Types of Braces

Metal Braces

The most common types of braces are metal braces, which are made of brackets and wires. The brackets include wings on the side of the base that works with the slots to hold the wire. The base is what actually attaches the bracket to the tooth.

Brackets are typically used on the facial surfaces of teeth and serve to hold wires in place. Molars or “back teeth” are typically banded to serve as anchors for the wire system. Metal bands surround the tooth on all sides and give orthodontists like Dr. Ghatri, Dr. Kang & Dr. Manny a means to attach other dental devices like wires, headgear, and elastics.

Braces Provide Better Bonds

Some people may think of braces as nothing but an inconvenience. Children may have a difficult time following the instructions and taking care of them, while teenagers or adults may feel self-conscious about how they look to their peers.

However, braces have become much more attractive in the past decade, and they're also far easier to wear. As better bonding techniques have been introduced on the market, patients have more options to get the smile they desire.

Clear Braces

Clear braces are like conventional metal braces but with a clear bracket. These brackets are commonly made from clear materials such as ceramic and sapphire, making them less visible on your teeth than metal braces. Some orthodontists even use tooth-colored wires to be even less noticeable.

Clear braces use the same mechanism of pressure application as their metal counterparts, providing patients with an equally efficient orthodontic treatment. However, the fact that they are less visible alone makes them a more alluring option for adult patients and many teenagers who have cosmetic concerns.

How do Clear Braces look and feel?

Being visually less prominent, clear braces help you retain your smile and go about your normal day-to-day activities without being self-conscious. You don’t have to worry about everyone noticing immediately that you have braces.

These braces feel more comfortable when fitted by our professional orthodontists. Plus, imagining that your braces are hardly visible to the outside world gives you the confidence to smile, laugh, and go on with your life normally. Ceramic braces can even be customized and fitted with colored brackets to make them look more appealing.

Difference between Clear Braces and Metal Braces

The major difference between these two types of braces is appearance. While metal braces are visible and often affect a patient’s smile, clear and ceramic braces are much less noticeable and offer a great aesthetic alternative. Metal braces are however much more durable than the clear ones because they are made of steel. Historically, the clear braces were faced with many problems and were prone to breakage or damage of the tooth upon removal. However, technology has helped on this and such cases are virtually obsolete. Clear braces are also slightly more expensive than the metal braces because of the materials used as well as additional costs of maintenance.

Separators & Bands

There is a lot more to a full course of treatment with braces than just brackets and wire. Your orthodontist will use a variety of instruments to adjust the teeth to be straightened and to ensure the hardware does its job fully and effectively. One of the most important of these is braces separators. These simple tools maintain a space between two teeth and come in three main types; rubber separators, metal separators and orthodontic bands.

Rubber Separators

Rubber braces separators are the most common type used. Your orthodontist will place the rubber separator between two teeth using a length of floss and by applying some pressure. Then the separator will be adjusted in order to apply even pressure throughout the broadest possible region between the two teeth to ensure equilateral force is applied. The expansion of the rubber insert will push teeth apart slightly over time.

Orthodontic Bands

Another older type of braces separators is the orthodontic band. This device is either bracketed or unbracketed and is most often used on the molars in the rear areas of the mouth. Held in place using a special dental cement, an orthodontic band is used to attach an archwire to a patient’s molars. They are made from stainless steel, come in a range of sizes and can be custom fit in order to grip the tooth firmly and securely without interfering with the movement of the tongue or eating. The archwire is slid into a groove on the side of the band allowing for the movement or stabilization of the molars.

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