One of the main benefits of ceramic braces is that they take the middle ground between metal braces and plastic aligners – and offer the best of both worlds.
Like plastic aligners, ceramic braces are made from clear materials, which makes them far less conspicuous than their metal counterparts. This is why ceramic braces are often favored by older teens and adults who are more concerned about their appearance than young children.
The greater degree of comfort of ceramic braces also makes them a popular alternative to metal braces, although they’re not recommended in complex orthodontic cases because they can’t withstand the same pressure as metal braces.
Thanks to technological advances, ceramic braces are now more robust. With proper use, they shouldn’t break or chip. Today’s ceramic braces are also more resistant to staining than they used to be.
Although larger than metal braces, ceramic devices remain discreet through the use of either semi-translucent brackets – for very white teeth – or tooth-colored ceramic in instances of slightly darker teeth.
Ceramic braces cost more than metal appliances but provide precise control of the movement of teeth and work faster than plastic aligners like Invisalign.
Ceramic Braces Vs Metal Braces and Plastic Aligners
While ceramic braces aren’t as sturdy as metal braces, their design and application has been fine-tuned to provide maximum durability. It’s important, though, to find a dentist who offers the highest quality of ceramic braces.
Ceramic braces have smaller, rounded brackets, and ceramic material is less likely to irritate your gums. They still have a metal arch wire along the outside of your teeth. However, colored wires in various shades are available to blend with your teeth.
Ceramic braces may also provide a faster orthodontic treatment than removable Invisalign aligners. While Invisalign clear aligners1 are worn for around 20 hours a day, ceramic braces remain in place 24-7.
Invisalign treatment requires a high level of patient commitment in keeping the aligners in place for the recommended time. The problem is that some Invisalign patients may lack this perseverance or forget to put their aligners back in or lose them. Ceramic braces eliminate these issues.
How Ceramic Braces Have Advanced
The early ceramic braces of the 1980s were prone to discoloration. Nowadays, they’re far less susceptible to staining, but you still need to maintain a good routine oral hygiene and follow your orthodontist’s advice about what foods you need to avoid.
Thanks to advances in orthodontic technology, ceramic brackets are attached with the highest strength of adhesion possible. This means minimal preparation of tooth enamel, which avoids the risk of demineralization.
Once your course of orthodontic treatment is completed, you’ll find that today’s ceramic braces can be removed more easily than ever before, which also helps to safeguard your tooth enamel.
Problems That Ceramic Braces Can Fix
Ceramic braces can revitalize your smile and confidence and prevent a multitude of health issues that can be caused by orthodontic problems.
Although ceramic braces may not be suitable in some cases, they can provide a discreet, comfortable treatment for problems such as:
- Crooked teeth, which can cause problems such as bad breath, headaches, cavities, gum disease, and jaw disorders.
- Gapped teeth, which expose your gums to a greater risk of gum disease.
- Crowded teeth, which can result in teeth that are severely crooked.
- Overbite, when your front upper teeth overlap the lower front teeth.
Why People Choose Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces are a popular choice because of their cosmetic appeal. They’re similar in shape and size to metal braces but have clear or tooth-colored brackets that match your teeth. Ceramic braces with tooth-colored wires are even less noticeable.
Many people also opt for ceramic braces because they can be faster than plastic aligners in repositioning teeth and solving orthodontic health issues.
The benefits you’ll get from ceramic braces include:
- Less noticeable than metal braces.
- More comfortable than metal braces.
- More durable than they used to be.
- More resistant to staining.
- Precise control.
- Faster treatment than plastic aligners.
How to Look After Your Ceramic Braces
Metal braces are conspicuous when you talk, smile or laugh, which can result in feelings of self-consciousness, especially if you have an important event coming up. Designed to be inconspicuous, ceramic braces let you get on with your life without embarrassment. Another discreet orthodontic option is provided by clear plastic aligners like Invisalign but these may take longer to reposition your teeth than ceramic braces.
Once your teeth have been straightened with ceramic braces, you’ll actually enjoy showing off your healthy teeth and smile, which, with proper care, can give you a lifetime confidence boost.
Meanwhile, to feel most confident during your time in ceramic braces, you need to take good care of them to avoid staining, which can spoil your appearance.
While brushing your teeth twice a day is the standard recommendation from dental professionals, if you’re wearing ceramic braces it’s advisable to brush after every meal.
This will immediately wash away food colorings, bacteria and plaque to leave your braces and teeth fresh and clean while lessening the risk of tooth decay during your orthodontic treatment.
Can I Use Ceramic Braces with Metal Braces?
Some orthodontists recommend ceramic braces for the top teeth and metal braces on the lower. This is because braces across your lower jaw are less visible when you open your mouth, and this dual orthodontic approach can also speed up treatment time and reduce costs.
It can also help to avoid a potential side effect of ceramic braces, which, when worn on the bottom front teeth, may come into contact with your top teeth while eating, and damage tooth enamel.
To find out whether ceramic braces – or a combination of ceramic braces and metal braces – are a good idea for you, get advice from an orthodontist who specializes in offering different sorts of braces2. They will be able to talk you through the benefits of ceramic braces compared with other types of braces.