Braces can dramatically change your appearance. Traditional braces are made of metal, which means they stand out against the white color of your tooth enamel. For some people, this makes braces embarrassing or awkward. White braces, though they aren't invisible, are much harder to notice against the color of your teeth.
Though they aren't for everyone, white braces can help straighten your teeth without putting you through the awkwardness of having a mouth full of metal brackets and wires.
Since white braces are not a good fit for everyone, it's important to learn the difference between white braces and metal braces, and what ceramic braces can do for you. Your orthodontist can help with this. Here's what you need to know.
White braces are made of ceramic brackets that attach to your teeth and hold the archwire, which may be clear instead of metal, in place. In fact, ceramic brackets are sometimes clear themselves, so they're even harder to notice because they blend in so well with the color of your teeth.
How Are White Braces Different From Traditional Braces?
The differences between white braces and metal braces doesn't just stop with the color of the brackets and wires. There are many ways that ceramic braces are different, so you should be aware of those differences before you make your decision to install one or the other.
White braces can cost more than metal braces - between $1,000 and $2,000 more. For some people, this makes white braces an unaffordable option. If you would like white braces and your orthodontist feels like they're a good option, talk to your orthodontist about the differences in cost and payment schedules and what you might be able to do to make this attractive dental appliance more affordable.
Metal braces are capable of withstanding a great deal more pressure and movement than ceramic braces. For people who need a lot of correction over time, metal braces may be more appropriate. Your orthodontist will help you decide whether metal braces are a better choice for you.
In addition, the technology of traditional metal braces can be used to treat certain severe or complex cases. There will be times that ceramic braces just can't accomplish everything you need to do with your teeth. Your orthodontist will let you know if this is the case.
Advantages of White Braces
The greatest advantage of ceramic braces is how subtle they are. White braces can help you feel more confident with your smile, which can, in turn, help you feel more confident generally.
This makes white braces popular with adults, who often feel a little self-conscious about having obvious dental appliances. White braces can also make the experience of going to school easier for students who have difficulty maneuvering through social situations. This can make a big difference for a person in their formative years, during middle school and high school.
Disadvantages of White Braces
Ceramic braces have benefits - but they also have disadvantages. You should be aware of those disadvantages before you make this kind of investment.
Costly to Repair
Ceramic braces are more likely to break, and when the time comes to repair them, those repairs can be more expensive than metal braces. If you install ceramic braces on your teeth, you've got to be prepared to make those repairs if the time comes.
You can avoid breakage of your braces by treating them gently. Dr. Laster can help you identify all the ways that you can potentially break your braces, so you can avoid costly repairs.
Slower than Metal
White braces are adjusted more slowly than metal styles, because they're less capable of withstanding the type of pressure you can exert on metal braces. This means they must stay on your teeth for longer.
All braces cause some gum and mouth sensitivity, but ceramic styles are larger than metal. This means ceramic dental appliances can cause additional sensitivity in your mouth.
The elastics that hold the wires in place between the teeth can stain more easily than the colored rubber bands that fit around metal braces. Once the elastic becomes stained, it stays that way until it's replaced.
How to Care for White Braces
All braces can be difficult to care for, but with white braces, stains can be more of a concern. You'll want to avoid all the standard foods that you must avoid with metal braces, and additional foods that can lead to discoloration.
Avoid these foods
Some foods can get stuck in your braces and may be difficult or impossible to remove. Other foods are so hard that they can break your braces. Foods that you should avoid for these reasons include:
- chewy candy
- hard candy
- hard crackers
- bagels and other hard rolls
- pizza crust
- crunchy vegetables and fruits
Avoid foods that could stain your teeth or braces.
If you stain your teeth while you're wearing braces, your teeth will have uneven coloring when the appliances are removed. If the braces are ceramic, the elastics around your teeth could likewise become stained, which could impact the appearance of your smile.
It's best to avoid foods like berries, tomato sauce and red wine. If you do choose to eat foods that could stain your teeth, swish with water throughout the meal and brush your teeth soon after the meal.
Brush your teeth twice per day
Brushing your teeth twice per day is very important whether you have braces or not, but if you do have braces, you should use a floss threader to clean hard-to-reach areas. Your orthodontist will show you how to clean your teeth when you're in the office.
Wondering What's Best for You? Contact Dr. Laster
Are you considering ceramic braces for your teeth? Sign up for a consultation with Dr. Laster. It's important to meet with a qualified, reputable professional to determine which type of dental appliance is best for you. As the best Orthodontist in the Triangle, Dr. Laster is your source for good orthodontic advice and quality orthodontic services. Call today to make an appointment.
At Laster Orthodontics, we help families develop healthy, life-changing smiles using customized treatments, cutting-edge technologies, and caring relationships. Our individualized treatment plans help our patients achieve their perfect smile in the quickest, most painless way possible by utilizing a wide range of options from traditional braces to propel accelerated treatment to Dr. Laster's in-house aligner program, Laster Perfect Smile. With three locations throughout the Triangle Area, we create life-changing smiles every day.