Are Ceramic Braces Right For You?

If you’re an adult who needs to get braces, you may feel wary about the idea. Traditional metal braces aren’t exactly the easiest things to hide if you’re going for a first date or an important interview. That being said, straightening your teeth is extremely important. Not something we recommend avoiding because you are self-conscious about having braces.

That is why many adults in North Carolina look into options like ceramic braces, but are they right for you?

Let’s find out!

For adults in need of orthodontic care in 2019, there have never been so many options available. We have covered them extensively on the BRO blog, but today we’re going to look at ceramic braces. These types of braces actually blend in with your teeth making them much less noticeable — a popular option for adults in Western North Carolina.

Woman in Asheville gets ceramic braces at orthodontist clinic

How Do Ceramic Braces Differ From Metal Braces?

You already know that traditional braces are made with metal. The brackets are attached to the teeth and then a metal wire is strung through them in order to realign straighten the teeth as needed according to your orthodontist’s treatment plan.

For younger patients who are coming to Blue Ridge Orthodontics to get braces, we offer a variety of color bands that they can use to accessorize or personalize their braces. However, this is not the most popular option for adults. You could get white rubber bands, but traditional metal braces still remain visible.

Ceramic braces are different in that the brackets are made of ceramic instead of metal. This means that the only aspect of the braces that’s noticeable is the wire that runs through the brackets. The ceramic brackets closely mirror the color of the teeth, which makes them much less noticeable when you are talking with someone. If you are self-conscious over the prospect of having a mouth full of metal, ceramic braces may be the right option for you.

Some Cons to Ceramic Braces You Should Consider

As with many things in life, it’s not just as simple as metal vs. ceramic. There are other factors that you should consider as an adult. Both types of braces have their pros and cons and we wouldn’t be considered one of the best orthodontist practices in North Carolina if we didn’t take the time to thoroughly cover the differences here.

First, we want our patients to know that ceramic braces tend to be more expensive than traditional metal braces in North Carolina. This is an important factor for our adult patients when it comes to deciding on what course of treatment to take. If a bracket is damaged, ceramic braces are more expensive to repair too.

We also don’t recommend ceramic braces for patients that require a significant amount of correction. That’s because traditional metal braces can tolerate higher levels of pressure and shifting compared to ceramic braces. This is simply due to the material that they are made from. If you need significant orthodontic corrections as an adult, our orthodontists might not recommend ceramic braces for your mouth.

Types of Ceramic Braces

Clear Ceramic Braces

If you see someone with clear braces, they are either made with polycarbonate (plastic) or ceramic. The benefit of going with clear ceramic brackets are that they are more stronger and more stain-resistant than polycarbonate brackets.

Do you have very white teeth already? Then clear ceramic braces are likely the best choice for you. The material is transparent, leaving the surface of the teeth underneath visible. That’s why we recommend it for people who have already had their teeth whitened.

The brackets don’t stain easily, but you should be careful with what you eat and drink (just like with any other type of braces).

White Ceramic Braces

Orthodontists call these ceramic braces white, but technically they are tooth-colored. A pure white bracket would stand out from the teeth and be more noticeable. Even with whitening treatment, your teeth aren’t a pure white in color and these ceramic braces are designed to reflect that.

In fact, these braces work best with patients that have a slightly darker shade of color to their teeth.

The brackets are produced using a different aluminum compound than clear ceramic braces. Additionally, certain brands offer a custom service where they will make sure your brackets match the exact color of your teeth.

Colored Ceramic Braces

Most people pick ceramic braces because they want to straighten their teeth inconspicuously. That being said, ceramic braces also can come with a variety of colored ligatures for those individuals that like to make a statement. We tend to see more teenagers take advantage of this option at our clinics in Western North Carolina, but don’t let us stop you from expressing yourself!

Note that your ligatures are changed during each scheduled checkup at our office. So you can experiment with a variety of colors to highlight your ceramic braces.

Keeping Your Mouth & Braces Pristine With Ceramic Braces

If you don’t take care of your ceramic braces, then they can become discolored over time. You need to know how to take care of your ceramic braces and your teeth similar to patients with traditional braces.

Take precautions when drinking things like coffee or red wine. You also need to be careful when eating curry or foods with tomato sauce. Sticky or particularly hard foods should be avoided just like with traditional metal braces. Your ceramic brackets and wires can be damaged just as easily if you’re careless about what you put in your mouth.

We have an extensive post on the BRO blog that will teach you how to brush and floss your teeth when you have braces. Read this post please! It’s really important not to be lazy about cleaning your teeth when you have braces, and this is especially true if you have ceramic braces. Discoloration will be more noticeable and you can’t use any teeth whitening products during your treatment.


While it varies, adults who need braces will be wearing them from 18 months up to 3 years in total. If you need to straighten your teeth and you’re self-conscious about metal in your mouth, then ceramic braces may be the right option for you. In any case, this post is not meant to replace having a conversation with your orthodontist.

While we want our patients to feel comfortable and confident during their treatment, the primary goal is to correct their orthodontic issues and improve their oral health. Schedule an appointment with an orthodontist, so you can review your options and confidently pick the best treatment plan available.