Types of Braces: The Differences Between Traditional Metal and Ceramic

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September 17, 2021

Are you looking to get braces? If so, you will join more than four million people in the U.S. that wear braces. Did you know that 25 percent of people wearing braces are adults? As an adult, you may want to explore your options so you don't have the traditional braces, which tend to be more visible.

No matter if the braces are for you or your child, you are probably wondering about the different types of braces. So, what are the different options out there, and which are right for you? Keep reading to learn more.

Are you looking to get braces? If so, you will join more than four million people in the U.S. that wear braces. Did you know that 25 percent of people wearing braces are adults? As an adult, you may want to explore your options so you don't have the traditional braces, which tend to be more visible.

No matter if the braces are for you or your child, you are probably wondering about the different types of braces. So, what are the different options out there, and which are right for you? Keep reading to learn more.

Traditional Braces

These metal braces have been the most popular choice for those people wanting to straighten their teeth. They were one of the first options available, and are still around today because they work so well.

Metal braces place a thin wire across the teeth held by rubber bands. They put pressure on the teeth to shift and move to the desired location. 

Even though this option has been around the longest, they are not the same as they were 20 years ago. Metal braces have smaller brackets to make them less noticeable than before. They also have other innovations such as heat-activated archwires that use your body's natural heat to shift the teeth (which means less discomfort).

Now, let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of traditional braces. Just because they are so popular, doesn't mean there are not any drawbacks to this option.

Pros of Metal Braces

These braces are the most affordable option. They are now more comfortable than before. Using orthodontics 101, dentists can have control over these teeth to help them move accurately and slowly.

This is probably the best option if you have extreme overcrowding and not just needing straight teeth. The metal is more durable and force can be applied regularly with fewer chances of breaking.

Cons of Metal Braces

These are the most noticeable braces options. The metal can also irritate the gums and cheeks. In addition, you have to avoid certain food that can get stuck and damage the braces.

Ceramic Braces

These braces are similar to metal braces but are far less noticeable because they are designed to blend with your teeth. You can choose between clear braces or braces tented to match your teeth. You may even be able to choose which color wire you want to help them blend in even more.

You will still need to get your braces adjusted regularly like traditional braces. This means you will need to see your dentist for dental work and adjustments about once a month.

While there are more aesthetic advantages to ceramic braces, there are some drawbacks you need to consider as you make your choice.

Pros of Ceramic Braces

The main advantage of ceramic braces is that they are far less noticeable than traditional braces. So if you are worried about the look, you may want to take this option into consideration. You may not even be able to notice ceramic braces in photographs!

They also move the teeth quicker than the other invisible braces option. 

Cons of Ceramic Braces

These braces do cost more than traditional braces. They are also higher maintenance, and you will need more adjustments than metal braces. The ties can also stain easily and may need to be replaced on a regular basis.

These braces can also chip or break easily, so you will need to be careful what you eat and make sure you take precautions. They are also not the best option for people that need higher levels of correction.

Other Types of Braces

You can also look at invisible braces (like Invisalign). These braces are virtually unnoticeable and are easier to care for. You can take them out and eat or drink what you would like. 

You replace them every couple of weeks, which means they can be pricey. They also don't work as fast as more traditional braces. If you have serious teeth problems, they are not a good fit as well.

Caring for Your Braces

Once you get your braces, care is important no matter which type of braces you get. You will need to talk to your orthodontist about care to make sure you take care of your teeth. 

You have to still brush your teeth regularly with braces. This includes flossing as well. You need to make sure you clean the teeth underneath your braces so they can stay healthy and not get stained. 

You should avoid certain foods with both types of braces. This includes sticky foods like chewy candy or hard foods like certain fruits and vegetables. You should also watch for things that can get stuck in your braces like popcorn.

Make sure you go to every appointment to get your wires and brackets adjusted. This ensures that your braces are working to straighten your teeth. Your orthodontist will also check the health of your teeth at your appointments and give any pointers to help keep your teeth healthy.

Finding the Right Types of Braces

As you choose and navigate through the different types of braces, you need to make sure how each option will help your teeth and fit into your lifestyle. Even though some may not be as visible (like Invisalign), you may need to wear them for a longer period of time and also spend more money.

If you only need simple adjustments and don't want braces visible when you smile, ceramic braces may be the right option for you. If you have extreme overcrowding, getting traditional braces may help you get the smile you've always wanted.

For more information on braces and a free consultation, contact us today. We will help you choose the right option and make sure you are comfortable on your journey to straighter teeth.