Clear braces are an alternative to the traditional (metal) braces. They are made out of clear material like glass, plastic, porcelain or ceramic.Clear elastic ties and white metal ties are used to anchor the brackets, which run on a metal wire. Other designs do not require the bands. Like other braces, they are used to correct under bites, cross bites, over bites, crooked teeth and other jaw and teeth problems.
Ceramic braces, made out of composite materials, use tooth colored brackets and wires in some cases but work like metal braces. They have the added advantage of being non-stain.
They are mostly designed for adults, and are manufactured by computers which accurately predict teeth movement.These braces are a popular choices for older teens who are best suited for it, since their near invisibility increases their confidence.
Some brand names for clear braces are:
1. Damon Clear, generated by Damon Smile-the brackets do not need ties. It uses a passive slide mechanism to hold the wires in place, so they move without interference. This minimizes friction so teeth can move more comfortably, and makes treatment faster. They are also resistant to staining and discoloration.
2. Ormco’s INSPIRE ICE-they are completely transparent, with crystal clear brackets and wires. They are easy to bond, are resistant to breakage, have fast accurate bracket placement, very smooth and comfortable.
3. GAC International’s Allure and Mystique -they are smooth, relatively affordable and have highly translucent auxiliary hooks, with passive wire retention mechanism.
4. American Orthodontics’ Virage-clear, with smooth contours for comfort and a sliding mechanism to minimize friction. Others are:
5. 3M Unitek’s Clarity and Transcend
6. TP Orthodontics’ InVu and MXi.
7. Ortho Technology’s Reflections and Encore!
1. Almost Invisible. They sometimes are made out of material that match the color of the teeth and are therefore discreet.
2. They do not bruise the gums as much as the brackets on metal braces do.
3. Some brands are small, smooth and comfortable
1. If neglected, the ligatures/wires stain easily because they are white/clear and leave conspicuous unsightly marks. The adhesive that holds the brackets can be stained by smoking, coffee or other colored drinks.
2. They cost more than metal braces.
3. They are left in longer than traditional braces.
4. Ceramic and porcelain braces are more brittle than metal, meaning they can cheap on high impact.
5. They are more expensive than metal braces.
6. Older forms of porcelain brackets can damage the teeth during removal
7. Porcelain braces cannot be worn by athletes for the risk of breaking.
8. They are larger than metal wires.
9. Plastic brackets are no longer used since they had problems with staining, fracturing and bonding.
Above all, clear braces go a long way in enhancing self-esteem and confidence when smiling, instead of shyly struggling to reveal a mouth full of wires and metal. For adults especially, wearing braces have the advantages of improving gum problems, reducing the wearing away of bone around teeth, and abnormal corrosion of tooth surfaces.