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Metal vs. Ceramic Braces

A few years ago, metal braces were the most widely used orthodontic option. Recent advances in technology and orthodontic treatment design have resulted in several alternative brace options on the market. Options include ceramic braces, metal braces, or even clear aligners.

With so many choices, working out which braces will be best can be challenging. To make decision-making easier, we’ve comprehensively compared metal and ceramic braces, giving you the information you need to select the option that will work well for you.

The considerations we look at include the appearance of the braces, the process for fitting them, how long they take to work, and how comfortable they are to wear. We also look at clear aligners – made from polycarbonate; these offer an alternative form of braces for people wanting something different from metal or ceramic orthodontic correctional devices.

A Comparison of the Features of Metal Braces vs. Ceramic Braces

Fitting Process

Metal Braces-

These consist of metal brackets that are glued to each of the teeth. The brackets are attached to wires that are anchored to the molars at the back of the mouth. Elastic bands hold the wires onto the brackets.

Ceramic Braces–

This type of brace is applied in the same way as a metallic brace. The difference is that the brackets are made from clear, tooth-colored ceramic. The rubber bands are also clear or tooth coloured.

Once fitted by your orthodontist, both metal and ceramic braces are permanent. They can only be removed by an orthodontist, except in an emergency.


Metal Braces

An extremely obvious orthodontic treatment, the coloured rubber bands that some patients select can make them even more visible.

Ceramic Braces-

These are far more discreet. If you prefer your orthodontic treatment to be less visible, ceramic braces could work well. They are still visible at close-quarters, but not immediately obvious to the casual observer.

It’s important that people with ceramic braces really keep on top of their oral hygiene, as there is a risk that the ceramic will become discolored over time. Some ceramic brace patients try and avoid food and beverages such as turmeric, red wine, or coffee. Tobacco (whether smoked or chewed) can also increase the risk of discolored ceramic braces (as well as being bad for your health).


Metal Braces –

Although the braces can feel sore when newly adjusted, if they are fitted correctly, ongoing discomfort is usually fairly minimal.

Ceramic Braces –

The same applies to ceramic braces, with the added caveat that ceramic brackets are slightly thicker than metal brackets. The added width may cause the brackets to feel more intrusive than a metal option.

Both types of brace can considerably impact one's quality of life, especially in the first few months, because of the unpleasant shift to a mouth full of braces.

With braces, you can expect the following:

  • Chapped lips
  • Poking wires and brackets
  • Mouth sores
  • Bad breath
  • Hygiene

    Metal Braces– It’s vital to establish a good dental hygiene routine before getting metal braces fitted. The brackets and wires can make it easier for food to get trapped, increasing the risk of sugar build-up that can lead to decay cavities and gum disease. Wearers of metal braces need to maintain their hygiene rigorously, as well as schedule regular checks to ensure their teeth and gums remain in good condition. Ceramic Braces– In the same way as wearers of metal braces need to pay particular attention to their oral hygiene, ceramic brace wearers also need to keep their teeth and gums clean and well-maintained. In terms of the likelihood of decay, ceramic braces have no clear advantage (or disadvantage) over metal options.


    Metal Braces– These are usually the cheapest type of brace available. Metal braces are a well-established option for orthodontic treatment. Ceramic Braces– The manufacturing process for ceramic brackets is slightly more expensive than that for metal braces. Patients also pay a premium for the less visible nature of the braces. There is also variation between orthodontic practices in the amount that they charge for braces.


    Both ceramic and metal braces have similar levels of convenience. Once fitted, they are both permanent treatments that can’t be removed. Braces of all kinds require frequent visits to the orthodontist for adjustments of wires. Wires can often break and come loose which requires additional in office visits and money. Wire braces create problems with eating, maintaining oral hygiene and even speaking clearly, particularly in the first week following fitting or a routine visit to have the wires tightened.

    Duration of Treatment

    Most people will have to wear braces for somewhere between one and three years. There appears to be no particular difference between ceramic braces and metal braces in terms of duration.

    Effectiveness of Treatment

    For the majority of treatment options, ceramic and metal braces have a similar level of effectiveness. They both work by pulling on the teeth to shift them into a more ideal position.

    Clear Braces Alternatives

    If you are looking for an alternative to conventional metal or ceramic braces that delivers a similar level of effectiveness but has a number of other benefits, why not take a look at clear braces?

    Clear braces are made of polycarbonate (a tough plastic). They are completely transparent and use clear wires (ceramic braces use conventional wires). The result is braces that are virtually invisible. As well as clear braces (that are similar to ceramic braces in style, fitting process and other characteristics), it’s also possible to order clear aligners.

    The Benefits of Clear Aligners


    With any dental treatment, you want to be confident you'll achieve the desired outcomes; otherwise, what's the point? As a result, when developing our personalized treatment, we prioritize effectiveness over all other variables.

    Our product design, level of expertise, and material quality all contribute to the effectiveness of your treatment. We make certain that you notice visible improvements during your treatment.


    When you're on a tight budget, orthodontic treatment may seem out of reach – but our at-home clear aligners are designed to work within your budget. Home aligners decrease the expenses associated with in-office care since they eliminate the need for continuous dental office visits.


    Compared to traditional orthodontics, at-home teeth straightening is far more convenient because it is remote. Your treatment starts and ends within your home. Our Aligners also come with retainers to maintain the beautiful smile you have achieved without hassle.


    We build our aligners from clear, BPA-free plastic and combine innovative technology with bespoke software and mechanical components, as opposed to metal braces, normally constructed of metal or ceramic materials. We strive to be the most discrete treatment choice available. You can wear our aligners practically all the time, but if you want to take them out for a particular occasion, you may do so easily.

    Customer Service

    We provide our clients with customer assistance available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You never wish for something to go wrong with your treatment, but if anything does go wrong, our customer service will handle it in a kind and quick manner. Even if you only have a minor query or worry about the treatment procedure, our dental experts will guide you. Before beginning your journey, our experts examine and approve each treatment plan to verify you're a good fit for clear aligners. While you share your progress images, our professionals will remotely monitor your treatment.

    Oral Hygiene

    Oral hygiene is critical for maintaining a good appearance and health. However, metal braces might make cleaning your teeth difficult. When you wear aligners, you don't have to alter how you brush, floss, or maintain your oral hygiene. When you eat or drink, you remove these devices and clean them. As a result, your mouth is healthier and cleaner.

    Pain and Discomfort

    Our mouths aren't used to having metal or ceramics in them all the time. While both aligners and braces can cause discomfort, the pain you'll experience with braces is likely to be more intense. In contrast to braces, aligners are both light and smooth. They don't tug at your lips or poke at your gums or lead to cavities. Your teeth may be painful, but your delicate oral tissues will be unharmed.

    Invest In the Right Option

    At ALIGNERCO, we care about your time and investment. Our Clear Aligners are competitively priced with no hidden fees. You'll get the same quality treatment as big brands in orthodontic offices, without the higher price or middleman. Let's make the right choice for you, your schedule, budget, and personal preferences. Build a smile you will love.

    HH-IV-59 2/80, Revised 4/10 Copyright 1980-2010, Nationwide Children’s Hospital D. (2021b, February 5). What you need to know about Braces Cost in Canada. GroupEnroll.Ca. https://groupenroll.ca/what-you-need-to-know-about-braces-cost-in-canada/

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