Questions about clear orthodontic appliances answered

Do you want to straighten your teeth as an adult and are curious about your suitability for clear or ceramic appliances?

As discreet orthodontic tools become more common, more and more adult and teenage patients are warming up to the idea of wearing a fitted but clear orthodontic tool, but want to learn more about them before approaching a dentist.

Here are answers to the five of the most common questions about wearing clear orthodontic appliances.

Can clear orthodontic tools become stained?

Unfortunately, yes; if you have clear braces Stoke on Trent fitted, then you will need to take care to prevent them from becoming stained.

The likelihood of staining will also accompany the materials that are used; if you are wearing an appliance that has ceramic brackets, then these are less likely to become darkened. But should you wear an orthodontic appliance that has clear brackets, then these are at a higher risk of discolouration.

To avoid this, aim to consume foods and drinks that are lower in tannins; this will include reducing your consumption of tea, coffee, red wine and pasta sauces.

If you are wearing clear appliances and want to reduce the chances of staining, talk to your dentist.

Can they be used to treat bite issues?

In most cases, clear or ceramic orthodontic tools can be used to treat a range of bite issues, from overbites to underbites and crossbites.

However, you will need to discuss this with your dental team before beginning any type of orthodontic treatment. If you have a more complex case of misalignment, then you may require treatment with a metal appliance as opposed to a clear one, which, while not as discrete, will be able to offer you a more precise outcome.

What are they made from?

This depends on which type of clear appliance you have.

Ceramic options are made with ceramic brackets and clear wires, but most dental surgeries offer this treatment with brackets that are made from tooth-coloured composite resin or even clear plastics.

If you would prefer to wear one type of appliance over another, then seek out a dental team who can offer you your preferred option after attending an assessment for suitability.

How long will you need to wear them?

This will depend entirely on the issue being treated and the complexities of it; if you have a tooth that requires rotating, for example then you may have to wear the fixture for longer than someone else would.

When you meet with your dentist or orthodontist for your initial consultation, they will be able to give you a more precise estimate of how long your treatment is going to take. But on average, clear appliances take between 6-18 months to realign teeth.

Are they visually discrete?

While the clear brackets and wires are designed to be as discreet as possible, dental teams have not yet figured out how to make them entirely invisible! The brackets are likely to be made from either clear plastic or enamel coloured plastics, so when they are placed against your teeth, they are not immediately noticeable. The wires, while thinner than those used with traditional appliances, will still be visible to those who are standing close to you.

Apurva Thakur

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