Ceramic braces offer a number of benefits over metal braces, including discretion. However, they are not right for everyone. At Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX, we offer a number of orthodontic tools designed to treat tooth misalignment and malocclusion. To help you determine whether ceramic or metal braces are right for you, keep reading to find out how fast each method works.
How Quickly Do Ceramic Braces Work?
If you opt for ceramic braces, you can generally expect to see your desired results after 18 to 36 months. While this may seem like a long time, you should keep in mind that braces can be used to correct severe orthodontic concerns, including extreme tooth misalignment and malocclusion (an overbite).
How Quickly Do Metal Braces Work?
As a general rule of thumb, you can expect metal braces to work after just 18 to 24 months. The reason metal braces tend to work faster than ceramic braces is the durability of metal braces. Metal braces are more robust, so you don’t have to worry about the brackets cracking because your teeth are moving too fast.
How Quickly Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign retainers can work in as little as six months, and you may be able to start noticing an improvement after roughly 10 to 12 weeks. However, it can take a couple of years to achieve your desired results if your concerns are moderate, rather than mild. You should also keep in mind that you may not be a good candidate for Invisalign if you have severe orthodontic concerns. Your viable treatment options may only be ceramic or metal braces.
When Will I Start To See the Results of My Treatment?
You can generally expect to start seeing the results of your treatment after two to three months. However, depending on the severity of the problems you are trying to correct, you may be able to see an improvement after just four weeks.
Am I a Good Candidate for Ceramic Brackets?
You will probably be considered a good candidate for ceramic brackets if you have moderate or severe orthodontic concerns, like an overbite, crossbite, or underbite, very misaligned teeth, or overcrowding. However, ceramic brackets aren’t right for everyone with severe orthodontic concerns. You may be a better fit for metal braces if you are worried about staining.
Some people prefer ceramic brackets over metal braces because metal braces are obviously metallic in color. They want discrete brackets but don’t think aligners would be a good fit for you. Even if you get tooth-colored ceramic brackets or another discrete color, you have to be very on top of your oral hygiene, so no staining occurs.
How Should I Care for My Teeth if I Opt for Braces?
There are a number of oral hygiene steps you must take if you opt for braces. For example, it is vital that you brush your teeth at least twice per day, regardless of the type of braces you have. If you opt for ceramic brackets, it is even more important that you brush your teeth after every time you eat. If you don’t, your braces could stain.
It is also essential that you floss your teeth at least once per day. Brushing your teeth will do a very good job of removing food particles from your gum line. It will also do a great job of removing food particles trapped between your wires and brackets and teeth. However, brushing isn’t completely effective. Flossing is an absolute must to remove all food particles from your mouth.
What Is the Best Toothbrush To Use With Braces?
One key oral healthcare step you should take is getting a new toothbrush every three to four months. If it is about time for your toothbrush to be replaced, you should strongly consider getting a toothbrush with a rounded head if you think you’re going to get braces. You should also keep in mind that flexible, relatively soft bristles will dislodge food particles more effectively.
Another key feature to look for when picking out your toothbrush is the width of the neck. The narrower the neck of your toothbrush is, the more comfortable it will be to maneuver. Also, for optimal comfort, you should consider how ergonomic the handle is. If it is tapered or angled, brushing will be much more comfortable.
What Dietary Restrictions Will I Need To Adhere to With Braces?
If you opt for braces, you may need to make some dietary changes. For example, you will need to avoid eating hard foods, like raw carrots, popcorn, and almonds. This will mitigate the risk of your brackets cracking. It is also important to avoid sticky foods, like caramels, toffee, and licorice.
Furthermore, if you opt for ceramic brackets, you should keep in mind that certain foods and beverages may cause significant staining. For instance, you should avoid eating blueberries or drinking blueberry smoothies to mitigate the risk of your discrete bracket staining. Furthermore, you should refrain from smoking, drinking tea, and drinking soda.
Will There Be Any Dietary Restrictions if I Opt for Invisalign?
No, there are no dietary restrictions if you opt for Invisalign. This is because you must remove your retainers whenever you eat or drink anything besides cold or room-temperature water. If you drink cold tea or coffee with your retainers in, there is a chance that they will stain. Keep in mind, though, it is vital that you wear your retainers as often as possible.
While you may be able to see your desired results in six to 24 months with Invisalign, this assumes that you wear your retainers for at least 22 hours per day. For this reason, when meal planning, you may want to plan for one or two calorie-dense meals per day. This will save you time preparing and eating your calories for the day. It will also increase the amount of time you spend wearing your retainers, decreasing your treatment time.
Will I Have To Give Up Sports if I Get Invisalign?
You will not necessarily have to give up sports if you want to use Invisalign to straighten your teeth. It is a better idea to play low-impact sports, like gymnastics, tennis, cycling or running. If you play a contact sport, like football or wrestling, that you don’t want to give up, know that the length of your treatment may increase depending on the amount of time you spend playing.
If you play a contact sport and opt for Invisalign, you will need to take out your retainers and wear an orthodontic mouthguard. If you wear your retainers under your mouthguard, if you are struck in the mouth with a ball or body part, they could become damaged. If you opt for braces, you will also have to wear an orthodontic mouthguard if you play contact sports. However, there is no chance that the length of your treatment plan will be affected.
How Will I Need To Care for My Invisalign Retainers?
Regardless of whether you opt for the braces or Invisalign, excellent oral health care is vital. If you opt for Invisalign, though, there are some extra steps you will need to incorporate into your daily routine. For example, it is essential that you keep your retainers clean. It doesn’t take long for plaque and bacteria to build up inside the walls of your retainer, especially if you don’t brush your teeth before putting them back in.
When you take your retainers out to eat, rinse them with water, and give them a quick scrub with clear antibacterial soap. Also, make sure that you keep them in their tray container to mitigate the risk of bacteria deposits while you are eating. Moreover, you should clean your aligners as soon as you wake up; the bacteria responsible for morning breath can make your aligners dirty, even if they are clean when you go to bed.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
If you decide that ceramic braces are a good fit for you, it should come as no surprise if it takes between 1.5 and three years to see your desired results. If you feel concerned about the length of this treatment plan, you should consider that this orthodontic treatment can be used to correct severe concerns that can’t be treated with aligners. Contact us today at Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX to schedule an initial consultation and learn more.