Most people are familiar with the original stainless steel braces used by an orthodontist to straighten teeth. Today, however, there is an alternative type of brace that does the same job with less visibility. Ceramic braces are available in either clear or shades of white, which makes them much less noticeable.
Ceramic braces work the same way as their metal counterparts. Both types have brackets, wires, and bands that are attached to the teeth which gradually move the teeth into proper alignment over time. Ceramic braces are made of a high tech plastic material that resembles glass or traditional ceramic. Because this material is a bit more brittle than stainless steel, the amount of pressure that can be applied is less. Ceramic braces may need to be worn for a longer time than metal ones.
Cosmetically, ceramic braces are superior to metal ones. Because the braces are smaller and less noticeable, they are an excellent option for those who are concerned about their appearance. They can be constructed in a shade of white that matches the teeth, or they can be transparent. The metal wire that runs from tooth to tooth can be coated with the same shade of white material to camouflage it as well.
Some ceramic brace users, particularly children, and adolescents have even turned ceramic braces into a fashion statement. Ties that hold the wire to the brackets are available in numerous colors. When the braces are adjusted each month, the tie color can be changed to suit the wearer’s mood. They can even be arranged in colored patterns on the teeth. The ability to change the appearance of the braces can be a fun incentive for youths who are wearing them.
Because ceramic braces are rounded on the bracket corners and edges, many patients feel they are more comfortable to wear. There is less irritation of surrounding mouth tissue due to contact with sharp metal edges. The brackets themselves are usually more rounded, so there is less contact with other parts of the mouth.
Some ceramic brace materials may be more likely to stain. The staff will advise the patient whether certain foods, like tomato products or coffee, should be avoided. The possibility of staining is higher when braces in white shades are chosen.
Although ceramic braces are usually a bit more expensive than metal braces, cosmetic advantages may outweigh the cost for many patients.
There are all kinds of emerging technologies when it comes to braces. Yes, Invisalign is the new wave, but it is still costly. Ceramic braces are a great alternative.