It is natural to feel concerned about how your appearance might change during orthodontic treatment. After all, much of our self-image is tied to what we see in the mirror and how we believe others perceive us.
At the same time, it is helpful to remember that whichever treatment option you choose will be temporary. It is also beneficial to focus instead on the fact that you will soon attain the straight, beautiful smile you have always wanted.
Of course, even with a positive outlook, many patients still want their braces to be less noticeable. For some, clear aligners may be one option, but they are not the only choice. Another possibility to consider is ceramic braces.
Ceramic Braces FAQs
What Are Ceramic Braces?
Ceramic braces, sometimes called clear braces, are an alternative to metal braces. Instead of using silver-colored metal brackets on the teeth, ceramic braces blend in with the color of your teeth. While the wire that runs through the brackets is still silver in color, the brackets themselves (which make up the most noticeable part of braces) are much less conspicuous.
How Strong are Ceramic Braces?
Ceramic braces are quite durable. They are made to withstand the force needed to align teeth as well as last through everyday wear and tear. But they are not quite as strong as metal braces. As a result, they are more prone to breakage.
This does not mean that you should cross ceramic braces off your list. Many patients, particularly adults, feel that the risk of breaking a bracket is worth the less noticeable look of ceramic braces. This decision should be discussed with your orthodontist so you can make the best choice for your case.
Other care can be taken to protect ceramic braces. For example, if you are involved in sports, you may be told to wear a mouthguard to protect your braces and teeth.
Do Ceramic Braces Work as Well as Metal Braces?
For most situations, the answer is yes. Ceramic braces and metal braces are equally capable of correcting a long list of orthodontic problems. However, because ceramic brackets are less durable, they might not be recommended when significant force is needed, as can occur with severe misalignment. In those cases, metal braces may be preferable, or if you would still prefer ceramic braces, a longer treatment timeline may be warranted.
Can I Stain My Ceramic Braces?
While metal braces do not become stained, other orthodontic options are susceptible to staining. Both clear aligners and ceramic brackets can be prone to stains. However, you can avoid staining your aligners by not wearing them when you eat or drink.
Unlike aligners, you cannot remove your braces. So when you are undergoing treatment with ceramic braces, it is best to avoid foods that can stain. These include the same foods that have the potential to stain teeth. In addition to avoiding the same foods that can damage metal braces, we suggest avoiding brightly colored foods and drinks such as:
- Coffee and tea
- Soy sauce
When Should I Consider Ceramic Braces?
Ceramic braces are not the best option for every patient, but they may be a good choice for you. If you are self-conscious about the look of braces for personal or professional reasons, we may recommend clear aligners. If your case is too complex for aligners and you require braces but are still concerned about aesthetics, ceramic braces may be the best option.
To discuss which orthodontic treatment option is best for you and your individual needs, schedule a consultation today.