Clear braces and clear aligners are growing in popularity because they’re harder to see than traditional braces, but they still straighten teeth beautifully. Clear braces are especially popular for adults. Many Topeka, KS, and Seneca, KS, patients who come to Hamilton, Wilson, & Hendrickson Orthodontics opt for clearer options than traditional metal braces. The clear braces we offer are harder to see — as long as you keep them stain-free.
Clear braces and clear aligners such as Invisalign are made to be stain-resistant, but some substances will stain braces or clear aligners over time. It’s up to you to avoid these substances and keep your appliances clean by brushing or soaking them regularly. We have a few tips to help you keep your clear braces and clear aligners looking as good as new!
What Are Clear Braces?
What do we mean by “clear braces,” and are they the same as ceramic braces? Clear braces and ceramic braces are the same because most clear braces are made of ceramic material. Clear braces differ from clear aligners, but they deliver the same great results.
Clear braces are more like traditional metal braces. They are made up of clear ceramic brackets and an archwire that connects them. Clear aligners are custom-molded to match the size and shape of your teeth to cover them completely. Both products are much less visible than traditional metal braces.
Do Clear Ceramic Braces Stain?
The whole point of clear braces is that they are made to match the color of your teeth, so it’s a concern if these braces become discolored. So do clear braces stain? Clear braces are made to be stain-resistant, so it is difficult to stain them. However, it is not impossible. Repeatedly eating or drinking items that can stain them can build up over time and discolor the brackets, especially if you don’t brush and floss regularly.
You should avoid certain foods and drinks that can stain your clear braces or clear aligners over time. These include dark-colored drinks such as coffee, tea, and sodas. It also can include fruit and tomato-based juices. Foods such as dark-colored fruits, tomatoes, tomato sauces, chocolates, and foods with food coloring can also stain braces and clear aligners if eaten regularly. Indulge in these foods and drinks sparingly to keep from staining your clear braces. Avoid brightly-colored spices as well, such as curries, mustard, tarragon, and paprika.
As for your Invisalign, you should remove them when you eat or drink. Just be sure to put them back in as soon as you’re done and after a good rinse. You should also brush your teeth before reinserting your Invisalign.
Other Ways to Prevent Stains on Clear Braces
There are other ways to prevent staining besides avoiding certain foods and drinks. The most important way is to brush and floss your teeth regularly. Ideally, you want to brush after every meal and floss with dental floss at least once a day. At the very least, you want to brush twice a day. If you do indulge in food or drink that may stain, brush your teeth immediately. It can get the color off your brackets before they have a chance to soak in and stain.
The other way to prevent staining is to give up tobacco and vaping products. Tobacco in any form can stain your teeth, so of course, it can stain your clear braces or clear aligners. Vaping products have similar chemicals that can also stain. The same goes for chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, and any other forms. Tobacco products can also cause oral and lung cancer, so it’s a good idea to ditch them anyway. We strongly recommend you avoid tobacco products during treatment. If you’re having trouble quitting, talk to us or your doctor. We can recommend ways to help you quit.
Getting Straight Teeth With Clear Braces
Clear braces are a great alternative for patients who want the power of regular braces without the metal look. With proper care, clear braces can remain clear throughout your treatment. If you’re interested in getting clear braces, you can set up an appointment in our Topeka, KS, office or our Seneca, KS, satellite office for a no-obligation evaluation. We will let you know if clear braces or Invisalign will work for your dental needs.