Metal Braces vs. Ceramic Braces

Metal Braces

Metal braces, or most commonly referred to as traditional braces, are the most common type of braces used in the practice of orthodontic care. The traditional metal braces used by the Orthodontic Center of Orange County utilize high quality stainless steel. Technology in traditional braces has advanced that today metal braces can be smaller, more comfortable and more effective than only a few years ago.

Metal braces straighten your teeth by using metal brackets that are glued to your teeth, along with using archwires which can easily be adjusted for added comfort. The archwire can be fabricated from several alloys, but the most common are beta-titanium, nickel-titanium and stainless steel. Traditonal braces are often used to correct underbites, overbites, cross bites, crooked teeth, or other flaws of the jaw and teeth.

Treatment Duration

Wearing braces can last 2-3 years with adjustments needed about once a month. After the braces are taken off, your brand new, straight smile can last a life time. This time frame can be longer or shorter dependent on the age of the patient and the amount of tooth straightening needed.

The overall benefits of metal braces compared to others types of orthodontic braces are their average lower cost, and the option to have colored bands placed on the braces. We also provide the option of adding colored ties which can be set in different and fun patterns. These colored ties can also be swapped out during your next office visit. Contact us to schedule a consultation so we can determine if you are a candidate for braces.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are made of translucent (clear) material. Ceramic braces are most popular with adult patients, due to their cosmetic appeal. The only drawback to ceramic brackets is that they are more fragile, and the elastic ties can discolor between orthodontic visits.

While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.

Ceramic brackets can be used in place of metal brackets for a more discreet appearance. Ceramic brackets are constructed to mimic the color of the tooth so the only part of the braces that is clearly visible is the arch wire. The bands used to hold the arch wire in place are usually clear or white, but colored bands can also be chosen. Ceramic brackets generally cost more than standard metal brackets.

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