When one thinks of braces, you can only imagine a mouth full of metal usually coming to mind. But, technological advancements in the dental industry have made significant advancement in the way braces today look and feel. If you do a quick google search or look at the different braces options, you will see that ceramic braces are becoming a more and more viable alternative to metal ones.
Ceramic braces are a popular alternative to metal braces because they are often less noticeable compared to metal braces. Ceramic braces are an ideal option for especially adults if you want to better straighten and align your teeth.
These teeth braces make you confident in social and professional situations as they are not easily visible. Metal braces on the other hand, are great for you if you play sports, have severe teeth misalignments, or are more interested in condensed time than anything else.
Here we discuss how ceramic braces stack up against metal braces in terms of preference, effectiveness, and if you like to wear them on a day-to-day basis.
Why Choose Ceramic Braces?
Ceramic braces are commonly known as clear braces. They are the orthodontic tools used to straighten teeth and fix your bite problems. They consist of clear or tooth-colored ceramic brackets attached to the surface of your teeth. The wires and rubber bands are also of similar color, which provides more discretion.
Ceramic dental braces are very similar to metal braces, but the only difference being that they use clear or tooth-colored brackets rather than metallic or gray or silver brackets and wires.
Many people generally opt for these braces because they are less noticeable on your teeth than metal braces. This feature can prove to be a huge advantage if you are considering braces and do not want to feel conscious about wearing them. But these braces made from ceramic also come with some downsides.
All ceramic brackets offer an improvement over metal when it comes to aesthetics. Most of these ceramic brackets match the variety of your tooth shade and hence have become popular among users.
Many of the manufacturers today use proprietary ceramic particles that allow for improved shade matching your overall aesthetics. Some of the polycrystalline ceramic brackets are somewhat opaque when seen on the tooth but few other ceramic brackets allow for optimal light penetration which blends with your enamel.
You need to understand that the amount of time required to fix the problems with your teeth using either metal braces or ceramic braces is the same. You can also find lingual braces made of ceramic. The only difference between the two orthodontic devices is the fact that one is ceramic and the other is metal.
Metal vs Ceramic Braces Comparison
Ceramic braces are made of clear, translucent material. They are less noticeable than metal braces and provide a more cosmetic and aesthetic appeal. These braces are about the same size as their metal brace counterpart.
On the other hand, metal branches work by applying consistent pressure over an extended period of time. These braces are made up of brackets, arch wires and molar bands. Metal braces are more of a traditional choice and are used to fix more serious issues.
1 Durability – Metal braces are surely more durable. While ceramic braces are tough but as they are made from a different material, there are chances that they might chip or crack upon impact. If you play rough sports, there are real possibilities that metal may be your best bet.
2 Time – It is said that metal braces tend to move your teeth slightly faster than ceramic. Through ceramic braces are faster compared to Invisalign.
3 Visibility – This is surely the biggest difference. Ceramic braces are not usually as noticeable as metal ones. Though the metal braces of today are much more compact and smaller when compared to what they used to look like a few years back., they aren’t transparent.
4 Cost – In general, metal braces are less expensive than ceramic.
Pros and Cons of Ceramic Braces
Below is a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of ceramic braces especially compared to traditional metal braces.
1 They are less visible than metal braces. The ceramic material used in these braces can be either clear or tooth-colored. You might avoid getting braces even when you need them because they are visible and can be embarrassing at times. But these ceramic ones can be color-matched to your natural teeth, making them difficult to be noticed from a distance.
2 They move teeth faster than Invisalign or clear aligners. Ceramic braces generally take about 18 to 36 months to straighten your teeth. Popular clear aligners such as Invisalign can take a year longer to work. Especially if your teeth do not require much correction. Also, clear aligners do not work for severe cases of misalignment or malocclusion, also called crooked bite.
3 You can choose your colors. Metal braces, as you know, only come in one color i.e. shiny metallic silver or grey. In contrast, braces made of ceramic are available in nearly any color.
4 They don’t interfere with imaging tests. Metal braces can disrupt signals when you undergo imaging tests. On the other hand, ceramic braces produce much less signal interference.
They are more expensive than metal braces. Ceramic braces can cost slightly more than metal braces.
1 They may cause gum sensitivity. Your ceramic brackets are larger than metal brackets. Hence this can make it harder to clean around your brackets, resulting in swollen gums or receding gums in case your toothbrush does not reach the enamel and gumline.
2 They’re slightly less durable than metal. Ceramic ones are more likely to break compared to metal. Ceramic ones are durable but can be damaged if exposed to too much pressure over a long time. If your teeth require extensive treatment, your dentist might recommend metal braces instead of ceramic.
3 Source or fracture. The process of removing the glue or debonding the braces might cause damage to your tooth surface or enamel.
4 They move teeth slower. Because ceramic ones are more fragile, if you have to repair broken brackets or make incremental adjustments, your straightening process will become slower.
5 They may stain. The elastic ties that hold the wire to the brackets can stain easily. They tend to remain stained until they are replaced. However, teeth staining is not something new when it comes to braces. These stains can be removed by your dentist when the braces are taken off.
Ceramic Braces Colors Can You Choose From
Do you know that you can change the color of each component of your ceramic braces throughout the course of your treatment?
The components include:
- Brackets. Brackets stick to your teeth, and they are usually available in white.
- Archwires. These wires curve around your teeth. They actually connect all the brackets and apply pressure to your teeth to straighten them. They are generally available in white, silver, or frosted to blend in with your light-colored brackets.
- Elastic bands. Elastic bands attached to the hooks on the brackets. They are also responsible for keeping the archwire in place and also help to adjust the position of your teeth and jaw. You can get these bands in any color you want. You can also choose colors that blend in with your skin shade or get creative and choose a rainbow pattern all across your smile.
Do Ceramic Braces Stain?
Ceramic brackets do not stain easily as they are made from expensive materials. But the elastic ties used to hold them to the wire can get stained. Below are some tips to avoid your ceramic brackets getting stained:
- Make it a practice to brush and floss after every meal. This helps remove food residue from the braces that might cause staining.
- You should also avoid foods and drinks that leave stains or those that lead to discoloration. Stuff like wine, tomatoes, coffee, tea, soda, or condiments like mustard and ketchup are the substances that stain bracket ties and your teeth.
- Do not smoke. With smoking, you can notice yellowish stains on your teeth and also on all components of your braces.
- Avoid using whitening toothpastes. Whitening agents in these toothpastes can cause your exposed tooth surface to become whiter than your actual tooth underneath.
- See your dentist or orthodontist regularly. Your dentist can replace stained ceramic brackets or ties as needed.
You can opt for ceramic braces if you want to keep your braces low-key. But what you need to understand is that they are a little less durable and may take much longer to correct your bite or alignment. They can also be more expensive and can get stained easily.
Talk to your dentist or orthodontist in detail before you opt for either metal or ceramic braces. Which of these could be more effective for your teeth, even if it is not your first choice.
If you are in search of a more subtle alternative to metal braces, ceramic braces may be the best option for you. Talk to our dentists at REPC Dubai today with any questions you might have or to schedule an appointment.