Many adults are interested in orthodontic correction, but do not want metal braces. Don’t worry, we understand! We offer extremely cosmetic orthodontic options for adults with clear ceramic braces or Invisalign®. With both options, your friends will barely notice that you’re improving your smile as you walk around Norwalk and Westport.
Why are so many adults opting for orthodontic correction with clear braces?
As more value has been placed on aesthetics and appearance in society over recent years, adults have been exploring the possibility of orthodontic treatment. Some adults never had orthodontics as a child and are concerned about crowding or spacing. Others had orthodontic treatment as a child but did not follow up with proper retainer wear.
In these situations, adults would like to improve their smile and bite relationship. When presented with orthodontic treatment alternatives, adults are typically going to lean toward less noticeable options.
Are invisible braces for both kids and adults?
Both kids and adults have the option of clear braces. In our Norwalk and Westport offices, kids still tend to chose the colored braces, because they enjoy changing their colors each visit. Teenagers embrace clear braces more and more in our practice.
Of course, adults almost always elect clear braces (or Invisalign), but metal braces are still an option for adults if they choose.
Have there been technological advances to make braces more aesthetic?
Of course! Over the past ten years, technological advances have dramatically changed the field of orthodontics. One such advance is the improvement in the ceramic to make clear braces. The ceramic material has been adjusted to be less brittle, which leads to less breakage of the braces themselves.
The ceramic material has also been adjusted and improved to be more aesthetic, which allows a better blend with each patient’s natural tooth color. As a result, clear braces are even less noticeable than before!
Do clear braces work as well as metal braces?
Yes. With recent technological advances, clear braces work as efficiently and quickly as metal braces. However, historically this was not always the case.
The ceramic material used in clear braces previously had a rougher substructure than metal braces, and that caused more resistance to orthodontic movement. With technological advancement, this roughness has been reduced in the material’s properties.
Do you have clear or white wires?
In our Norwalk and Westport orthodontic offices, we use white wires for patients who chose clear braces. As a result, the braces are less noticeable.
Clear wires unfortunately have not been perfected yet. However, researchers at the University of Connecticut orthodontic program are working on clear-wire technology.
The challenging aspect of the research is reducing the brittleness of the plastic material used for clear wires; a highly brittle wire would crack or fracture in the mouth, which makes its use not recommended at this time.
Why do some people have clear ceramic upper braces and metal lower braces?
Clear braces are made of a ceramic material that allows them to blend naturally with the color of someone’s teeth. One downside to the ceramic material of clear braces is its hardness. The hardness of ceramic is greater than the hardness of enamel, the external tooth surface.
Thus, if a patient is biting in such a way that an upper tooth comes in contact with a lower ceramic brace, the ceramic brace will gradually wear away the enamel on the upper tooth. Obviously, this situation needs to be avoided.
Due to some patients’ bite relationship, their upper front teeth would potentially bite on the ceramic braces on the lower front teeth. For these patients, ceramic braces would not be used on the lower front teeth to avoid unfavorable wear of the upper front teeth.
The decision on the feasibility of using ceramic braces on lower front teeth is made on an individual basis, dependent on each patient’s bite relationship.
What are the benefits of completing orthodontic treatment with clear braces?
Everyone remembers the day the braces come off! Finally, you will reap all the benefits of completing orthodontic treatment.
First, you will have a beautiful smile! You will be proud to smile. You will not hide your teeth in photos. You will look forward to people “staring at your teeth.” You will head a meeting or give a speech or a lecture feeling confident about your smile.
Also, you will have improved your dental health. Bite discrepancies will be addressed with orthodontic treatment, and reduce any untoward forces while chewing. If you have any underlying periodontal (gum or bone) issues, a proper bite can slow the process of bone or gum loss.
Another potential benefit which has increased in recent years has been seen in the workforce. Research has come out in recent years that shows an aesthetic smile improves the likelihood of your being hired. Furthermore, a positive correlation has been shown between a pleasing smile and success in the workplace.