The Different Types of Braces

By November 15, 2017 February 20th, 2018 Before Braces, Blog

Usually when people think of braces, they think of the traditional metal braces with metal wires and brackets. But that’s not the only choice available. With today’s technology, you have a variety of options—from the classic metal braces to “invisible” braces to clear aligners. To help you sort out your options, we’ve put together a quick guide to the different types of braces.

5 Types of Braces

Traditional metal braces:

This classic type of braces consists of stainless steel brackets and nickel titanium or stainless steel archwires attached to the brackets using elastics.

Gold braces:

Forever Gold braces are stainless steel gold-colored brackets that can be paired with gold wires and ligatures, offering the aesthetics of “white” gold.

Ceramic braces:

Ceramic braces (like 3M Clarity™ ADVANCED) are small, translucent ceramic brackets that blend in with your natural tooth color.

Lingual braces:

Lingual braces (such as the Incognito™ Appliance System) are placed behind the teeth, so they’re completely hidden from view. These are also known as “invisible” or “hidden” braces.

Clear aligners:

Removable aligner systems (like Invisalign®) utilize a customized series of clear aligners that gradually straighten your teeth—without any brackets or wires.

How Do You Know Which Type Is Right for You?

Depending on your specific needs and anatomy, you may not be a candidate for every type of braces. St. Louis orthodontist, Dr. Dougherty (or a local orthodontist in your area), will let you know which types of braces could work for you. She will help you determine the best choice based on your personal needs.

Besides braces, several different orthodontic appliances may be used during the course of your treatment. Check out our previous post, Glossary of Orthodontic Appliances, for more info.

Have questions about the different types of braces? Ready to schedule your orthodontic consultation? Contact us. Call our office at 636.825.1000 or email