A mouthful of metal is usually the first image that pops up in everyone’s mind when “braces” are mentioned. However, did you know that there exists a more aesthetically pleasing alternative?
What are ceramic braces?
Ceramic braces have one defining difference from stainless steel braces: they’re made to blend in with your teeth. As people who get braces usually need to live with them for a long time—usually an average of one and a half years to two years—braces that are nearly undetectable are an attractive option, and are very popular with adults with jobs which require them to present frequently in front of people.
What are ceramic braces made of?
Ceramic braces are clear because they use a non-porous, ceramic composite instead of stainless steel. The material is either transparent, or made to match the shade of the teeth, so the brackets appear invisible from a distance. Even the wires for the first six front teeth can be made of clear ceramic and are metal at the back to further mask the braces.
Should you get ceramic braces?
While there are plenty of reasons to get ceramic braces, they might also not be the best option for some people. If you are considering getting braces, but are not sure which to get, here are a few things you may want to consider:
Ceramic braces might be for you if:
- You are looking for braces that look invisible against your teeth.
- You have had allergic reactions to metal in the past—particularly nickel.
Ceramic braces might not be for you if:
- You’re looking for the cheaper option. Ceramic braces are usually more expensive than traditional steel braces.
- Your diet consists of coloured food like curries or red wine.
- You may need more extensive orthodontic treatment. Ceramic braces are less malleable, and thus you may not be able to achieve the aesthetic results as quickly compared to metal brackets.
Preparing to get your ceramic braces
After you decide to get ceramic braces, you’ll be hanging out at the dentist’s clinic quite often over the next couple of weeks. Understandably, some people might be nervous about getting work done—whether braces or fillings—done in their mouths. You can manage your stress levels by being mentally prepared. One way of calming your fears is eliminating the unknown.
For the first few visits, the dentist will need to know what they’re working with. This means taking impressions and pictures of your teeth, and going over a proposed treatment plan with your dentist. Dentists may need to perform extractions and place separators around your molars to create space for the bands that are used to support your braces. Brackets and bands are then bonded on the third or fourth visit. It’s perfectly normal for patients to get mouth ulcers as your mouth adjusts to the braces.
Patients can space out their appointments at their convenience and availability.
Caring for your ceramic braces
Now that you’ve got ceramic braces, you need to learn how to take care of them properly. Ceramic braces look better than traditional braces, but patients still need to maintain them carefully to keep them stain free, and so that they do not chip.
A good way to keep your ceramic braces clean and stain-free is to follow the advice dentists have been echoing since the beginning of the practice. Brush your teeth after every meal. Food can get stuck in between brackets and your teeth, and these can cause tooth decays and cavities. Flossing and rinsing ensures you remove food from the hardest to reach spaces between your braces and your teeth.
Patients are also going to have to keep away from certain food, specifically those high in food coloring and are deeply pigmented. So in the meantime, it’s time to cut back on the curry. If you’re a fan of condiments, stop reaching for the mustard and ketchup, as yellow-colored and tomato-based food stain teeth easily. Drinking dark-colored liquids like soda, coffee and red wine should be avoided. If you’re a smoker, consider staining another reason to kick the habit.
Prevention is better than cure, but if you do notice discoloration or stains starting to form, don’t schedule an emergency appointment with your dentist just yet. You can reduce stains by rinsing your mouth frequently after every meal.
Ceramic braces are more aesthetically pleasing than traditional steel braces, which many consider unsightly. Clear braces are also the safer choice for people with a sensitivity to metal. But they’re not the easiest to maintain, and require more delicate care than metal braces. If you think the high maintenance required by ceramic braces is not for you, you can check out the other types of braces in Singapore.
Dental Focus – Dental Clinic in Singapore
10 Kaki Bukit Place, #04-00
Tel: 6747 0573