Types of Braces

Patients today have many options when it comes to wearing braces due to new forms of orthodontic technology.  There are various types available today and it is best to talk with an orthodontic professional to find out which type of braces are the right ones for you.

There are many factors that play a role in determining the type of braces best suited for any individual.  These include:

  • The severity of the malocclusion
  • Whether extractions will be required
  • The duration braces will be worn
  • Whether jaw surgery will be necessary
  • Whether other special appliances will be required in conjunction with treatment
  • Personal preference by the patient
  • Cost of specific treatments

dental braces typesTraditional Metal Braces

Traditional Metal braces are the most widely used type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before.  Many have low profiles, are smaller, sleeker and smoother making them easier to get accustomed to.  Metal braces are made of high grade stainless steel and you have the option of using colored elastic ligature bands for a colorful smile.

Self-ligating Braces

A self-ligating brace has a built-in chip that holds the archwire in place without the need for elastic ligature ties.  It allows the wire to slide back and forth in the bracket providing a comfortable and sometimes faster option for some patients.  Some self-ligating brackets are made out of traditional stainless steel while some brackets are clear ceramic.  One form of self-ligating brackets is the SmartClip which uses lighter wires and lower friction to move teeth.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces such as SimpliClear braces are becoming increasingly more popular.  They are made of a composite material, are very strong and generally do not stain.  The archwires are held in the ceramic bracket with a clear ligature band.  SimpliClear has non-metal archwires that are also made from a clear advanced polymer composite material.  SimpliClear is the only fully clear orthodontic braces system which makes them virtually invisible.  Clear braces tend to be used on older teenagers and adults with cosmetic concerns.  They require more attention to oral hygiene and habits that might tend to stain the teeth.


Invisalign is another treatment option for people seeking less obtrusive orthodontic treatment.  Instead of brackets bonded to the teeth, treatment is mapped out through a series of custom-made clear aligners or plastic dental trays designed to move the teeth in incremental movements over weeks.  Invisalign aligners can be easily removed for brushing, flossing and eating which allows you to eat whatever you want and easily brush and floss.  Invisalign aligners usually cannot be used with severe malocclusions and are not a treatment option for everyone.  They cost as much as traditional braces and sometimes even more.  Treatment with Invisalign aligners can take as long as traditional braces and in some cases may require the placement of traditional braces to correct certain problems.

The best way to determine which kind of braces might be right for you would be to set up a consultation appointment with Dr. Edwards for an evaluation.