Types of Braces

When people think of orthodontics, they typically think of braces. However, an orthodontist has an entire toolkit of “smile makers.”  In some cases, a single appliance may be adequate. In more complex cases, multiple appliances may be used during different treatment phases. Your orthodontist will map out the phases and the appliances necessary for each phase.


At one time when people needed to move teeth, the only significant treatment utilized metal braces. Today there are many more choices.

Metal Braces
Stainless steel metal braces are still used more than any other type of braces. Metal brackets are cemented on your teeth and these brackets are connected with wires (called archwires).  Small, colored, or clear rubber bands are then used to tension the braces to help move teeth to the desired location and that “perfect smile.”

Ceramic Br aces
Ceramic braces can be made to closely match your natural tooth color and therefore are more pleasing to look at that metal braces. The braces are made from ceramic material and the archwires connect them in a similar fashion as metal braces. Ceramic braces are slightly larger than metal braces and treatments may take longer than metal braces.

Gold Braces
Gold braces are actually stainless steel braces that have been plated with gold to give them color. The function the same as standard metal braces but provide a unique gold color.

Invisible Braces
Clear or “invisible braces” are one of the latest trends in orthodontics. Brands such as Invisalign™ utilize a series of near transparent, removable plastic appliances to straighten teeth. They are aesthetically pleasing and can be easily removed for eating or cleaning. These devices are quite popular and work well for some applications. However, they have limitations that other metal and ceramic braces don’t have. Please contact us to determine if clear braces are right for you.

Lingual Braces
Lingual braces such as Incognito™ braces straighten teeth from the inside. The obvious advantage is that people cannot see the braces because they are hidden by your teeth. They are good applications for some patients but, like clear braces, they have limited applications. Please contact us to determine if lingual braces are a good option for you.