Types of Braces

braces-typesThanks to today’s technology, patients now have more options when it comes to improving their smile and aligning their teeth through orthodontic treatment. While regular metal braces are still widely used, clear ceramic braces, and aligners are becoming increasingly popular. At your consultation we will discuss your treatment options for your specific orthodontic needs.

Traditional Metal braces are still the most common type of braces used today. Metal braces are made of a high grade stainless steel that are designed to be low profile (small) to add the most comfort to the patient. Patients enjoy customizing their smile with colorful elastic ligatures (elastics) that help to secure the archwire to the bracket. However, silver ligatures will allow these braces be as inconspicuous as possible. The ligatures are changed at every appointment to reactivate and secure the archwire to the braces.

Clear Ceramic braces are made of translucent (clear) material which makes them less visible on your teeth. These brackets are designed larger than their metal counterparts to add strength and durability, therefore we use them mainly on the upper front teeth. They are most popular with adult patients, due to their cosmetic appeal. With these type of braces the ligatures used to secure the wire are clear as well. We find these ligatures can discolor if dark foods and liquids are consumed frequently.

Clear Aligners (trays) is a way to straighten teeth without traditional braces. The most widely used Aligner system today is Invisalign. These aligners are removable and virtually invisible. To achieve the most ideal result, patients must commit to wearing their aligners for a minimum of 22 hrs a day. Without brackets and wires, you are able to continue with your normal diet and oral hygiene routine. However, clear aligners are most effective with clear, tooth colored buttons placed on the the front surfaces of the teeth called Attachments. These attachments optimize the movement of your teeth in the aligners and will stay in place for the duration of your treatment. Many of our patients had never considered traditional braces but are now happily and comfortably improving their smiles with Invisalign.


  • Wear each set of Aligners for approximately two weeks and a minimum of 22 hrs a day.
  • Remove ONLY to eat, drink, brush and floss. You may consume ONLY WATER with the aligners in place.
  • Clear buttons or Attachments are placed on the front surface of your teeth to optimize tooth movement. Interarch elastics (rubber bands) may be worn with your aligners as well.
  • Your teeth will move gradually each week.
  • Typically you will visit us every 8-12 weeks to monitor aligner progress and to deliver additional aligners.

Total treatment time depends on the severity of your orthodontic needs and is patient specific.