Braces have come a long way since they were first introduced as a way of straightening misaligned teeth. From giant bulky headgear and a mouthful of painful wires, today's braces are light, comfortable and nearly invisible. As a result of both the advancements in orthodontic technology and a great emphasis on cosmetic dentistry, braces are becoming more and more popular among adults. If you or a family member is interested in clear braces, call Dentalville Panorama City to setup a consultation with our orthodontist!
Today's braces are made of a wide variety of materials, including ceramics, which are nearly invisible when applied. Braces are also bonded differently, which is both easier on tooth enamel and further lowers the profile of the braces themselves. Over the years, the manufacturers of orthodontic devices have experimented with a wide variety of materials from which to make braces, including plastic and ceramic.
Older versions of these materials had a number of flaws that kept them from being truly superior to metal braces. Earlier versions of both plastic and ceramic tended to discolor and stain over time, which would sometimes leave them looking even worse than bulky metal braces. Modern clear braces are far more prone stay clean and nearly invisible over their entire lifespan. Early ceramics were also somewhat brittle and more prone to fracturing, but advancements in materials and manufacturing techniques also helps keep them strong and durable for as long as the patient needs to wear them.
The bracket materials were also not the only issues with clear braces. Early adhesives also had a tendency to damage tooth enamel when the braces were removed, but modern advancements in bonding techniques make the brackets easier to remove, which protects the enamel and vastly decreases the potential for damage to enamel.
Even with these advancements, however, clear braces are still not as strong and durable as metal braces. The potential for fracturing should be weighed carefully against the greater aesthetic value of clear braces. In addition, the wire that helps pull the teeth together can, on occasion, create friction with the ceramic which can potentially slow down the speed of tooth movement. This means that you may have to wear ceramic braces slightly longer than metal braces to achieve the same results.
In some cases, ceramic braces may also not be suitable for lower teeth, since the ceramic has occasionally been known to cause minor damage to tooth enamel where the brackets com in contact with the tooth when biting. In some cases, orthodontists may use ceramic braces on the upper teeth, where they are more visible and metal braces on the lower teeth, where they are less visible. In this way, the patient gets the aesthetic value of the clear braces, without sacrificing enamel on the lower teeth.
While adults may not be as susceptible to childhood jeers aimed at wearers of braces, there is still something of a stigma associated with braces. This makes some adults hesitant to get braces even with the cosmetic and comfort advantages they offer. Clear braces, however, have paved the way for more and more adults to take advantage of the aesthetic benefits that straight, white teeth provide.