An In-Depth Look at Ceramic Braces
If you are one of the millions of people who need braces, then you are faced with the decision of what type of braces would best straighten your teeth without interrupting your life. In some cases, your dentist or orthodontist will make the choice for you but often people are left to decide what is most appealing to them.
Deciding which type of braces to choose is a big deal that will have ramifications on your daily life. It will impact your long-term oral health and potentially your confidence and emotional well-being, aspects too often ignored. Unfortunately, braces can become the most noticeable feature of your face so you need to either accept this or account for it. Remember, once braces are installed there is no going back.
For a long time, brace-wearers only had one option. They were forced to wear metal braces, which were cumbersome and visible from a far distance. Metal braces are still a popular option but now people also have the choice to go with ceramic braces, which offer many advantages including reduced visibility.
You need to understand the pros and cons of ceramic braces to determine if they are right for you. To start, we’ll look at the traditional type of braces. Then, we’ll review the benefits of ceramic braces and illustrate certain drawbacks. Lastly, we’ll help you understand the lifestyle that comes with these braces, how to maintain them daily, and how you can cope emotionally as they straighten your teeth.
How Braces Help
Braces help you achieve that radiant smile that has eluded you for so long. They are a proven orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth for children, young adults and adults.
Braces used to be these clunky and bulky contraptions that took someone’s head hostage for years. Because they involved headgear or thick wires, most adults avoided braces to not disrupt their social, personal or professional lives. This left them prone to severe oral health problems. It also required them to put a lot of effort toward hiding their smile.
Braces work by applying constant pressure over a long period to slowly move teeth in a direction determined by your orthodontist. The goal is to strengthen and straighten teeth to avoid these oral health issues:
- Gaps between teeth
- Misshapen teeth
Braces are comprised of brackets and bands that work to realign teeth over the course of one or more years, depending on the severity of the patient’s teeth.
The long-term health benefits of wearing braces, include:
- Greater oral health because straight teeth are easier to brush and floss. This leads to a reduced risk of gingivitis, tooth decay and gum disease.
- Straight teeth experience less wear and tear.
- Greater ease with speaking, chewing and swallowing.
As you can see, braces can lead to a host of oral health benefits. You just need to pick the right type for you and then embrace the lifestyle as best you can.
Traditional Metal Braces
Metal braces were the choice of millions because it was the only choice. They are still the most common because of cost and effectiveness and, in fairness, have undergone some refinement to increase comfort. They are still noticeable and complicated to clean but they get the job done and deliver the smile that everyone deserves.
Metal braces are made of stainless steel and the elastics that connect the brackets come in a variety of colours. The different colours are a fun touch that let people show their personality and embrace the fact that braces are simply a part of the face.
The Pros of Ceramic Braces
You shouldn’t feel as if you’re being held back while you fix your teeth.
Ceramic braces are made from a clear material that doesn’t give the unpleasant appearance of a mouth filled with metal parts. The material helps prevent them from being seen from afar and isn’t always visible in photos. To further lower visibility, they are coated with a compound that matches the colour of your teeth. Therefore, most wearers report feeling as if ceramic braces don’t impede their daily lives or ability to perform at school, work or in recreational activities.
Ceramic braces are far more comfortable than their metal counterparts. In most cases, you shouldn’t experience any discomfort. You can participate in most of the same physical activities as before and can even do things like sing and perform if that’s what you enjoy. This is important because many believe that it’s hard to live the life you want with braces. It can cause emotional stress or make the wearer too self-conscious to participate in their preferred lifestyle or enter new social situations.
Being made from ceramics doesn’t affect how long you will need to wear braces. They straighten teeth at the same speed as metal braces. This makes it a popular choice for teenagers and adults who are concerned that braces will negatively impact their professional or personal lives. It solves the cosmetic issues associated with metal braces while offering the same functionality and efficiency.
Ceramic braces are considered an under-the-radar way to straighten teeth with the same effectiveness as metal braces.
The Cons of Ceramic Braces
Despite the brackets being larger, ceramic is a more brittle material than steel. Wearers need to pay greater attention to cleaning and caring for them. Because they are easier to break, you might need an additional trip to the orthodontist if you are not careful. In addition, ceramic’s fragility also forces your orthodontist to only use them on a patient’s front teeth with metal braces being used on the rest of your teeth.
The biggest drawback to wearing ceramic braces is that they present more challenges to clean. Because they are a shade of white they stain more easily. Wearers must brush after every meal—not just in the morning and before bed—and even after drinking or having a small snack. It is recommended to avoid certain foods and drinks that are known to stain like red wine, marinara sauce, coffee and some fruits like raspberries and blueberries. Uncleaned ceramic brackets can turn yellow, which defeats the purpose of having less noticeable braces.
Wearing Ceramic Braces
Wearing braces is an enormous lifestyle change. They play a distinct role in your daily life, can lower your confidence and you need to be prepared for any emotional fallout. Even in ceramic braces, you might be self-conscious at first and while there isn’t discomfort, your mouth might feel slightly different. It just takes some getting used to so be sure to speak to your orthodontist about this so you can be well prepared for the journey ahead.
The other aspect to be aware of is that ceramic braces require extra care and diligence. You will need to be cognizant of what foods to avoid. While certain physical activities won’t be off-limits you must be careful when participating in anything physical. Also, your oral care routine should evolve to ensure your braces remain clean and intact.
Need Help Deciding?
For people who need to straighten their teeth, ceramic braces are a great option. They deliver the smile you want with no discomfort and with the same effectiveness as traditional metal braces. At Georgian Dental®, we’re here to support you as you make the best decision for your oral health. Remember, our goal is to help you make the choice that will best suit your whole life, not just your face.
We know that this is a big decision so take advantage of our free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you get your smile in style!