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Your Orthodontic Options: Types of Braces

Learn about some of the many types of braces available to today’s orthodontics patients.

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, today’s patients have an increasingly wide range of options available to them. Each type of braces offers different benefits: the key is to work with your dentist and orthodontist to determine which type of braces will be best the best fit for your unique needs and goals. Read on to learn about the most common types of braces available to you.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces are very durable because they are made from metal, and this makes them a good option for younger or more active patients. While some patients, especially adults, may balk at the way metal braces will affect their appearance, many kids and teens look at wearing braces as a kind of rite of passage and aren’t bothered by the look of metal braces because a number of their friends are likely wearing them, too. In addition to being highly durable, traditional metal braces are often the most affordable way to straighten a patient’s smile.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are an excellent option for patients who hesitate to invest in orthodontic treatment because they are concerned with the way braces look. Ceramic braces are made in a number of shades, so they can be customized to closely match the color of a patient’s teeth and this makes them less noticeable. Some orthodontists even offer ceramic braces that are totally translucent.  Because they are made of ceramic, this type of braces can be brittle and prone to damage, so they may not be a good option for patients who participate in sports or other activities that may cause dental trauma.

Lingual Braces

While traditional metal and ceramic braces are applied to the front of the teeth, lingual braces are virtually undetectable because they reside on the inner surfaces of the teeth. While lingual braces are highly effective, an orthodontist needs specialized training to fit patients with this type of braces so they may be more expensive than metal or ceramic braces.


Invisalign® invisible braces are the ultimate orthodontic option for patients who have concerns about the way braces will make them look. With Invisalign®, patients wear a series of clear plastic aligners that help their teeth gradually shift positions. Invisalign® is virtually invisible, and many patients enjoy the convenience of Invisalign® because the aligners can be removed for eating and cleaning. Invisalign® is a fantastic option for patients with mild to moderate misalignment, but is not well suited for patients who need more extreme adjustments.

Advances in the field of orthodontics have endowed our patients with many choices when it comes to straightening their smiles, so each patient is sure to find the right solution for them.  If you would like to learn more about the types of braces offered in your area, schedule a consultation with your dentist.  He or she will conduct a thorough examination and discuss factors such as your needs, timeline, and budget so that you can make an educated decision about which type of braces is right for you.


The American Association of Orthodontists

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