If you’re looking for a straighter smile or a better-aligned bite, ceramic braces may be a good choice for you. Talk to your orthodontist about your options for orthodontic treatment.
Ceramic braces are very similar to traditional metal braces, but they are done with tooth-colored or clear brackets made of ceramic rather than the traditional metallic look. Many people who choose ceramic braces do so for aesthetic reasons – they prefer that their braces be less noticeable. This can be a huge advantage if you’re feeling a little self-conscious about having braces as an adult or teen.
Just like any other major orthodontic decision, there are pros and cons to ceramic braces. But for many people, they are a perfect choice! Discuss your options with your orthodontist to find the right solution for your smile and your budget.
- They’re less noticeable than metal braces
- They’re much faster than Invisalign and can be used on much more serious alignment and bite issues
- You can choose your colors – clear and tooth-colored are the most popular, but they come in every color imaginable
- Because they are not made of metal, they do not interfere with imaging tests
- They’re more expensive than metal braces – up to $2,000 more
- They can cause gum sensitivity in some people
- They’re a little less durable than metal braces
- They take a little longer than metal – especially if you have severe dental issues
- They may stain – the elastic ties are clear and prone to staining, although this can be fixed during your next visit when they are replaced
If all of your adult teeth are in and you’re done growing, ceramic braces may be a good fit for you. Less volatile jaw growth and less movement mean there’s a lower chance of the brackets breaking which will result in a quicker correction.
Ceramic braces are also a good choice if you want a more subtle look. People usually choose clear or white which is much less noticeable than shiny metal. If you are getting braces as an adult, this can help you feel more confident in presentation and client situations.
Treatment length depends on a variety of factors, but, generally speaking, ceramic braces take about a year and a half to three years to straighten your smile. In comparison, metal braces generally take about a year to three years.
Ceramic braces are a little less durable than metal, so they’re more likely to break which can slow your treatment timeline. They’ll also need to be replaced more often to keep them from breaking under the pressure of everyday stressors like chewing and brushing. This can also add to your adjustment time.
Studies have found that ceramic braces are up to twice as likely to break as traditional metal braces, which can significantly lengthen your treatment time if it happens frequently. If you play contact sports or engage in activities that use the mouth – playing an instrument, singing, debate, theater, public speaking, etc. – you may want to go with traditional metal braces to avoid dealing with multiple delays caused by broken ceramic brackets.
Ceramic braces are an excellent choice if you want a low-key, less noticeable braces experience. But they are a little more expensive and a little less durable. Talk to your orthodontist about the best option for you based on your lifestyle and your budget.
If you have questions about ceramic braces or you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hodge, contact Hodge Orthodontics. We also offer virtual consultations for our patients who are concerned about COVID-19.
Living with Braces
Will my teeth hurt after I get braces?
How do I keep my teeth and braces clean?
We recommend that you use a small head toothbrush with soft bristles. The small head makes is easier to remove plaque and food from hard to reach areas. The soft bristles are important to preserve your gums. A small proxy-brush, shaped like a christmas tree, is great to to remove food and plaque around the brackets and underneath the wires.
It is also very important keep flossing your teeth during orthodontic treatment. You can use floss threaders or orthodontic flossers to help you get the floss underneath the wires so that you clean below the gum line.
What happens if I don't keep my teeth clean?
One of the most common problems we see is the development of white stains around the brackets. Those stains are mostly irreversible. They are the result of decalcification of the enamel and can progress to cavities.
Another common issues that can develop are red, swollen gums that bleed when touched. Those are signs that the gums are inflamed. In extreme cases, that inflammation can progress to the bones that hold the teeth and cause the teeth to get lose. If this condition is left untreated, it can cause tooth loss. Sometimes surgery is necessary to trim the gums that grew around the brackets.
What do I do if something breaks?
If the last bracket in the arch breaks and the wire is poking you, you can use fingernail clippers to trim the wire. That should keep you comfortable until you are able to come into the office to have the bracket repaired and the wire replaced.