Did you know that orthodontic patients now have more options than ever when it comes to achieving better oral health and straightening their smile? McGrory Orthodontics is proud to offer several of these orthodontic options to our patients in Pearland and Bellaire, including clear braces. These innovative braces can be great for patients who need the strength and reliability of metal braces but desire a more subtle appearance. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, keep reading below! We’re going to be taking a look at what clear braces are, how they work, and what kind of benefits they have over metal braces.
What are clear braces?
You may sometimes hear clear braces referred to as ceramic braces, tooth-colored braces, or esthetic braces. Just like we do with metal braces, we will affix brackets to the front of your teeth and insert a special wire into them. By bending this wire in specific ways, we’re able to place different kinds of pressure on different teeth. This gentle, continuous pressure is what moves the teeth into more desirable positions over time.
Although metal and clear braces work in the same way, their components are different. As the names suggest, metal braces are composed of metal brackets, while clear braces are made of translucent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets. Clear braces aren’t totally invisible, but they are much less noticeable than metal braces, and they blend in really well with natural smiles!
Clear braces can also be paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties. This offers teen and adult patients an incredibly subtle way to straighten smiles and improve oral health. If you aren’t suited to a removable appliance like Invisalign® aligners but still want a discreet treatment option, clear braces can be an excellent alternative.
What are some of the differences between clear and metal braces?
Metal braces have a long history of being durable and strong, and while clear braces are also reliable and long-lasting, the material they are made of is more fragile and easier to chip or crack. Metal braces also tend to tolerate more pressure than clear braces, so for more complex or severe orthodontic issues, metal braces may be a better option. Additionally, adjustments will need to be slightly smaller with clear braces, so it can sometimes take a little longer to align them successfully. That being said, metal and clear braces do work on the same principles. Both tend to be equally effective in most cases!
A common worry among some patients is that clear brackets will stain. Although this could be a problem years ago, current models don’t stain. However, the adhesive we use to attach the brackets to the teeth can, along with the clear elastic ties that hold the wires on. Over time, this can give the impression of discoloration.
Once upon a time, patients wearing clear braces were advised to avoid things like coffee and tea, red wine, tomatoes, and mustard to reduce the risk of any potential staining. Fortunately, we now know this to be an unnecessary precaution. Since we place new elastics at every adjustment appointment, you shouldn’t have to give up your morning cup of joe!
Clear brackets do tend to be a bit more costly than their metal counterparts. There is also more work involved in putting them on, adjusting them, and taking them off. Furthermore, their placement and removal is also more sensitive to technique and may require more time, plus adjustments will sometimes be more complex. All of these factors taken together mean that clear braces are often slightly more of an investment than metal braces. For these reasons, we generally only recommend them for our older teen and adult patients.
Here at McGrory Orthodontics, we’re committed to giving you outstanding orthodontic care you can afford. We understand that each family’s financial needs are different, and will work with you to make sure you get the best treatment option for your specific needs! If you’re able to pay for treatment in full at the time of service, you’ll receive a courtesy discount credited to your account. If you prefer to pay over time instead, we have an in-office payment plan with 0% financing. We also accept most orthodontic insurances and can file the insurance on your behalf.
Get a smile you’ll fall in love with at McGrory Orthodontics
When you schedule your first appointment with our Pearland or Bellaire office, you’ll receive a thorough orthodontic evaluation with one of our experienced doctors. This will help them determine your diagnosis, what type of treatment you need, and which treatment option would be best for you.
Although most of our teen and adult patients will be a good fit for clear braces, if we feel your smile would be better served by a different treatment, that’s what we will recommend to you. We don’t do a “one size fits all” treatment here! Our team works hard to always provide consistent, compassionate, customized treatment to our patients.
For older teens and adults who want the benefits of metal braces without standing out, clear braces can be the perfect alternative. If you’re interested in learning more about how clear braces can give you the smile you’ve always wanted, get in touch with us today to schedule a complimentary consultation. There’s never been a better time to take the first step towards a healthier smile!