Ceramic braces are fitted to the front of your teeth and consist of subtle, clear or tooth-colored brackets with metal wires running through them.
Ceramic braces are an attractive alternative to metal braces as they are much less noticeable. The brackets are a similar size and shape to metal brackets but are clear or tooth colored and so blend in more.
Some people have ceramic braces if they are not suitable for clear aligners treatment (due to having more extreme irregularities of the teeth) but still want to look good during treatment.
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that corrects teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly. Crooked teeth and teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean, are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease, and cause extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, TMJ syndrome and neck, shoulder and back pain. Teeth that are crooked or not in the right place can also detract from one's appearance.
Anyone who has the following issues need orthodontic treatment:
Overbite, sometimes called "buck teeth" — where the upper front teeth lie too far forward (stick out) over the lower teeth
Underbite — a "bulldog" appearance where the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth too far back
Crossbite — when the upper teeth do not come down slightly in front of the lower teeth when biting together normally
Open bite — space between the biting surfaces of the front and/or side teeth when the back teeth bite together
Misplaced midline— when the center of your upper front teeth does not line up with the center of your lower front teeth
Spacing — gaps, or spaces, between the teeth as a result of missing teeth or teeth that do not "fill up" the mouth
Crowding — when there are too many teeth for the dental ridge to accommodate
Many different types of appliances, both fixed and removable, are used to help move teeth, retrain muscles and affect the growth of the jaws. These appliances work by placing gentle pressure on the teeth and jaws. The severity of your problem will determine which orthodontic approach is likely to be the most effective.
Fixed appliances include:
Braces — the most common fixed appliances, braces consist of bands, wires and/or brackets. Bands are fixed around the teeth or tooth and used as anchors for the appliance, while brackets are most often bonded to the front of the tooth. Arch wires are passed through the brackets and attached to the bands. Tightening the arch wire puts tension on the teeth, gradually moving them to their proper position. Braces are usually adjusted monthly to bring about the desired results, which may be achieved within a few months to a few years. Today's braces are smaller, lighter and show far less metal than in the past. They come in bright colors for kids as well as clear styles preferred by many adults.
Special fixed appliances — used to control thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, these appliances are attached to the teeth by bands. Because they are very uncomfortable during meals, they should be used only as a last resort.
Fixed space maintainers — if a baby tooth is lost prematurely, a space maintainer is used to keep the space open until the permanent tooth erupts. A band is attached to the tooth next to the empty space, and a wire is extended to the tooth on the other side of the space.
Aligners — an alternative to traditional braces for adults, serial aligners are being used by an increasing number of orthodontists to move teeth in the same way that fixed appliances work, only without metal wires and brackets. Aligners are virtually invisible and are removed for eating, brushing and flossing.
Removable space maintainers — these devices serve the same function as fixed space maintainers. They're made with an acrylic base that fits over the jaw, and have plastic or wire branches between specific teeth to keep the space between them open.
Jaw repositioning appliances — also called splints, these devices are worn on either the top or lower jaw, or help train the jaw to close in a more favorable position. They may be used for temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ).
Lip and cheek bumpers — these are designed to keep the lips or cheeks away from the teeth. Lip and cheek muscles can exert pressure on the teeth, and these bumpers help relieve that pressure.
Palatal expander — a device used to widen the arch of the upper jaw. It is a plastic plate that fits over the roof of the mouth. Outward pressure applied to the plate by screws force the joints in the bones of the palate to open lengthwise, widening the palatal area.
Removable retainers — worn on the roof of the mouth, these devices prevent shifting of the teeth to their previous position. They can also be modified and used to prevent thumb sucking.
Ceramic braces can treat exactly the same type of orthodontic problems as traditional fixed braces. They are very good for correcting teeth that are overcrowded or which have unwanted spaces in between them, or teeth that are rotated or protrusive. Ceramic braces can also be used to correct overbites where the upper front teeth are biting too far forward of the lower front teeth, underbites where the lower front teeth protrude too far forward of the upper front teeth, and open bites where the front teeth fail to occlude or bite together, even when the back teeth are touching. Ceramic braces can also be used to correct crossbites, where some of the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth.
It’s perfectly normal to feel some discomfort when your braces have been fitted. This is because your teeth and tooth roots will begin to move, so some tenderness is perfectly normal. If the pressure is too much you may need to return to your orthodontist for the brace to be adjusted, but otherwise it should be possible to deal with any discomfort using over-the-counter painkillers.
The length of treatment is something that can only be determined by your orthodontist as it will depend on the severity of your bite problems. Most people will complete treatment within one or two years, but treatment can take as long as three years.
You will need to spend extra time cleaning your teeth during treatment, and will need to clean your teeth after each meal. It is best to use special orthodontic brushes to clean around the brackets and wires, and some people find it easier to use a water flosser. You will be given full instructions on how to clean your teeth by your orthodontist./p>
Advancements in technology make metal braces more comfortable and much smaller than they used to be. The impact on your appearance is therefore not as drastic. Metal braces are the traditional “train track” braces that most people think of when they read about orthodontic treatment. They consist of small metal brackets which are fitted to the front of your teeth with a wire running between them kept in place by small elastic bands. Fixed metal braces are often recommended by orthodontics for straightening teeth because they produce very precise tooth movements and provide more control over teeth than a removable brace does.
They have a long, proven record of achieving accurate results for patients of all ages. A fixed brace consists of small brackets bonded to the front of each of your teeth. Each of these brackets acts as a handle on the tooth, which can be used to individually and precisely control its positioning. A thin wire connects each of the teeth bonded brackets and applies tension to the brackets to gently move and straighten your teeth over time. It will take 1-2 hours for your fixed brace to be fitted. It is a painless process though some discomfort may be felt. For the first few days after the fitting your teeth and jaw may feel uncomfortable whilst your mouth adjusts to the brace, but this will quickly pass.
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