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  • Writer's pictureDr. Emel Arat

Ceramic Braces: Pros and Cons

Wearing braces is one of the best ways to straighten your teeth, correct an overbite, and improve your smile. This orthodontic treatment is suitable for children, teens, and adults. You can wear metal or ceramic braces to correct teeth misalignment. First, it’s good to understand their pros and cons.

What are Ceramic Braces?

Ceramic braces are used in orthodontic treatments that use clear or tooth-colored brackets to straighten teeth. They are similar to metal braces but are more discrete. Both treatment options exert pressure at strategic points on teeth to correct misalignment and improve the bite.

Which type of braces are the best?

First introduced in 1987, ceramic braces provide one of the best alternatives to metal and lingual braces (braces on the inside of the teeth). But this treatment option has some advantages and disadvantages.

The Pros of Ceramic Braces

  • Ceramic brackets can come in different shades, from clear to tooth-colored. Your Toronto orthodontist can customize ceramic braces to match your teeth. Ceramic braces are less noticeable than metal braces.

  • In some cases, ceramic braces can be a better treatment modality than clear aligners such as Invisalign®. Depending on the severity of the crowding or bite, ceramic braces may provide a faster treatment than aligners.

  • Traditional metal braces use metallic alloys with nickel. If you have a nickel allergy or sensitivity, ceramic braces may be a more suitable treatment option for you compared to metal braces.

  • Metal braces interfere with some imaging tests. If you require an MRI around the head or neck, you may be asked to remove any metal braces before the procedure. Ceramic braces are MRI-safe because they don’t create signal interference. You can wear your ceramic braces during imaging tests.

The cons of ceramic braces

  • Ceramic brackets are thicker than metal brackets. Although most people adjust fairly quickly to both metal and ceramic braces, the ceramic ones may feel slightly larger.

  • Elastic ties that hold ceramic braces to the wires can stain when exposed to red wine, coffee, tea, and coloured soft drinks.

  • Ceramic braces can break and chip. They’re less durable compared to metal braces.

  • Ceramic brackets are not flexible. So they can break during removal. Removing fragmented braces bonded on the tooth surface can make the removal appointment slightly longer. Your Toronto orthodontist will combine several strategies to minimize breakages.

  • On average, orthodontic treatments using ceramic braces cost between $4,000-$8,000. Metal braces go for $4,000-$7,000. So, ceramic braces are slightly more expensive.

Are ceramic braces less painful?

Although most orthodontic procedures are pain-free, they can lead to minor and temporary sensitivity as the teeth move. Some people experience mild pain and discomfort. Note that ceramic and metal brackets are bonded to the surface of teeth. But debonding ceramic brackets requires more force than metal braces, creating discomfort for some patients during removal. Both ceramic and metal braces exert mild pressure to straighten teeth. So, they’re not painful.

Do ceramic braces turn yellow?

Ceramic braces do not stain. However, the elastics placed around them are not immune to pigmented foods and drinks. Eating or drinking specific products can discolor elastic ties on your ceramic braces. Your brackets can turn yellowish if you smoke or drink red wine and coffee for prolonged periods. Poor oral hygiene also increases the risk of yellowing and discoloration.

Are metal braces better than ceramic?

Both ceramic and metal braces can correct severe overbite and straighten badly crooked teeth. But metal braces are more durable and cheaper than ceramic. Wearing metal braces instead of ceramic braces can save you $1,000 to $2,000. Metal is more flexible than ceramic, reducing the risk of breaking. Frequent repairs and incremental adjustments of ceramic braces can prolong your teeth straightening process. Metal braces are stain-resistant and are not affected by red wine or coffee.

How do I keep my ceramic braces white?

Combine several strategies to keep your braces white. First, avoid staining foods and drinks like red wine and coffee. Second, maintain good oral hygiene and aftercare routines. Brush your teeth after every meal and rinse your mouth to remove food particles. Third, avoid smoking and other counterproductive habits. Make sure you visit your Toronto orthodontist regularly for checkups, repair, and to replace stained elastics and ties. Adhering to these tips can help prevent staining of your ceramic braces. You can rely on Leaside Orthodontic Centre for professional orthodontic care in Toronto.


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