Some people don’t like the look of conventional braces. The metal wires and brackets are quite noticeable and can make a person feel self-conscious. This is especially problematic for adults seeking orthodontic treatment who are concerned about their appearance – both professionally and socially. So, wearing clear braces is the obvious way around this problem.
While Invisalign clear aligners are a great alternative to traditional metal braces, they aren’t for everyone. It may be the cost or it may be that the dental problem cannot be fixed by wearing Invisalign aligner trays. In these cases, conventional braces are superior. There are pros and cons to each solution.
The good news for anyone who is concerned about their appearance is that conventional braces don’t have to look bad at all! Clear braces are just like regular braces, except that the brackets are made from clear plastic or ceramic and are coloured to blend in with the teeth – far less noticeable than the metal kind.
If you’ve just had clear braces fitted, or if you are wondering if clear braces will suit your lifestyle, here are eight care tips to bear in mind:
Exercise Dietary Discipline
Unlike Invisalign aligner trays, you won’t be able to remove them before every meal or drink. The wires between the brackets are durable but they could break or bend if you eat the wrong kinds of foods. Therefore, you should avoid anything too hard or sticky. The last thing you want is to have your treatment delayed due to damage or breakage!
Likewise, certain foods and drinks can cause staining of the teeth. Bear in mind that foods and drinks, such as tomatoes, sauces, wine, and coffee can stain your teeth over time. When the brackets are removed, they could leave a mark on the surface of the tooth. Keep your toothbrush handy and practise good dental hygiene if you don’t want to change your diet. We’ll give you a list of foods and drinks to try to avoid, or at least be wary of.
Quit Smoking for Good
Gone are the days when smoking was considered cool, but it’s even less cool when you’re wearing clear braces. The big problem is that tobacco smoke stains teeth, wires, and ceramic brackets. Not only is smoking bad for your health, but it can also leave you with a set of yellow stained teeth and braces. If you smoke, it’s best to give it up – not just for your dental health!
Make Sure You Brush
Dentists have been educating people for years, but it’s even more important for people with clear braces: clean your teeth your teeth at least three times a day! This is definitely one of the biggest rules to be aware of.
The biggest problem is that food debris can become trapped around those clear brackets. This can lead to build up and tooth decay if you’re not careful to clean properly. By brushing your teeth three times a day, you increase your chances of getting rid of that food debris. One key piece of advice is to carry around a smaller travel sized toothbrush for those times when you’re away from home.
Avoid Whitening Toothpaste
Lots of people like to use whitening toothpaste to give their smile and extra bit of sparkle. When you wear clear braces, the whitening will colour only the parts of the teeth that are not behind the ceramic brackets. Once you have your braces removed, you’ll see little squares of natural tooth colour where the whitening toothpaste couldn’t reach. Just like some foods and drinks, avoid whitening toothpaste while you’re wearing clear braces.
Flossing Is Your Friend
Now that you have clear braces – or are thinking about getting them – you should learn how to floss properly. If you’re already in the habit of flossing, the good news is that you just need to keep up the habit. You’ll find this tip very easy to follow in this case! If you’ve never flossed before, it’s time to go out to the local chemist or supermarket and grab a pack.
Even though you’re brushing your teeth at least three times a day, flossing can dislodge the food debris that can easily get stuck in the tight spaces between teeth and around wires and ceramic brackets. This also cuts down the chances of tooth decay happening.
Book a Cleaning for those Clear Brackets
Just as coffee, wine, and sauces can stain your teeth, they can also stain your ceramic brackets. One of the reasons you likely invested in clear braces is because the brackets are difficult to see. This is great for making you feel less self-conscious, but when you eat and drink highly staining products, you can actually stain your ceramic brackets too.
Make sure you have your ceramic brackets professionally cleaned by us at least two times a year. You should even do this if you are being very disciplined about the foods and drinks you consume.
Mouthwash Is Good Too
Not everyone is keen on using mouthwash and that’s OK. As long as you’re brushing well and flossing, you will at least keep most of the nasties at bay. Using mouthwash, especially after you eat is not a bad idea if you have clear braces. It’s a good way to kill off any bacteria and prevent plaques from forming and causing problems. It will also help to wash away any foods and drinks that could stain your teeth or your ceramic brackets.
Make Sure You Come and See Us
Finally, even if you’re exercising all of the above care tips, it’s still really important to come and see us for your regularly scheduled appointments. When you come and see us we can check on your clear braces, make any adjustments that are required, and see how treatment is progressing.
Wearing Clear Braces
When it comes to clear braces or conventional braces, taking care of them is essential. Just remember – you’ve invested money into straight teeth, so it makes good sense to understand how and when to clean, and what foods and drinks to avoid. After all, you want the treatment to be a great success, so making sure you follow the above advice is a great place to start!