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5 Most FAQs on Clear Braces

Dr. Paul O'Connell Profile Image

Last Reviewed 06 August 2020

Medically reviewed by Dr. Paul O'Connell, Bachelor Dent. Sc. (Trinity College Dublin) 2004, Dentist Specialising In Orthodontics

At 3Dental Dublin, Limerick and Galway our dentists have been providing clear braces for over 10 years and have a wealth of experience. We have provided 1,000’s of patients with clear braces in that time.

Table of Contents

6 month braces - before - 3Dental
6 month braces - after - 3Dental

Before and After (Click to enlarge)

6 Month Braces

Clear braces can be a great solution to those seeking a fast solution to crooked teeth that is much less obvious than previous metal braces.

Let’s talk a little about clear braces, their advantages, disadvantages, applications and limitations.

1. Can Clear Braces Get Stained?

In a word, yes.

This is the major drawback for clear braces. The actual braces themselves don’t stain up but the elastics we use to attach the wire (which actually moves the teeth) to the brackets (which sit on the teeth) can stain easily with certain types of food and drinks.

Mostly these are the foods that you would associate with staining e.g.

Foods that stain clear braces
  • curry (Indian)
  • Chinese food
  • coffee
  • tea
  • Red Bull
  • tomato soup
  • Pot Noodles
  • red wine

Some types of spices cause staining also e.g. turmeric.

Does Smoking with Braces Leave Stains?

Also, as smoking causes severe staining of the brackets and elastics (modules), for this reason we recommend that people who smoke (even only occasionally) should avoid clear braces.

It is worth noting that the dentist or orthodontist will usually replace the elastics every visit (usually every 4-6 weeks), for that reason people with clear braces will usually avoid these staining foods and drinks until just before they return to the clinic.

For patients who choose to have clear braces and eat or drink these foods usually or smoke, additional charges will apply as the elastics will need to be changed more regularly.

2. Can Clear Braces Fix an Overbite?

can clear braces fix an overbite?

An overbite is when the top teeth bite over and completely hide the lower teeth.

This is not to be confused with an overjet, where the top teeth protrude well beyond the bottom teeth. Sometimes both happen together.

Clear braces have the same application and action as more traditional metal braces, so yes clear braces can fix an overbite though usually in conjunction with a removable orthodontic functional appliance to open the bite.

In some adults we can avoid the need for a removable appliance initially by placing little build ups on the back of the front upper teeth. Your dentist or orthodontist can explain all this on your free consultation.

3. What Are Clear Braces Made Of?

There are a number of different types of clear braces:

Composite Braces

At the cheaper end of the scale clear braces can be made of composite (the material that white fillings are made of). At 3Dental we avoid these brackets as they tend to break a lot and often treatment can take longer than expected

Ceramic and Resin Braces

More commonly, clear braces are made of ceramic and resin. Ceramic and resin braces look much more pleasing and are pretty much invisible.

They are less likely to break and tend to stain less. These are the brackets we use most often in 3Dental.

Clear Braces
invisalign clear braces

Clear braces (the aligner type e.g. Invisalign) are made of a type of plastic that move the teeth in a different way to traditional braces. These are the invisible braces you often hear about.

The wire used to move the teeth is metal (nickel titanium). Metal wires coated in white are available but tend to scratch and look dirty during treatment and at 3Dental we will only use these for a short period if someone has a special celebration e.g. wedding.

4. Can You Get Clear Braces on the Bottom?

Yes you can. You can use clear braces wherever you would use metal braces.

Where bites are very tight we occasionally will recommend metal braces on the lower (as they are smaller and less likely to break off).

Your dentist or orthodontist at 3Dental will be happy to discuss this with you.

5. Can You See Clear Braces?

Invisalign before picture - 3Dental
Invisalign after picture - 3Dental

Before and After (Click to enlarge)

Invisalign

Clear braces are very aesthetic and at a distance you won’t really see them. Obviously when teeth are stained by certain foods they can become more obvious, but at 3Dental we are happy to replace stained elastics at each visit.

The only thing you will see is the wire which is metal (but very discreet).

For patients who require their braces to be completely invisible we offer the Invisalign system as well as other types of clear aligners.

Conclusion

We hope that answers some of your burning questions on clear braces. Don’t forget to check out our Smile Gallery and Testimonials to see and experience some of our results for yourself.

We offer free consultations on all of our orthodontic (teeth straightening) treatments. Book a free consultation at either our Dublin, Limerick or Galway clinic.

Recent Reviews

Kieran Spillane

“Can’t recommend 3Dental Limerick enough. I’ve got composite bonding here years ago and I’ve had trouble with one tooth in particular that has chipped a couple of times (my own fault) and Fearghal has...”

Niamh Cryan

“I had such an amazing experience at 3Dental Limerick! I had braces when I was younger and in the ~9 years since they came off my teeth had started to slightly move back into a more crooked alignment....”

Ashley Hynes

“I couldn’t recommend 3Dental Galway enough. The staff are so professional and accommodating. Dr. Paul O’Connell was fantastic. I had fixed braces and bonding to my teeth and I couldn’t be happier...”

Evan McMahon

“Would highly recommend Aishling the dental hygienist at 3Dental Galway. Very professional, positive, and down-to-earth person. She makes time to speak you, whilst also been very informative and...”

Marie Nevin

“I can smile again, thanks to Dr. Andrea and her team. I would totally recommend 3Dental Galway. I was treated with the utmost care and professionalism from start to finish.”

Clare McSharry

“I travelled from Sligo to Galway to get 2 teeth implants done by Dr. Andrea Uribarri. The service was excellent during the implant process. I have been back for 1 checkup, and I'm really happy with...”

Nicole Ward

“Highly recommend 3Dental. Just had my braces removed after 1 year and a half and so happy with the results. My orthodontist Tatiana was amazing to deal with, so calming and friendly at every visit....”

EJ Ryan

“Very happy with the excellent professional service from Peter Doherty.”

Brian Cooper

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Ciaran Kavanagh

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Owen

“Never bothered by having to go to the dentist again. I had to get whitening, bonding and a crown done over the space of a year and it was a great experience. The team are A1 and Fergal is a great...”

Keith O'Brien

“I would highly recommend 3Dental. This time last year I was in constant pain with infections and my teeth were in a bad way. I came across 3Dental while searching for dental implants. I had...”

Eileen Dempsey

“I have just had my Implant, from Doctor Peter Doherty, and have to say i was treated so well from start to finish, and the end result is amazing. I am so very happy with my new smile, i will attend...”

Viv van der Holst

“Firstly apologies for the delay in writing this review. I have been too busy smiling again :) And chewing food normally. I cannot express enough the gratitude I feel towards Dr Andoni Jones and his...”

Sean Dentur

“I got 6 implants over past 2 years in 3Dental. Very efficient/professional and kind staff. Would highly recommend them.”

Whitney Culleton

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Tara Henshaw

“I had composite bonding done with Dr Carmen and gingivectomy with Dr Andoni Jones , they were both brilliant. Thanks so much to them both they were so friendly and so good at their job I'm delighted...”

Caitlin Morrison

“I've been going to 3Dental the last year with Dr Carmen. She's amazing so nice and her work is great Got my composite bonding with her defo recommend always give advice and always there if needs be...”

Jane Russell

“Such a brilliant clinic with fantastic service. Had to have a couple of things done with fillings and bonding so I saw a number of dentists, all of whom were total pros and expert at what they do. A...”

Caroline O'Brien

“I have had lots of treatment and also my 2 daughters here in 3Dental which included root canal wisdom tooth extraction crowns and now implants and All on the same premises. All staff we have met have...”

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