Tooth coloured ceramic braces are the clear alternative to conventional metal braces. Each bracket is made from a single clear sapphire crystal, which has been grown, heat treated and polished to make it extra smooth and translucent. Sapphire is second only to diamond in strength, which makes ceramic braces very tough.
Think traditional metal braces, only made from a white or clear material so they are less obvious.Fixed ceramic brackets are bonded to each tooth and connected with an archwire. Sometimes the wire is also tooth-coloured (or ‘frosted’) so the entire appliance blends in with the teeth.
Small elastic bands called ‘ligatures’ hold the wire in place on each bracket – and they are usually the same colour as the brackets as well.
Whether you choose ceramic or metal braces, the components are essentially the same, as are the treatment method and end results. The difference with ceramic braces vs metal is that the material used for the brackets is a clear or tooth-coloured ceramic. This means the braces blend in with the teeth and are much less obvious from a distance.
Although still noticeable close-up, the better aesthetics of ceramic brackets can help people feel more confident about wearing braces. Teenagers and kids avoid any “metal mouth” taunts in the playground, while adults at work might feel that clear braces make them look more professional.
Because of the more advanced materials used, usually ceramic braces cost more than metal. Wearers may also have to restrict what they eat in order to avoid staining the clear or white ligatures. Apart from these two things, there are no real drawbacks compared to metal braces.