to get straighter teeth in a relatively short amount of time. With ceramic braces, you can smile confidently knowing that your braces are discreet and barely noticeable to those around you. These braces can correct your smile without distracting you from your normal life and career goals, making them the ideal treatment for patients who want the best, fastest, and most aesthetically-pleasing option available.
If you’re ready to learn more about how ceramic braces can give you the smile you’ve always wanted, contact the professionals at Rollins & Peterson Orthodontics in Mesa, AZ to schedule your initial consultation today! We look forward to serving you.