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What Are Some of The Most Popular Types of Braces?

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When you think of braces, you may be picturing metal wires and brackets with colorful elastics, but did you know that there are many types of braces? Metal braces—sometimes called traditional braces—are what most people imagine when they think about braces. While metal brackets may be the most widely used form of orthodontics in America, there are several other very popular types of braces that orthodontists use to help give you a healthy smile. We’ll discuss what each type is, their pros and cons, and why they might be a good option for you.

Metal braces

Some people call metal braces ‘traditional braces, probably because this type of braces has been around in one form or another for a long time. That said, today’s metal braces are very different from metal braces used in the past.

Today’s metal braces are more comfortable than model of teeth wearing one type of bracesthey’ve ever been. The metal braces we use at Montano & Cardall Orthodontic Specialists are the lowest profile available, which means that they provide greater comfort for your lips and cheeks. Modern metal braces are made from high-grade stainless steel or titanium wires and brackets that work along with elastics to slowly align your teeth according to your orthodontist’s treatment plan.

Pros:

  • Are sometimes the cheaper option when compared to other types of orthodontics
  • Elastics come in hundreds of different colors, allowing you to customize your style
  • Lower profile than ceramic braces

Cons:

  • Not very discreet
  • Require extra special care when brushing and flossing
  • Require some food restrictions (no taffy!)

Ceramic braces (also sometimes called clear braces)

Ceramic braces aren’t usually made from ceramic; today, they’re more commonly made from more advanced plastic materials that are formulated to be both strong and see-through. Ceramic braces are also sometimes called clear braces because when compared to metal braces, they are much more discreet and harder to notice. This is because the brackets on ceramic braces appear to be clear, and orthodontists use white elastics that blend in more with your teeth.
For more information on ceramic braces, check out our blog post “What Are Ceramic Braces and are They Right for Me?” where we go into deeper detail about everything related to ceramic braces.

Pros:

  • More discreet than metal braces
  • Same treatment time as metal braces


Cons:

  • Brackets and elastics can stain, which makes them less discreet
  • More costly than metal braces
  • Same eating restrictions as with metal braces (no taffy!)

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are another type of braces that are considered more discreet when compared to metal braces. With lingual braces, the brackets and wires are installed on the other side of your teeth so they cannot be seen from the front. Lingual braces work much the same as metal braces—they apply slight pressure to your teeth to gradually move them into position.

Pros:

  • Discreet, no one will be able to tell you’re wearing braces

Cons:

  • Costs a lot more than metal or clear braces
  • Can be difficult to clean and maintain, since you can’t see them and they are on the inside of the mouth
  • Can be very irritating to the tongue
  • Can cause speech difficulties

Clear Aligner Therapy (Such as Invisalign)

Clear aligners are technically not a type of braces because there are no braces involved! Instead of having apparatus installed on your teeth, you simply wear clear plastic aligner trays for the duration of your treatment. The movement of your teeth is carefully planned by Dr. Montano & Dr. Cardall, and they will add tiny tooth-colored bumps (called “attachments”) to certain teeth to help them move with the aligners according to their plan. As the name suggests, Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible. Treatment with Invisalign is also a lot simpler from a patient’s perspective. There are no food restrictions, and you may brush and floss as normal. Just remember to take your aligners out before you eat and put them back in after you’re done! Many people choose Invisalign because it is comfortable and discreet, and at Montano & Cardall Orthodontic Specialists, we offer Invisalign at the same cost as braces. Drs. Montano & Cardall are among the Top 1% of Invisalign providers in North America, due to their extensive experience with the appliance. They are able to successfully treat many cases with Invisalign that less experienced doctors are unable to treat.

Pros:

  • Discreet, no one will be able to tell you’re wearing braces
  • Same cost as braces (with Drs. Montano & Cardall)
  • No eating restrictions (taffy is OK!)

Cons:

  • Requires self-discipline to put them in each day and remove them when eating
  • May not be suitable for some very difficult cases

To learn more about all the different types of braces, your treatment options, costs, and more, book a free consultation with us today!

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