Metal and ceramic braces use a similar design to achieve straight teeth and a healthy smile, but the most important difference is the material from which the braces are made of.
Metal braces are made of medical-grade stainless steel, while ceramic braces also known as clear braces use a monocrystalline/polycrystalline alumina that can either be clear or the same color as your tooth. This makes them subtler and less noticeable. The wire can also be tooth-colored to further decrease the visibility of ceramic braces blending seamlessly with your smile.
The stainless steel is extremely noticeable against the white of your teeth making your smile a metallic one. Therefore, the ceramic braces are often preferred over metal braces by older teens and working professional adults who want to straighten their teeth without the appearance of metal braces.
Though these ceramic brackets have benefits over metal braces, but there are also drawbacks too. The ceramic braces cost more than metal braces because of the material used in their fabrication. They tend to stain more easily, due to the lighter color of the brackets, so the dark beverages like coffee and red wine have to be avoided. To avoid staining, you can use straw or brush your teeth immediately after eating any bracket staining food. One has to take extra precautions not to break these brackets since their recycling is a laboratory procedure and that will unnecessarily increase the treatment time. This makes care and compliance extremely important. Hard, sticky and crunchy foods with ceramic braces is a risk of breaking.
For patients with excessive overbite, the cramic braces over lower front teeth may wear the enamel on the back side of the upper teeth. In such cases, it may be more effective to get metal braces on the bottom teeth.
In nutshells, the biggest advantage of ceramic/clear braces is the discreet, subtle appearance, since they blend in so seamlessly with your smile. While there are certain disadvantages that may make metal braces more attractive, for many people, this cosmetic feature is the most important, so ceramic braces are the clear choice!