Similar to traditional metal braces, clear braces use a ceramic bracket that is almost invisible, making your orthodontic treatment just as effective and less noticeable. This type of braces is more common for older patients because of their aesthetic appeal. The only drawback to these braces is that they are more fragile than normal braces and the clear elastics are more prone to discoloration.
Ceramic braces are made out of a translucent plastic material that is almost completely clear. This feature makes them popular with our adult patients who are interested in maintaining a more less noticeable, discrete appearance in their professional or social life during their treatment. Structurally speaking, ceramic braces closely resemble metal braces, as they are also composed of brackets that are cemented to the center of each tooth. However, ceramic braces are more fragile than traditional metal braces, which means they require extra caution and care to maintain. Ceramic braces are less commonly known as many other orthodontic treatments, so we wanted to answer some of our most frequently asked questions about ceramic braces here.
Why choose ceramic braces?
The biggest and most common appeal of ceramic braces is their discrete appearance. They are able to address many of the more severe orthodontic issues that clear aligners cannot, while also offering a less obvious appearance than traditional metal braces do. They bridge the gap between these two more commonly known treatments. Although the texture of ceramic braces will be noticeable on the patient’s teeth, the brackets are much less visible than metal braces are, especially from far away or in photographs. In some cases, ceramic braces can also work faster than Invisalign can.
How do I know if ceramic braces are right for me?
Ceramic braces cannot address some issues, like severe overcrowding, as well as traditional metal braces can. If your orthodontist thinks that ceramic braces will not effectively meet your needs, they will explain your options to you and help you make the best decision for your own treatment plan and, ultimately, your journey to your best smile.
Why might ceramic braces be the wrong choice for me?
Like every orthodontic option, there are some things to be cautious about when it comes to ceramic braces. They are effective in some situations, but are not the best choice for some patients.
Because ceramic braces are not made out of steel, they are much more fragile than traditional metal braces, meaning that patients must be much more careful about what they eat during orthodontic treatment. If you have ceramic braces, you’ll want to avoid tearing actions by cutting your food into bite sized pieces. This applies to foods like pizza, sandwiches, corn dogs, and other foods that you would normally require a biting and tearing motion. You should also be especially cautious of extremely chewy and crunchy foods that can damage your ceramic braces.
Are ceramic braces more expensive than regular braces?
Ceramic braces do generally cost a little more than traditional braces do when all is said and done. This cost difference can be attributed to a number of causes. For one, their fragility often means that the patient’s teeth are adjusted at a slower pace than metal braces. A longer treatment process will require more time with your orthodontist. Your ceramic braces are also more likely to suffer damage at some point during your treatment process, which may lead to extra orthodontic visits. However, every orthodontic and insurance situation is different. If you are concerned about the cost difference, talk to your orthodontist about your options.
How do I keep my ceramic braces clean?
Ceramic braces are clear or tooth-colored, so any food particles or stains left behind from your meals are much more visible than they would be on metal braces. Because of this, patients with ceramic braces must be extremely vigilant about their oral hygiene routine and maintenance.
Just as with metal braces, we recommend that patients brush and floss their teeth after every meal. If you have ceramic braces, you will want to brush your teeth as soon as possible after eating in order to minimize staining caused by food particles that have been left in your braces for too long. You’ll also want to clean your braces after snacks too, even if all you have time for is a quick rinse. This will reduce your risk of staining or discoloring your braces.
The clear rubber bands on your ceramic brackets are called the ligatures, and they are the most easily stained part of your braces. Luckily, your clear ligatures will be changed out for new ones at each orthodontic adjustment appointment. If you notice your ligatures changing color before your appointments, talk to your orthodontist about your dietary habits and oral hygiene routine to see if there are any more precautions you can take to keep them clean and clear.
If you are ready to schedule your free consultation to learn about whether or not ceramic braces are right for you, schedule an appointment with our office today!