Metal or Ceramic Braces: What's Best for You?

The decision has been made, and you can expect a new set of braces in your immediate future. Your consultations with your orthodontist have helped to work out that traditional braces are the best choice to tackle your orthodontic problem. But this isn't the only decision to be made. Should you go with the classic look of metal braces, or do you prefer the discretion of ceramic braces?


Ceramic braces tend to be a little more expensive than their metal equivalents. Some prospective patients might rule out ceramic braces because of this price difference, but before you totally dismiss them, it's important to consider the benefits of ceramic braces. In a number of important ways, they can be superior to metal braces.


One of the most appealing features of ceramic braces is their look. The brackets bonded to your teeth are ceramic, not stainless steel. What's more is that your orthodontist will match these brackets to the colour of your dental enamel. The archwire that will be threaded through your braces will also be the colour of your teeth. Ceramic braces aren't entirely invisible, but they're well-camouflaged. 


Ceramic braces can be the most comfortable option. You'll notice some sensitivity in your teeth and gums when the braces are installed, and when they're adjusted during your regular appointments—but this is to be expected, regardless of whether the braces are metal or ceramic. But despite being strong and durable, the ceramic edges of the various parts of your dental braces are more gentle on the soft tissues inside your mouth. 


This relative softness (when compared to metal braces) is also kinder to your dental enamel. When metal brackets are glued to dental enamel, some minor enamel damage is common (the enamel can demineralise). This is an inconvenience, but your dentist can reverse this demineralisation. Because the ceramic brackets are less abrasive, you're less likely to experience any changes to your dental enamel during your treatment. 


There are clear advantages to ceramic braces, but this isn't to suggest that there aren't any disadvantages. The ceramic components of your brace are porous and can stain. You must get into the habit of thoroughly rinsing out your mouth after consuming anything that can discolour your braces, such as coffee, tea, and red wine. Smoking is incredibly unwise—both for the reasons you're already familiar with and for the fact that tar and nicotine can quickly (and permanently) stain your ceramic braces. 

It's important to talk about the pros and cons of ceramic braces with your orthodontist, but you might quickly decide that the many pros cancel out the few cons.

Reach out to an orthodontist near you for more information about braces in your area.