When people think about braces, what traditionally comes to their mind is the idea of metal brackets. This has been the experience of the majority of people for decades. The problem with metal brackets is that because of their color, they are obvious to see. There are a number of people out there who suffer more embarrassment from the metal brackets that they have in their mouth than they do from the dental issue that made them want to correct their teeth in the first place. These individuals may benefit from learning more about correctional apparatuses that are designed to be invisible or designed to blend into the teeth. Examples of these include ceramic braces and Invisalign®.
Why Should You Be Concerned with Your Smile?
We live in a society where people are quick to make snap decisions about others based on their appearance. Depending on how attractive a person is, people make decisions about how smart they are, their education levels, and a whole host of other things. It is a lot easier for an individual who is considered to be attractive to find success in their personal life, to find success in business, and to be accepted by others.
Western society puts a lot of emphasis on the way a person’s teeth look. A lot of this is based on what children learn when they watch cartoons or see other programs that are tailored toward children. A common refrain in all of these programs is the idea that the smart and intelligent individual is the one who has the perfect and attractive smile. Conversely, the individual who is uneducated or the country bumpkin is the one who has buck teeth, crooked teeth, or a gap in their teeth.
Just think about some of the more popular cartoons for children. Disney has a character that is named Goofy. One of the prominent features on Goofy’s face is his smile. He has those crooked and buck teeth, and they are meant to signify that the character is goofy and lacks intelligence.
When a person has crooked teeth, people assume, rightly or wrongly, that they do not have good personal hygiene. People assume that if the person took better care of their oral health, their teeth would not be so crooked. Again, this is a mistaken assumption, but it is one that is very common.
Every group of people can be affected by the way that society views a person with crooked teeth. But it seems like teenagers are more deeply affected by it than others. Teenagers have a unique way of being cruel to each other. Social media has made it easier for teenagers to pick out the minor flaws in each other and exaggerate those and then share them with the rest of the world.
If a teenager has notably bad teeth, they are likely to be the brunt of jokes. They are likely to be teased, and this teasing is going to have a detrimental effect on their overall health and well-being. It is going to affect their ability to grow socially, and it’s going to affect the way they feel that they fit into society as a whole.
Of course, teasing over appearance does not end after the teenage years. There are many adults who love being bullies. This bullying is clearly seen in the office environment. In some ways it seems like the mentality that people have when they were in high school carries on into the workplace. Even adults who have crooked teeth often find themselves at the center of jokes and ridicule.
Ceramic braces are a safe and effective tool that orthodontists have used to help people with crooked teeth get the smile that they want. There are a number of benefits to this form of teeth straightening as opposed to traditional braces. Not surprisingly, when people learn about the benefits of this ceramic braces, they opt to use them as opposed to traditional braces.
What Are Ceramic Braces?
Braces that are made of ceramic share a number of the same characteristics as their metal counterpart. The primary difference is that the brackets are designed to match the color of the teeth of the patient. They don’t have that ugly gray, silver, or metallic appearance. Most people choose to have ceramic braces because they are not as noticeable on the teeth. This is a plus for teenagers as well as adults who want to correct their teeth, but they don’t want to feel self-conscious about the dental apparatus they are wearing.
The primary benefit of these braces is that they are not as visible as metal braces. Also, when compared to invisible aligners, these braces move teeth faster. Invisible aligners may take over a year to correct smaller issues, whereas braces made from ceramic can correct even serious issues in as little as 18 months, depending on the case. Invisible aligners are not designed to work with certain severe or complicated cases, such as a severely crooked bite. Ceramic braces can usually accomplish all the same things that can be accomplished with metal braces.
Another benefit of ceramic braces that many people do not think about is that they do not interfere with image testing. When an individual wearing metal braces needs to get an MRI or other image test, their braces may make it difficult for them to have the testing done, or it may be difficult for them to get accurate results from the testing that they have done.
There are some minor drawbacks to braces made from ceramic. The primary drawback is that they may cost a little bit more. Again, that’s going to vary, depending on the work being done and the orthodontist you visit.
Do Ceramic Braces Work for Everyone?
Braces made from ceramic are primarily recommended for individuals who have already reached adulthood and whose teeth are no longer growing. If your teeth are still growing, the correction may be slower, and there exists a chance of the ceramic brackets breaking because of the strain that your tooth movement is putting on the brackets.
If you are looking for a subtle way to change your teeth, ceramic braces are going to be your best bet. They are less noticeable. This is perfect for people who work full-time jobs, who are in college, or who have other life responsibilities that make wearing metal braces a disadvantage.
Do Ceramic Braces Take Longer?
This is a question that we commonly hear. People are interested in knowing how long the results they get from ceramic braces will take when compared to clear aligners or to metal braces. If you use braces made from ceramic, you can expect your treatment to take from between a year and a half to three years. Conversely, with metal braces, treatment can take less than one year all the way up to three years.
Ceramic braces are not as strong as metal braces. As your teeth move, there is a chance that your brackets will need to be replaced. This slows down the adjustment time.
For this reason, individuals who are engaged in more strenuous activities, such as contact sports, playing an instrument, or public speaking, may opt for metal braces. If they are looking to be as inconspicuous as possible, clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, may be their best option.
Do Braces Made from Ceramic Require a Lot of Additional Upkeep?
Not really. In order to get the most out of your ceramic braces, you need to keep your oral hygiene up. This means brushing and flossing after every meal. This removes any food residue that could sustain the ceramic brackets. At the same time, it is recommended that you stay away from foods that might stain, such as coffee, tea, and mustard.
Smoking can stain your teeth. Obviously, smoking can stain ceramic brackets as well. Don’t use whitening toothpastes. If you use a whitening toothpaste, it is possible that the exposed parts of your teeth that are not covered by the ceramic bracket will eventually get whiter than the parts of your teeth that are covered by the brackets. When the ceramic brackets are removed, you will have little dots of darker areas on your teeth.
Finally, if you are going to keep your ceramic braces in their best condition, you will need to visit our orthodontist regularly. That way, any stained or damaged brackets can be immediately replaced.
A great thing about braces made from ceramic is that you can change the color of the different components of your braces throughout your treatment. The color of the brackets can be changed, the arch wires can be changed, and the elastic bands can be changed to match your taste and style.
Ceramic braces are a great choice if you want to straighten your teeth quickly and want to keep your braces low-key. They don’t offer the same durability that metal braces do, and they take a little bit longer to correct your bite. However, for many people this is an acceptable trade-off for not having metal brackets that are clearly seen. It is good to have good communication with our orthodontist. They can explain to you the trade-offs of metal brackets versus ceramic brackets.
If you are looking for something that is completely invisible and you feel that braces made from ceramic are not discreet enough, another option that you may want to discuss with your orthodontist is Invisalign® treatment.
What Is Invisalign® Treatment?
This treatment involves using a series of clear removable aligners. The aligners are removed and then new aligners are put in their place. Over time, the change in shape of the aligners straighten out your teeth. One of the reasons why this treatment is so awesome is because it is able to effectively straighten out your teeth without the need for wires, brackets, or any of the frustrating restrictions that are often seen with traditional metal braces.
The aligners are made from a clear and flexible plastic. This is a thermoplastic material that has been specially patented for use in straightening your teeth. The FDA has thoroughly reviewed and investigated these aligners, so you know that they have no BPAs or BPSs. They are free of latex or gluten, which is especially important for individuals who might have allergies.
The unique feature about these aligners is the fact that they are thin and clear. So they can sit over your teeth and are all but invisible.
The entire treatment process takes advantage of state-of-the-art technology. Our orthodontist is going to digitally map your teeth and create a digital treatment plan. With the digital treatment plan, you will be able to see from start to finish what is going to happen to your teeth and how they should look after you have worn the series of aligners. Each Invisalign® aligner has been designed to apply a set amount of force on a particular tooth. All of this is charted out in your plan.
Our orthodontist is going to work with you every step of the way. They are keenly interested in the success of your treatment. They want to monitor your progress, to make sure that your teeth are moving as they should, and that your aligners are fitting correctly.
These aligners are all but invisible, so it is likely that most people are going to have no idea that you are wearing them. However, this is just one of the benefits of this treatment. Another benefit is that the aligners are removable. With metal braces, you cannot remove them. That means that you cannot eat what you want or drink what you want. And, if there is a special occasion such as a wedding or a photo shoot, you are stuck having those metal brackets in your mouth. With Invisalign®, all of these worries disappear.
Since your teeth are being moved by plastic aligners, you don’t have to worry about metal brackets and wires that could irritate your mouth. There are a number of stories of individuals who have had to get additional medical treatment because of the way that metal brackets damaged their mouth.
The aligners that you use are specifically designed to be comfortable and fit well. The aligner is trimmed to match your gum line. This also adds to your comfort as well as the appearance of the aligners. This treatment process has been time-tested. More than six million individuals, including more than a million teenagers, have had their smile corrected using this treatment.
Of course, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all smile straightening treatment. That is why even before the aligners are applied, you have a personal consultation. During your consultation, our orthodontist is going to help you to identify the treatment that’s right for your smile. While there are no guarantees of a specific outcome, during the consultation you can share your concerns with our doctor and they can work with you to straighten your smile.
Am I a Good Candidate for This Treatment?
After hearing about Invisalign®, many people wonder if they are a good candidate for the treatment. In many cases the answer is yes. This treatment has been used successfully to help adults and teenagers to improve the appearance of their smile. This treatment has been effectively used to address the majority of common bite issues and teeth straightening issues. It doesn’t matter if the issue is simple or complex. And what’s great is that the fix is done without interfering with your life.
The length of your treatment is going to vary, depending on a number of factors including the complexity of your case and how frequently you wear your aligners. Our doctor is going to talk with you about your treatment and give you an idea of how long it will take based on your unique needs. On average, people wear their aligners for between 12 and 18 months. However, it is not uncommon for people to start to see results from their treatment in just a couple of weeks.
Our orthodontist will work with you in determining whether invisible aligners or ceramic braces are right for you. This will be based on your unique treatment plan.
Whether you are an adult looking to straighten your teeth later in life or if you are a teenager looking to improve your smile for adulthood, ceramic braces may be right for you. We warmly invite you to visit Davis Orthodontics in San Diego or Escondido to meet with our friendly staff. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!