The Different Types of Braces

BY: Reuben Westmaas | Jun 16, 2016

 The Different Types of Braces

There are so many types of braces, it can be daunting to choose the treatment that’s best for you. Obviously, the best person to talk to about getting metal or ceramic braces is your dentist, but it never hurts to go in with some information ahead of time. So take a look at this easy primer on the various styles of braces, and what each approach works for—and what it doesn’t.

Metal braces

The classic. These are what most people think of when they think of braces, but still, they’ve come a long way even as alternate tools have been developed. For moderate to severe cases, these will be the most effective and affordable treatment. Also, since the brackets are modular and you’ll have them adjusted on a regular basis, braces’ colors can start out reflecting your child’s Lisa Frank technicolor tastes through their transition into mature gloomy gothdom. Learn more in our article on how braces work.

Ceramic braces

Functionally, they’re pretty similar to their metal cousins. The big difference is that their off-white coloration makes them blend easily into the mouth. The flip side to that is that they also discolor easily, so wearers must be vigilant about their dental care. Also, they’re going to cost a bit more than metal braces.

Behind-the-teeth braces

Properly called lingual braces, these are the least common type of braces. Unlike other approaches, these are 100% invisible, unless somebody is getting really up-close and personal. But fitting your braces behind your teeth has some drawbacks. First, it’s more expensive. Second, it’s not effective for severe cases. Third, installation is guaranteed to be more uncomfortable. And finally, everyone will think you’re lying when you talk about how cool your orthodontist is.

Clear braces

Most of the time, when people are talking about “clear braces,” they’re actually talking about aligners like Invisalign or ClearCorrect, which may not be the right choice for a mouth that’s more than a little askew. There are a few authentic braces that are made out of clear materials, however. You can probably guess that they’re pricier than traditional approaches. They also show discoloration more easily, and treatment time may be a bit longer than usual. To learn more, read our article about Invisalign vs. braces.

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