Monday, October 22, 2012

Ceramic Braces

 Ceramic (Clear) Braces

For those patients with clear ceramic brackets, or those potential new patients considering them, here is a little information on a common concern – staining.

Ceramic brackets are almost stain-proof, but can get dulled or even darkened by things like espresso and red wine. To restore them from dingy to clear, drink lemon water after you drink beverages that tend to stain.  Also, use an electric toothbrush and let it rest on each tooth (and bracket) for three to five seconds when brushing.

Tomato sauce, curry, cola drinks, teas, coffee, red wine, and some fruit drinks or dark berries will discolor the ligatures around the brackets. Remember the ligatures are changed at your regular appointments, so any staining will disappear before it can become too noticeable.

Selecting a colored ligature will minimize staining. The tiny rubber bands quickly pick up color, but some show stains less than others. Clear ligatures give the most natural appearance that you wanted when selecting the ceramic brackets, but stain most easily.  Pearl or tooth-colored ligatures are next on the easily stained list, but will not show as much color as clear ligatures.  Pastel colors show even less staining and dark ligatures, for instance, grays or black will not show stains. The dark rubber bands make the braces more obvious though, so that may defeat your purpose in selecting the clear brackets. 

So, the bottom line is to watch what you eat, and drink and brush as soon as possible after eating or drinking something that may stain.  

Dr. Miller & Staff