Are you worried about misaligned teeth and considering braces? There are generally two types of braces - metal and ceramic. When you approach an orthodontist (a dentist who corrects teeth irregularities) for orthodontic (braces) treatment, you may be confused about which type of braces to choose.

When you think of “metal braces”, you may imagine silver/metallic looking teeth. These are stainless steel brackets and wires that attach to your teeth with rubber bands. On the other hand, "ceramic braces" have clear tooth-coloured brackets instead of grey or metallic silver brackets and wires.

The decision about whether to opt for metal braces or ceramic braces can often be difficult. The following points will help you make an informed decision about which braces to choose. 

1. Aesthetics

Ceramic braces are clear or tooth-coloured braces, thus making them barely noticeable. Ceramic braces can be combined with tooth-coloured wires, thus giving you highly aesthetic results.

Metal braces, on the other hand, are clearly visible when you open your mouth to talk or to eat. If you are thinking about aesthetics and do not want your teeth to look all juggled up with silver wires and brackets, then ceramic braces can be your choice. 

2. Strength and Durability

Metal braces are higher in strength than ceramic braces when compared over a longer period of time.

Ceramic braces often tend to chip off when used for a long period of time. If the treatment duration in your case is longer, then your orthodontist would most likely suggest that you go for metal braces. 

3. Extent of Correction

Metal braces can withstand higher levels of force as compared to ceramic braces. Thus, in case you need more correction of your teeth, you might be advised to go for metal braces. 

4. Cost

Ceramic braces are more expensive whereas metal braces are more affordable. So if you are on a tight budget and still want results, you can go for metal braces. 

5. Sensitivity

In some cases, metal braces may result in hypersensitivity (extreme sensitivity to hot or cold food items) in the mouth. This is seen less often with ceramic braces.

6. Teeth Movement

Ceramic braces move the teeth slower when compared to metal braces. Because they are more fragile and can break off easily, there may be increased appointments to repair the broken brackets. This may cause a delay in the treatment.

7. Discomfort

One drawback of metal braces can be the discomfort due to them. Metal braces can even cause a metallic taste in the mouth. 

8. Maintenance

Both kinds of braces require proper and effective maintenance. If the brush does not reach all of the enamel (outer layer of the teeth) and the gumline, food may get stuck around the brackets causing bacterial degradation of the food and a foul smell in the mouth. If left unchecked, it can lead to swollen or receding gums.

Metal and ceramic braces both have their pros and cons. Evaluate each possibility well and consult your orthodontist to understand which type of braces will provide you with the best results.

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.