Ceramic braces, sometimes referred to as clear braces, are a safe, effective orthodontic treatment offered at Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX. Like traditional braces, they can treat overbites, underbites, and other orthodontic concerns. However, they are not appropriate for everyone. If you think you could benefit from braces, read on to discover which orthodontic treatment is right for you.
Should You Get Metal vs Ceramic Braces?
There are several factors affecting whether metal vs ceramic braces are the optimal orthodontic solution for you. However, as a general rule of thumb, you can expect to benefit the most from metal braces if you drink a lot of dark beverages and eat a lot of acidic foods. Metal braces also may be a better fit for you if you need to straighten your bottom teeth.
Ceramic braces may be a better fit for you if you think you would feel self-conscious wearing metal braces. Additionally, ceramic brackets feel smoother. To find out what type of braces will benefit you the most, you need to come in for an initial consultation. During this consultation, we will discuss your personal preferences, evaluate your concerns, and discuss your goals. This information will help us make a final determination.
How Should I Care for My Braces?
During your initial consultation, we will advise you on all of the care guidelines you must follow while your braces are in. Brushing your teeth after each meal is one of the most important rules you must follow. When you brush, make sure that you are diligent in removing food debris from the wires and brackets. Also, you must regularly floss your teeth with a floss threader designed for braces.
If you get clear braces rather than metal braces, brushing your teeth is even more important. You should brush after drinking coffee, tea, or red wine even if you don’t eat. This helps to keep the brackets from staining. You should also avoid eating certain foods, including chewy, hard, or sticky foods. Moreover, you should take care when eating certain foods, like carrots, apples, or corn on the cob.
Can I Play Sports If I Have Braces?
Yes, you can play sports if you have braces. However, you should wear an orthodontic mouthguard if there is a chance that you will be hit in the mouth. For instance, if you play soccer, you should wear an orthodontic mouthguard while you are on the field and on the bench.
You should have your orthodontist fit you with a custom, high-quality mouthguard because a mouthguard from a sporting goods store or pharmacy will not fit snugly. Additionally, it will not be as comfortable, and it will not offer as much protection as an orthodontic mouthguard.
How Long Will I Need To Wear Braces?
How long you will need to wear ceramic or metal braces depends on several factors. However, you can generally expect to need to wear braces for two years. If you have very crooked teeth, braces may only be necessary for a year. Additionally, you may need braces for 18 to 24 months if your teeth are very crowded or too far apart.
If you are concerned about teeth misalignment, like an open bite, deep bite, crossbite, or underbite, you may need to wear braces for up to three years. During your initial consultation, we will assess the severity of your orthodontic concerns and advise you on how long you can expect to need to wear braces.
What Are the Benefits of Braces?
One of the most compelling benefits of metal vs ceramic braces is that they can correct bite problems. This can treat and prevent many problems, including difficulty chewing and tooth decay. If you get braces to treat moderate or severe misalignment, speech impediments can be improved. Additionally, straightening your teeth can help prevent TMJ disorders. gum disease, and cavities.
What If I Don’t Think Braces Are Right for Me?
If you don’t think braces are right for you, there is a chance that you will be considered a good fit for clear aligners. This type of treatment is generally appropriate for people who feel confident that they can wear their trays for no fewer than 20 hours daily. Additionally, you must be able to come in for a follow-up appointment every six to eight weeks to get new trays.
Why Do I Have To Wear My Aligners for So Long Each Day?
It is essential that you wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours daily because the longer your aligners are in, the sooner you can see your desired results. If you can wear your aligners for 22 hours daily, you may only need to wear them for three to six months depending on the severity of your orthodontic concerns. However, you may need to wear your aligners for 12 to 18 months if you have severe orthodontic problems.
Are There Any Dietary Restrictions With This Treatment?
No, there are no dietary restrictions if you opt for clear aligners rather than braces. You must remove your aligners before you eat to help prevent damage and keep them clean. Also, to maintain the integrity of your trays, they must be removed before you consume any hot, colored, or sugary beverages. For instance, you must remove your trays before you drink:
- Hot tea
- Hot coffee
- Hot chocolate
- Fruit juice
Note that you also must remove your aligners before chewing gum. If chewing gum gets stuck to your trays, they can become damaged. For the fastest results, try to only drink water and avoid chewing gum.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
Clear braces are generally considered appropriate for people who are only looking to straighten their upper teeth. If your lower teeth need to be straightened, you will most likely be a better fit for metal braces or clear aligners. To find out which orthodontic treatment is right for you, contact us today at Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Brian St. Louis, DDS, MS.