Ceramic braces are a popular alternative to traditional metal since they are just as effective but much less noticeable, being made from a clear or tooth-coloured material. This makes them a great option for people who want a straighter smile without it being quite so obvious they’re wearing braces.
In this guide we explain what makes ceramic fixed braces different to other types of brace, what options are available in the UK, and what you can expect to pay for them. We hope you find all the information you need to make up your mind about whether this is the right type of brace for you.
Types of braces
If braces are indeed the solution for you, the dentist or orthodontist will prescribe an appliance specific for your needs. The braces may consist of bands, wires, and other fixed or removable corrective appliances. No one method works for everyone.
- Metal/traditional braces: Traditional braces are made of metal. They include brackets that are attached to the front of your teeth or bands that fit around each tooth, as well as flexible wires or arch wires that hold the brackets or bands together. Some braces also include rubber bands or metal ties that link the brackets to the wire. These bands create more pressure to help straighten and align your teeth. Sometimes, your orthodontist will have you wear a device called headgear at night. It provides added pressure to help straighten your teeth. You can put it on and take it off.
- Ceramic braces: The brackets in traditional braces are now also made in tooth-colored ceramic, so you don’t notice them as much. They can also be made with stainless steel, clear materials, or gold.
- Lingual braces: The brackets on these braces are attached to the backs of your teeth, facing your tongue. Lingual braces are harder to see.
- Clear aligners: You might also hear them called invisible braces. These are clear plastic trays that fit snugly onto your teeth. They use pressure to gently move your teeth into the correct positions and straighten your smile. You remove the aligners to eat, brush, or floss, but you should keep them in at least 22 hours each day for them to work. The orthodontist may also place tooth-colored attachments onto your teeth to hold the aligners in place.
- Damon braces combine innovative design with great looks. They’re small, discreet and, most importantly, brilliant at straightening teeth. Millions of happy patients have Damon braces to thank for their spectacular smiles.
- Smilelign is a clear brace system that uses innovative technology to create the smile you have always dreamed of. Smilelign allows you to straighten your teeth almost invisibly, enabling you to live, and smile, confidently.
By using a series of bespoke removable aligners, Smilelign lines up your teeth to make your smile straighter. Our powerful technology plots the exact direction your teeth need to move in to achieve optimal results.
- Clear or near-invisible braces are tough, clear plastic aligners (moulds) or clear ceramic brackets that attach to your teeth that can, over time, straighten your smile. Since they’re clear, they’re nearly invisible, which means that people won’t necessarily know you’re straightening your teeth.
- Six Month Smiles works in a similar way to traditional braces with a system of clear brackets which are bonded to your teeth and tooth-coloured wires which are placed and adjusted by your dentist to align your teeth over time. However, Six Month Smiles are much easier for the dentist to fit than traditional braces. After an impression of your teeth is taken it is sent to the Six Month Smiles lab where custom trays are made that will assist your dentist in placing the new braces on your teeth.
This really depends on whether you are willing to pay more for a less noticeably style. Your treatment will feel much the same whichever one you choose, and will be completed in around the same time. If you want to pay as little as possible, choose metal. If aesthetics are your main concern, consider ceramic or invisible braces like Invisalign.
Ceramic brackets don’t stain easily, but the elastic ties used to hold them to the wire can.
Ceramic braces tend to take about a year and a half or even up to three years in order to straighten teeth. Due to their fragility, ceramic brackets break more easily. This can cause the straightening process to take longer due to the delays in the straightening process.