If you’ve been wanting to correct your smile but don’t want to deal with traditional braces, you may want to consider ceramic braces instead. These braces can have clear brackets, or brackets that are tinted to blend into your teeth, making them a more discreet option. Our team at M. Scott Runnels Orthodontics in Santa Rosa Beach, Inlet Beach, and Destin, FL, is happy to answer some common questions about these braces.
How Long Do Ceramic Braces Take?
Treatment Length Depends on Individual Needs
Some patients can be done with their ceramic braces in less than a year, while others may need a little over two years with their braces in order to correct more severe malocclusions.
In general, ceramic and clear braces take about the same amount of time as traditional metal braces. During a consultation, we can give you a more specific time estimate based on your needs.
Are These Braces a Good Option for Adults?
Yes, these braces are an excellent choice for adults looking to correct their teeth. While customizing elastics may be fun for kids, in many cases any sort of excitement or novelty surrounding braces wears off in adulthood. Adults are less likely than kids to see their peers wearing braces, so they may feel like metal braces would make them stand out.
Adults that don’t want their braces to affect their confidence can get the same corrective power traditional braces offer, without the metallic smile associated with them.
How Can I Protect My Braces?
Wear a Mouthguard During Sports
Getting braces doesn’t mean you have to quit sports or other active hobbies you enjoy, but you should be mindful of your braces during these activities. Mouthguards are never a bad idea during sports that could damage your teeth, but they can be especially helpful when you have braces.
Address Any Concerns Immediately
Sometimes life just happens. If you find yourself forgetting your mouthguard at home and end up with a broken wire, reach out to us right away. We can give you advice and get you in as soon as possible so your braces stay in working order.
Be Careful What You Chew
Most patients are aware that there are some hard foods you should avoid when you have braces. That said, one thing some patients may not realize is you’ll also want to avoid chewing on hard objects like pens. This habit can actually injure your gums or harm your teeth, so it’s not a bad idea to avoid chewing hard objects even if you don’t have braces.
A balanced diet is also important, since keeping your teeth strong and healthy is, by default, a good thing for your braces. There are many foods you can still enjoy wearing braces. If you want help coming up with ideas, we’d be happy to give you pointers!
Keep on Top of Oral Hygiene
One of the best ways you can protect your braces is by being consistent with your oral hygiene. If you find yourself consistently compromising on how long you brush, or whether or not you floss, you could end up with plaque or gum disease. Keeping your teeth and braces clean will help both remain in good working order.
Don’t cut corners; scrubbing your teeth harder doesn’t mean you’re getting a better clean. Brushing gently for a longer period of time is actually safer for your teeth.
Get Regular, Professional Cleanings
Skipping routine dental appointments is never the best idea, but it’s especially important to come in regularly when you have braces. Regular visits will help us catch any developing issues before they become a pressing concern.
Coming in regularly will also keep your treatment plan on schedule, since we can make adjustments to your braces so they continue to guide your teeth into a more correct position.
What Benefits Can I Expect?
1. Powerful Corrections
Ceramic braces can treat the same issues traditional braces can. These issues can range from mild aesthetic concerns, to moderate or severe misalignment.
One common issue braces can correct is overcrowded teeth. Since overcrowded teeth often overlap, effective plaque removal is a concern. Teeth that are tightly packed together can also be harder to treat with crowns and fillings down the line.
If you have the opposite problem and want to reduce gaps in your teeth, these braces can handle that too. For many patients, gaps in their teeth isn’t any cause for concern. However, if food is getting lodged between the gaps, or if they make it more difficult to chew, you may want to consider braces to improve these issues.
Overbites and Underbites
When teeth are misaligned it can throw off the balance of your bite. Bite issues can lead to excessive friction between teeth, which continuously wears away the protective enamel that helps keep your teeth safe and healthy. This friction may also be a factor in headache development.
If one side of your jaw is under more strain than the other, this can lead to jaw and neck pain. Issues with pronunciation, and even the development of temporomandibular joint disorder may also be a concern if you have misaligned teeth.
2. You Can’t Misplace Braces
One alternative to clear braces can be clear aligners. Aligners can be a great option for patients, but they aren’t the right fit for everyone. Since aligners can be taken out, they can also be lost. Not only can this be a costly issue, but if a patient has to wait for a replacement aligner it can draw out or even backtrack their treatment process.
Clear braces can ensure that a patient’s smile is always receiving treatment, while still being as discreet as possible. This can help reduce stress since patients won’t have to hide their clear aligners from inquisitive kids or pets, or worry about whether they’re remembering to wear the aligners often enough for them to be effective.
3. Health Benefits
Many adults consider braces for cosmetic reasons, but did you know that correcting tooth alignment may also protect your health? It boils down to how easy your teeth are to clean. Even those who are thorough about their dental hygiene may have areas that are difficult to clean due to overlapping teeth.
These tight places are a perfect habitat for plaque and tartar to set in and encourage decay. When teeth are straightened, they tend to be easier to clean for both the patient, and their dentist. This can help protect them from decay and gum disease.
4. Long-Term Comfort Improvements
If you have one or more protruding teeth, that could put you at risk of injury if something hits your mouth, or if you trip and fall. By having the tooth corrected, it can reduce the risk of you ending up with a lip injury.
The jaw pain that misaligned teeth can cause can make getting a good night’s sleep more difficult. Improving jaw comfort can lead to a more restful night.
5. Getting Braces Now Can Help Prevent Future Issues
Issues with tooth alignment don’t usually get any better on their own; they’re actually more likely to get worse over time. If there’s something you already know you want to address, it’s better to get started on treatment sooner rather than later, especially when it comes to dental concerns that impact your oral health.
6. Correcting Your Smile Can Help Boost Your Confidence
There are many people who avoid showing their teeth when they smile due to feeling self-conscious about them. If your teeth are stopping you from letting loose and living in the moment, having dental concerns corrected may help boost your confidence in social situations. Ceramic braces can help you get started on that journey in an unobtrusive way.
7. We Offer a Range of Options
If you aren’t completely sure that ceramic braces are the right call for you, we offer different options to fit a range of needs. Sturdy traditional braces have stood the test of time and can be a good option for kids and adults alike.
Meanwhile, lingual braces are a unique solution for patients who want completely hidden braces. Lingual braces are attached to the inside of the teeth rather than the outside. It can be a challenge to find an orthodontist that offers lingual braces due to the specialized training they require. Our team has that required training and is proud to offer this option for our patients.
We Can Answer Your Additional Questions
If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions, our team would be happy to fill in the gaps! Reach out to us at M. Scott Runnels Orthodontics in Santa Rosa Beach, Inlet Beach, or Destin, FL, today to set up a consultation! We’d be happy to help you learn more about the various braces and treatment options we offer.