For patients who want or need the strength and reliability of traditional metal braces, but with a more subtle appearance, ceramic braces can be an excellent option.
Ceramic braces are also referred to as clear braces, tooth-colored braces, or esthetic braces. These function the same way metal braces do. Brackets are attached to the teeth, a wire is inserted, and bends in this wire will be used to provide different types of pressure on different teeth, encouraging them to move into more desirable positions.
Though not completely invisible, they’re much less noticeable than metal braces, even though the brackets are about the same size and shape.
When ceramic brackets are paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties, they are an incredibly inconspicuous way to straighten your smile. As you might expect, these are an especially attractive orthodontic option for our adult patients! Ceramic braces are perfect for patients who don’t want their braces to stand out, but aren’t suitable candidates for a clear aligner system like Invisalign.
Even though most patients in ceramic braces love how discrete they are, we do have some teens and adults who like to use colored ligature ties. These give braces an almost “neon” look, where the colors pop off the clear brackets, creating a really unique look most people haven’t seen before.
Metal braces are known for their durability and strength. Although ceramic braces are also tough, they are made from a different, more fragile material that is easier to chip or crack. Traditional braces are also able to tolerate more pressure than newer ceramic ones. If you require more severe corrections, metal braces could be the better option.
Adjustments have to be slightly smaller with ceramic braces, so it can take a little more time to align your teeth successfully. Having said that, both types of braces work on the same principles and tend to be equally as effective for most cases.
Some people worry about ceramic braces staining, but that hasn’t been a problem for several years. Ceramic brackets won’t stain. However, the adhesive used to attach the brackets to the teeth can stain, and so can the clear elastic ties used to hold the wires in. This can give an overall impression of discoloration or staining over time.