If you’re looking to realign your teeth and reimagine your smile, you have a decision to make: which type of braces is right for me? That’s a question to ask both yourself and your orthodontist. Braces will have an impact on your daily routines and will be a part of your life for a year or more. It’s important to know your options, so you can make the best choice for your lifestyle.
The less-visible alternative: ceramic braces
Have you considered ceramic braces? These offer a similar durability and effectiveness as traditional metal braces, but with reduced noticeability. Ceramic braces are made with clear or tooth-colored materials (instead of grey or metallic silver components), so they’re less visible when you smile. While not as hidden as lingual braces (which are placed behind the teeth), ceramic braces are certainly less prominent than traditional metal braces, making them a great option for people with cosmetic concerns. Ceramic braces are made of these component parts:
- Brackets – ceramic plates that attach to the surface of your teeth, usually available in clear, white, or neutral shades
- Archwires – wires that curve around your teeth and connect all brackets with consistent pressure
- Elastic Bands – stretch bands that hook onto brackets and help adjust the position of the teeth and jaw
Together, these components of ceramic braces give you a subtle, under-the-radar way to align your teeth and straighten your smile.
What orthodontic issues do ceramic braces correct?
Like metal braces, which also use brackets and bands to realign teeth over an extended period, ceramic braces adjust the alignment of your smile to correct these common orthodontic issues and bite problems:
- Overcrowding (teeth moving in front or behind other teeth)
- Uneven gaps or spaces between teeth
- Overbites and under-bites
Ceramic braces gradually strengthen and straighten your smile by applying constant pressure to your teeth for a year or more to slowly move them into a more aesthetic position. This can result in better overall oral health with less risk of gingivitis, gum disease, and tooth decay, because straight teeth are easier to brush and floss.
Pros and cons of ceramic braces
Most people choose ceramic braces when they need moderate to significant tooth movement and when cosmetic concerns are a priority. Ceramic braces could be a great choice for adults, working professionals, or athletes – anyone who doesn’t want to feel self-conscious or draw attention to their braces.
Ceramic braces take roughly the same amount of time to correct your smile as traditional braces. In fact, the only real difference between the two is that one is made of metal and one is made of ceramic. Some people find ceramic braces to be less painful on gums and cheeks. Both options move teeth faster than clear aligners like Invisalign (and with more lasting results), and are more effective on crooked teeth.
While ceramic braces are very durable, they can be damaged if too much pressure is applied too quickly (when your teeth require extensive treatment) and they’re not recommended for those involved in contact sports. Like metal braces, they can also stain your teeth, but your orthodontist will often be able to remove any staining when the braces come off.
To keep your ceramic braces in tip-top shape: brush and floss after every meal; avoid foods like coffee, wine, and soda that are known to discolor teeth; don’t smoke; avoid whitening products, which would lighten only part of the tooth not covered by a bracket; and visit your orthodontist regularly.
Ask Dr. Tisseront about ceramic braces today!
Ceramic braces can be a great choice for your smile if you want meaningful tooth movement while keeping your braces low-key. Ready to get started? Request an appointment to discuss ceramic braces in our Reston orthodontist office.