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Clear braces: What are they and how do they work?

21 September · 3 minutes

In recent years, clear braces, also known as transparent braces or invisible braces, have become a very popular orthodontics choice.

The beginnings of orthodontics were based on studying, preventing, and correcting problems in the development, shape, and position of teeth to achieve a perfect smile. By now, clear teeth braces are a viable option alongside traditional braces. Innovations in orthodontics seek to offer their patients benefits in a society where great importance is placed on physical appearance.

Following society's aesthetic demands, the possibility of using clear braces came to light as it offers a better appearance whilst maintaining its main function, which is to correct alignment.

What are clear braces?

While most people are familiar with traditional braces, ‘what are clear braces?’, is a question many clients ask. Clear braces is an innovation present in orthodontics that is created with aesthetics in mind.

Clear fixed braces are produced with materials that take on a white or tooth-like shade. The most common materials used are ceramic and sapphire because they are more durable and do not change their colour over time.

Lady smiling and pointing at her clear braces

Types of clear and invisible braces

There are different types of invisible or clear braces depending on the materials they are made of and their placement:

  • Sapphire brackets: the synthetic sapphire which aesthetic brackets are made from is the latest innovation in the sector. They are very high-quality and so transparent that they are very unnoticeable.
  • Ceramic or porcelain brackets: These are very resistant, durable and very discreet, although they have a more opaque color than sapphire brackets.
  • Zirconium brackets: Zirconium for making brackets is another option. Like porcelain brackets, these brackets are white.
  • Resin brackets: The materials used are resin and polycarbonate-based plastic.
  •  Lingual brackets: They are placed on the inside of the teeth, so, although they are metallic, these brackets are not visible to others.

How are clear braces applied?

During your first visit, the orthodontist will do a series of diagnostic tests (from panoramic X-rays to intra-oral and extra-oral photos) to get a full understanding of each patient’s mouth.

There are two main procedures for placing invisible braces in the mouth. The first is the placement of the clear brackets directly onto the patient's teeth. This is usually a slower, less effective and more uncomfortable procedure for the patient and is therefore no longer used.

The second method which is more effective and thus more currently practiced, is placing clear brackets in unique moulds taken from the patient. Once the position is correct, the whole piece is placed in the mouth and fixed with dental cement, hardened with a high-intensity light.

It is necessary to visit the orthodontist regularly to adjust the appliances in order to reposition the teeth appropriately. The success of the results lies in the patient attending these appointments.

Upon completion, the orthodontist must evaluate if the teeth have taken their correct position and if so, the clear brackets are removed, which is a simple and painless step. The treatment culminates with the use of retention appliances to prevent the teeth from returning to their initial position and to make the treatment worthwhile.

A group of adults smiling while wearing clear braces

How much do clear or invisible braces cost?

The price is usually determined by the type, material, complexity of the case, duration, among other aspects. The orthodontist, after the evaluation, can tell you the total cost of clear or invisible braces. However, you can find more details of the average costs and how they are determined in our blog post about prices.

Benefits of clear braces

The main benefits of clear teeth braces are that they are almost invisible to others, maintaining the natural aesthetics of the smile whilst correcting the position of the teeth. They are innovative because of the materials they are made of. The sapphire material in particular is both more durable and offers increased oral hygiene.

Clear fixed braces are an aesthetic and discreet option, enabling you to conceal your orthodontic treatment whilst remaining effective. Finally, it’s worth noting that they are available for both children and adults.

Disadvantages of clear braces

As with many other options, there are one or two disadvantages to clear braces. In principle, it is not compatible with patients with highly complex dental problems. When choosing this type of material, it's important to consider that the duration usually lasts a little longer and comes with higher costs. Another slight disadvantage of clear braces are also more delicate, and if adequate care is not taken, they can break.

A woman smiling while pointing at her clear aligners

Alternatives to clear braces

Advances in orthodontics offer several different options to meet your needs.

The alternative to clear braces and the evolution of orthodontics is invisible aligners.

Impress’ aligners offer a great alternative to clear and traditional braces. The main advantage of invisible aligners is that they offer an alternative for improving and correcting alignment, bearing in mind the patient's aesthetic needs.

Gone are the days that patients go to the dentist looking to improve their smile and leave with a mouth full of metal. The innovation that orthodontics brings to society with invisible aligners is that they go unnoticed by the outside world.

The most essential point to highlight about this orthodontic innovation is that the quality of treatment is maintained while offering benefits in terms of oral hygiene, not creating wounds and sores caused by metal braces, and allowing patients to enjoy meals without restrictions, as they are removable.

They are designed according to the needs of the patient and the structure of the jaw. For effective results, it is compulsory to keep changing the aligners, to be able to exert the necessary pressure on the teeth to position them correctly inside the mouth. The aligners are manufactured from strong acrylic or plastic resin materials.

Do you want to start treatment or get to know more about clear aligners? Make an appointment online, get in touch by phone/WhatsApp on +44 203 808 1072 or send us an email at uk@smile2impress.com.

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FAQs about clear braces

Can everyone wear them?

In general, any patient who wishes to realign their teeth can opt for clear braces, as the main function is to exert pressure to correctly move each tooth.

What are the requirements to have clear braces?

During your first visit, the orthodontist will gather personal data from you, to get to know your physical needs when it comes to your oral health. They will carry out studies such as an x-ray, to see the entire mouth in detail, in order to detect problems that are not visible in plain sight.

What is the recommended age for wearing clear or invisible braces ?

The first visit to the orthodontist should be at the age of six. However, to define the recommended age for children is difficult because, to be able to start orthodontics, a child must have reached dental maturity. If you opt for clear braces for your child, they could be a good choice, as they are transparent, offering more aesthetic results whilst resolving the problem and creating the perfect smile that your child deserves.

How do clear braces work?

Clear braces work quite similarly to other more traditional orthodontics treatments. They gradually reshape the position of your teeth within the mouth so you can get the perfect smile!

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