Clear Braces
Clear Braces

Clear Braces

Braces are widely in use for the treatment of many orthodontic problems. There are different braces available in the market today, and the clear brace is one of them. Many people have been having some difficulties in differentiating them and making their choice.

Here, we will be discussing the different types of clear braces, their function, the difference between them and those recommended to use each of them.

Table of Contents

  1. Differences between clear braces and invisible braces

1.1 Who are these braces recommended for?

1.2 How do clear aligners function?

  1. Types of clear braces
  2. What is the cost of braces?
  3. How to care for your teeth with braces
  4. Aftercare

5.1 Retainers: how to wear them

  1. Summary 

Differences Between Clear Braces And Invisible Braces

Clear braces are like the well-known general braces; the only difference is that they have clear brackets and some of them have wires whose colours are similar to the colour of the teeth. It is common for people to get confused about the clear braces and the invisible aligners. Some even think they are the same thing.

These two types of braces work the wonders of straightening misarranged teeth discreetly. The difference between these two braces lies in their mechanism of action, their look, their cost and how it feels like to wear them.

Here, we will be looking at some popular brands of clear braces in the UK, and some of them include ClearSmile and Damon Clear brace — this will help so that the difference can be easily spotted out.

Who are These Braces Recommended For?

Braces work better on teens because their teeth and jaw are still undergoing some development. This does not imply that braces cannot work for adults. They can, and they have worked for many, and they have had really magnificent results.

A lot of recent technologies have been used in the invisible aligners; this makes it difficult to know if a person is wearing one without taking a close look. This has made it even easier for adults to use braces without having to worry about their self-image.

The choice of braces depends greatly on the severity of one’s case. For instance, 90% of orthodontic cases can be treated by Invisalign braces, but 10% of the cases (mostly those of badly misaligned teeth) cannot be. The cases under this 10 % may require the use of braces which uses wires and brackets as the only treatment option.

Tooth-coloured ceramic braces are usually a good option for those who want their teeth straightened in a gentle way. Choosing between the clear tooth-coloured braces and the clear braces depends so much on the natural colour of your teeth.

The clear transparent braces often seem good for those with teeth which are naturally light and bright because the braces will be less noticed on them while those with a darker colour of teeth prefer the tooth-coloured ceramic brace. This is because the tooth-coloured material gives a natural look. This reason is the only differentiating factor between these two braces because they function the same way.

At our dental clinic located at Harley Street, London, we can diagnose your orthodontic problem to know which of the braces will work better for you.

How do Clear Aligners Function?

The transparent aligner works in a very different way to get the teeth straightened. They are made up of a series of clear plastic trays (aligners) which are loosely fitted over the teeth. These trays are customised for each patient from the impressions or scans taken by the dentist. These aligners usually need to be changed after every two weeks or so to help the teeth move to the positions where they are most desired.

It takes about 9- 28 months for the treatment with invisible braces to be completed.

These braces have a major advantage, which is its ease of removal. Though these braces can only be removed between 2-4 hours per day, it gives its wearer the privilege to eat whatever they like within these few hours without the fear of getting stained. The period of removal also helps the wearers clean their teeth and gums properly thereby preventing tooth decay. They are also a very good solution for those who do not want their braces to be noticed for personal reasons.

Wearers of these aligners may also need to remove their brace when faced with important meetings and occasions and with Invisalign, they can easily do this with ease.

There are some inconveniences involved with the use of these aligners. One of them is that your teeth should be cleaned after you are done eating or drinking anything except water. Without this, bacteria will be trapped inside the aligners and put you at risk of having a gum disease and dental caries.

It is important to note that this brace is only for those who have self-control. Without this, fixed braces will be the best option.

You can find out more about Invisalign braces and the other available types of clear braces by calling us on 020 71834091 or visiting our Harley Street, London, office.

How Traditional Fixed Clear Braces work

Traditional fixed clear braces work just like the general metal braces. They have brackets for each tooth with a wire connected to it. With this system, every kind of misalignment of the teeth can be treated effectively.

The placement of the brackets and wires on the teeth can manipulate the natural functioning of the teeth to pull the teeth into the desired positions, but this still takes time. The duration of this treatment usually ranges from 18-24 months, but there are some brands with improved technology which makes the teeth straightened within a shorter period.

The use of the traditional fixed clear braces usually needs the wires to be adjusted from time to time for proper fitting and continuous alignment. There have been some complaints from users that they feel sore for a day or two after the adjustment has been done.

There are braces which do not have the need for their wires to be adjusted; they use the self-ligating technology. Damon clear braces are an example of such. The self-ligating system allows the brackets to adjust themselves continuously throughout the period of the treatment. This makes its wearers feel more comfortable and have lesser visits to the dentist.

The brackets of clear braces are made from either a plastic polycarbonate or a clear ceramic material.

Most of the wires connected to the clear brackets are made of metals, but some patients may have the privilege to choose a white archwire. These white archwire makes the braces more expensive because they make it more difficult for them to be seen when worn especially when the mouth is sighted from a distance.

It is true that with clear ceramic braces, you will need to put in extra energy to keep your teeth very clean, especially the parts that can hardly be reached during the regular brushing. This is why you should obtain a dental floss from your dentist so that you will be able to clean areas you cannot reach during the regular cleaning.

Clear ceramic braces can be uncomfortable to wear at first, but the wearers usually do not have so much of discomforts again after the first few days. The common discomfort is the mouth being sore while the gums and cheeks are trying to adapt to the newly introduced foreign body after the fitting has been done, but with orthodontic wax, the abrasion will be reduced.

Despite your choice of braces, there is always an orthodontist to treat you.

TYPES OF BRACES

Damon Clear Braces

This is an example of a self-ligating brace which tightens itself gradually. This brace has a lot of benefits over the traditional braces. Some of them are listed below:

  • It adjusts itself continuously with time, thereby making it more comfortable than the adjustment that is done in stages.
  • There is less pressure on the teeth as it makes use of the sliding mechanism
  • The patients will have a reduced number of dental check-ups
  • They can be easily kept clean as there are no elastics in use
  • There are no visible parts available

All these features sum up to make this type of braces more expensive but despite its cost, there are a lot of patients out there who are willing to pay for its comfort.

ClearSmile Braces

These braces are provided by a UK company called ClearSmile, and they come as both an aligner and a fixed brace.

The fixed brace also uses a self-ligating system thereby offering the same benefits as Damon Clear brace. All the archwires of ClearSmile are coated white by default.

This aligners only focuses on the 10 front teeth; hence it is not suitable for patients whose back teeth also need alignment. It takes about 4-12 months for this treatment to be completed.

Invisalign Braces

The Invisalign is a brand which is leading when teeth aligning devices are mentioned around in the world. It was first developed in 1999 by an American company called Align Technology.

Since its inception, there have been productions of different types of teeth aligning products to suit the different needs of patients. The Invisalign Lite is one of those as it can be used to treat minor dental issues and the Invisalign Teen which is specially designed for teenagers.

Invisalign braces cannot work for everybody. Visiting a dentist in Harley Street London can help you find out if you are an eligible candidate for Invisalign.

You can meet our orthodontist one on one by visiting us at Suite 9, Second Floor, 117A Harley Street, London, W1G 6AT or book an appointment with us by dialling 020 71834091. 

ClearCorrect Braces

The ClearCorrect is a brand of invisible braces available in the UK and US. It is designed and manufactured in Texas, and they function like the Invisalign.

These braces are recommended to be worn for at least 22 hours daily if the best result must be obtained.

Clearstep Braces

Clearstep is a company that produces clear braces. These brands of teeth aligners are widely used in Europe and Asia. It must also be worn for at least 22 hours if the best result must be obtained.

A teeth whitening gel is also produced by Clearstep, and it can be used alongside their aligners thereby getting two things done at once.

How to Choose a Brand

Though many clinics do not provide a full range of braces to choose from, but more established companies like Invisilagin may be among the options even when others are not.

It will be helpful if you ask your orthodontist the reason for recommending a particular brand for you. It could be based on the cost, service of the company, performance, and other factors. If you do not feel comfortable with their reason for choosing a particular brand, you can ask for alternatives and if you cannot get, feel free to try another dental clinic.

At our dental clinic in Harley Street, London, we offer a wide range of braces options so you can be sure of picking a suitable option that will work for you.

What is the Cost of Braces?

The fixed clear braces cost more than the conventional metal braces because of the technology and materials used in producing them. Because of the cost of the clear braces, some patients prefer to go for the braces which have metal brackets for the lower teeth and clear brackets for the upper teeth.

The cost of braces differs from dentist to dentist, and the cost can also be dependent on your location, the complexity of your treatment and the estimated duration.

The Cost of Clear Braces in the UK

Clear braces always have to be paid for, and they can only be gotten in private dental clinics. The table below should give you an idea of the price of the different brands of clear braces.

Brand Fixed braces or removable aligner?
Damon Clear Fixed
Invisalign braces Removable aligner
ClearSmile brace Fixed
ClearCorrect Removable aligner
Clearstep braces Removable aligner

Their estimated prices are summed up in the table below;

Brand Estimated price
Damon Clear £3,200 – 5,500
Invisalign braces £1,500 – 5,500
ClearSmile brace £2,500 – 5,000
ClearCorrect £1,800 – 5,500
Clearstep braces £1,500 – 4,500

How to Care for Your Teeth with Braces

If you are wearing fixed braces, you will need to ask your orthodontist to guide you on how to clean your teeth thoroughly. This may take some time and energy as there are many spaces to be cleaned.

The braces should be cleaned after every meal if possible, but if it isn’t, ensure you rinse the mouth properly with a lot of water. The floss threader or interdental cleaner will help you floss below the archwire easily.

Your dentist will guide you on the types of food that should be avoided during the treatment so that your braces may be kept in their best condition. Some of these foods are:

  • Sweets, chewing gum, cereal bars and other chewy foods
  • Nuts, biscuits and other hard foods
  • Vinaigrette dressings, fruit juices, pickles are other acidic foods
  • Raw carrots, crusty slices of bread, apples and other crunchy foods

Biting your nails, pencils and other bad biting habits can be harmful to the wires or fittings, and they must be avoided. Since the clear ceramic brackets are not as strong as those made of metals, the orthodontist’s instructions must be duly followed.

Aftercare

Caring for the teeth after the braces have been removed is also as important as caring for them while the braces are on. After the braces have been removed, it is important you care for your teeth if you must achieve your dream smile.

You can care for your teeth well if you:

  • Brush twice daily and floss at least once daily
  • Use an electric toothbrush
  • Make regular visits to the dentist
  • Wear your retainers as advised by the orthodontist
  • Clean your retainers daily

For some patients, it may be necessary to go through a dental cleaning so that the stains and plaques that accumulated during the treatments can be removed.

Retainers: How to Wear Them

After the completion of the treatment and the braces removed, it is important to wear a retainer to prevent the teeth from going back to their previous positions. These retainers are mostly to be worn every night, but it is advisable to wear them during the day too for the first few months.

Retainers are of two types — the fixed and the removable. The fixed or bonded retainers are made up of thin wires which are hidden behind the 4-8 front teeth to prevent them from going out of their place. These retainers need the same care as fixed braces.

The removable retainers are of two styles:

  • The wire retainers which are wrapped around the teeth with an acrylic plate to secure it in place
  • The clear retainers which look like the aligner braces; the difference is that they do not need to be changed after every two weeks

It is easier to clean the removable retainers than the fixed ones, and the removable ones allow its wearers to drink, eat and brush normally though there is a possibility for them to be damaged.

The retainers can become expensive with time since £100-300 is being charged by orthodontists for wire retainers and £70-150 for clear retainers.

The two types of retainers will need to be replaced with time, but they can last for five years or more if properly cared for.

The type of retainer you should use will be told to you by your orthodontist.

Summary

If you are thinking of wearing clear braces against metal braces, you have to consider the prices against the aesthetics. When choosing between the clear braces and the invisible braces, it may be a little complicated. Below is a summary of the information given on the clear and invisible braces:

Fixed clear braces:

Type of brace Fixed clear
Appearance Less conspicuous than the all-metal braces
Cost £2,500 – 5,500
Length of treatment 18-24 months; self-ligating braces needs 12 months, ClearSmile needs 4-12 months
Check-up frequency Every 6-10 weeks for self-ligating and 4-6 weeks for the regular clear braces
Eating Some foods should be avoided to prevent damage of the braces
Cleaning Extra cleaning and flossing should be done
Comfort Uncomfortable prior to fitting and tightening
Other Cannot be lost and there is no need for willpower.

The removable invisible aligner

Type of braces Removable invisible aligners
Appearance Very difficult to notice
Cost £1,500 – 5,500
Length of treatment 9-18 months
Check-up frequency Every 2-6 weeks
Eating Removed to eat and no restrictions on foods to be eaten
Cleaning Cleaning must be done after every meal and drink
Comfort A natural and comfortable fit
Other Can be removed for important occasions

The Invisalign aligners are the most suitable, efficient and convenient choice for both teenagers and adults who want to straighten their teeth without being noticed. This is because these braces are very difficult to spot, removable and also less expensive.

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