Ceramic braces are fixed braces consisting of brackets that are made out of materials that can be entirely transparent and will allow the natural shade of the teeth to show through, or which can be made from ceramic in a shade which matches the colour of the teeth. Fixed braces are often a good option for straightening teeth as they allow the teeth to be repositioned more precisely, and using ceramic brackets helps to make this type of brace much less visible. The ceramic braces can be combined with tooth coloured or clear coloured wires, helping to ensure these braces are discreet as possible.
Ceramic braces can treat exactly the same type of orthodontic problems as traditional fixed braces. They are very good for correcting teeth that are overcrowded or which have unwanted spaces in between them, or teeth that are rotated or protrusive. Ceramic braces can also be used to correct overbites where the upper front teeth are biting too far forward of the lower front teeth, underbites where the lower front teeth protrude too far forward of the upper front teeth, and open bites where the front teeth fail to occlude or bite together, even when the back teeth are touching. Ceramic braces can also be used to correct crossbites, where some of the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth.
The main benefit of choosing ceramic braces is their discreet appearance. These braces are much more cosmetically appealing than traditional fixed metal braces and are still able to deliver the same results. The ceramic brackets will not stain so should be able to retain the same transparency or colour right throughout the treatment.
The cost of using ceramic braces is considerably higher than for metal braces, and the tooth coloured wires can discolour over time although this isn’t a major consideration as they are regularly replaced during treatment. They may not be recommended for lower teeth, especially if you have a deep bite as the hard ceramic material could damage the teeth.
The step-by-step process for having a ceramic brace fitted is as follows:
It’s perfectly normal to feel some discomfort when your braces have been fitted. This is because your teeth and tooth roots will begin to move, so some tenderness is perfectly normal. If the pressure is too much you may need to return to your orthodontist for the brace to be adjusted, but otherwise it should be possible to deal with any discomfort using over-the-counter painkillers.
The length of treatment is something that can only be determined by your orthodontist as it will depend on the severity of your bite problems. Most people will complete treatment within one or two years, but treatment can take as long as three years.
You will need to spend extra time cleaning your teeth during treatment, and will need to clean your teeth after each meal. It is best to use special orthodontic brushes to clean around the brackets and wires, and some people find it easier to use a water flosser. You will be given full instructions on how to clean your teeth by your orthodontist.