Ceramic vs Metal Braces: How They Stack Up

Metal Braces

You love your child’s smile. It’s uniquely theirs and as endearing as they are. As much as you love it, however, you recognize that they’d do better if their teeth were aligned and spaced better. You know they’re probably going to need braces. Not all braces are the same though. Ceramic braces are a great alternative to traditional metal braces for some people. How do they stack up?


Effectiveness is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing braces. You need to know if they’ll get the job done and if they’ll do it well. Ceramic braces use the same technology as metal braces, so they can fully treat many of the same orthodontic issues as traditional braces. That said ceramic braces tend to be more delicate than metal ones, making them more prone to breaking. Broken braces won’t be effective, no matter what sort of braces they are.


Cost is another major factor. Metal braces are usually the more affordable option by a significant margin. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $4,000-$8,000 for ceramic braces. Traditional metal braces cost between $3,000-$7,000 on average. That may seem like a lot no matter which option you choose, but keep in mind that the cost covers the braces, orthodontic appointments, and follow-up care such as retainers.


The biggest advantage that ceramic braces have over metal braces is their appearance. If a person needs braces but doesn’t want the metal mouth look that traditional braces create, ceramic braces are a more subtle option. Appearances don’t always overrule practicality though. Braces must be kept clean to reduce the risk of tooth decay. Ceramic braces add another reason to clean them: avoiding staining. Nothing compromises the look of ceramic braces like discoloration, something ceramic braces are especially prone to. Ceramic braces on the lower teeth can also damage the backs of the upper teeth, which is why many orthodontists will use ceramic braces on the top teeth and metal braces on the bottom teeth. 

Ceramic and metal braces each have their pros and cons. Figuring out which makes the most sense for you and your child is more of a personal decision. Talk to your child’s orthodontist about what your child needs and which option will be most effective for them. Consulting with them is one of the best ways to make sure your child gets the orthodontic care they need.

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