What are the 5 Different Types of Braces

What are the Different Types of Braces – Overview

Misaligned and broken teeth cause loss of confidence, extreme self-consciousness, anxiety and even depression.

This can also lead to long-term emotional and psychological effects. However, thanks to advances in dental technology, braces have become the ideal solution to treat crooked and damaged teeth.

Braces are available in different types and are among the most sought-after dental treatments globally.

If you want to correct crooked teeth and bring your charming smile back, then getting dental braces might be the best solution.

Different Types of Dental Braces

What are the Different Types of Braces

What are the Different Types of Braces – Different Types of Dental Braces

The past couple of decades has seen substantial improvement in dentistry and dental healthcare. Using new and innovative technology, orthodontists have designed various dental braces.

Initially, metal wire braces were used to put crooked and misaligned teeth in line. Today, you can install almost invisible plastic teeth aligners.

Braces are categorized into several types, including traditional metal, ceramic, lingual, and clear aligners, which can be either fixed or removable.

#1. Fixed Dental Braces

Traditional metal braces are a widely used teeth-straightening solution, but clear aligners have also become very popular. As the name suggests, these are fixed to teeth by an orthodontist.

These braces typically consist of brackets attached to each tooth, but the shape can vary and is not limited to square. These braces also have a metal wire running through them to keep the brackets fixed close together.

The wire is helpful to maneuver the crooked teeth into a normal position.

The treatment time for fixed braces can vary widely, from 6 months to more than 2 years, depending on the individual’s needs.

Fixed braces are popularly used to remedy dental problems, such as:

Irregular bite (under-bite or over-bite)

Crooked teeth

Abnormal teeth eruption

4 Types of Fixed Dental Braces

These are the different types of fixed dental braces that are commonly used to realign crooked teeth:

1 – Metal Braces

Metal braces, commonly referred to as traditional braces, have been used for decades by orthodontists and are one of the most commonly preferred methods of treating poor jaw alignment.

Metal braces are manufactured from high-quality stainless steel brackets.

A flexible metal archwire is a part of the braces and directs the teeth into their proper position. Modern archwires can also be heat-activated for quicker movement.

Colorful and quirky rubber bands can be added to metal braces for aesthetic purposes, but their primary function is to hold the wire to the brackets, not to reinforce the wire.

Pros of Metal Braces

The most inexpensive type of dental brace

The strongest type of dental brace

Durable quality

A faster form of orthodontist treatment

Solves numerous dental problems

Colorful rubber bands make these attractive for kids and adults alike

Cons of Metal Braces

May develop gum irritation

Some might find them too noticeable and unattractive

Regular re-visits are required to adjust the wire

Not removable

2 – Ceramic Braces

Also known as Clear Braces, ceramic dental braces are similar to metal braces. However, these are transparent or teeth-colored and not made from stainless steel.

These almost invisible dental braces are fixed to the teeth using colored or transparent rubber bands or wires. This makes ceramic braces more discreet and less noticeable.

While ceramic braces are less visible than metal braces, they may not always be more affordable due to higher material costs.

Ceramic braces are not noticeably bigger than metal braces; the primary difference is material and visibility. Depending on your diet and oral hygiene habits, these are also more prone to getting stained.

Pros of Ceramic Braces

Significantly more comfortable than metal braces

Highly affordable dental solution

High durability

No need for frequent repair or replacement

Cons of Ceramic Braces

You might need to avoid particular food to prevent staining

Extensive pressure may cause the brittle ceramic bracket to crack

3 – Self-Ligating Braces

Self-ligating braces are popular, but clear aligners have also gained significant popularity recently. They are similar to ceramic and metal braces, including a bracket and wire system.

However, these dental braces do not use rubber bands. In contrast, it uses an advanced sliding bracket mechanism. This mechanism consists of doors and clips attached to the metal wire.

The sliding mechanism helps to lower friction to a minimum and is significantly less painful than ceramic or metal dental braces.

Self-ligating braces are available in ceramic and metal colors.

Pros of Self-Ligating Braces

Less painful thanks to the sliding mechanism

Reduces treatment time

Needs less frequent visits to the dentist

Cons of Self-Ligating Braces

Not suitable for all patients

It may require careful cleaning around the brackets but does not necessarily need special equipment beyond the tools recommended for braces

Slightly more expensive than conventional metal and ceramic braces

This is inaccurate; self-ligating braces, especially those with clear or ceramic options, can be suitable for appearance-conscious patients

4 – Lingual Braces

Lingual braces were introduced in the 1980s and are similar to conventional metal dental braces.

However, the difference is that the wires and brackets are fixed on the inside of the teeth in lingual braces.

Lingual braces are virtually invisible as they are fixed to the back of your teeth and are called “incognito” or “hidden” dental braces.

Lingual braces are less popular than traditional braces, mainly due to comfort and speech interference, not solely because of discretion. Earlier, they were considered unsuitable for effective teeth straightening and would also cause discomfort.

However, technological advances have helped evolve lingual braces to become more streamlined and lighter.

Pros of Lingual Braces

Aesthetically pleasing

Prevent decalcification

Suitable for patients who play breath-operated music instruments

Cons of Lingual Braces

It may be uncomfortable compared to conventional braces

Treatment time is longer

Lingual braces are often more expensive due to their custom manufacturing and placement complexity.

Lingual braces may temporarily affect speech, but a persistent lisp is not a common outcome.

These are the different fixed dental braces popularly used worldwide to fix teeth alignment problems.

Removable Braces

As the name suggests, removable braces are not fixed to the teeth. Patients can easily remove them without visiting their orthodontist.

Types of Removable Dental Braces

Clear aligners are highly popular among removable braces but are not the only type of removable brace available.

5. Invisible Braces

Invisible braces are rightly named as they are virtually invisible to others. They are usually made from clear and transparent plastic. This type of brace is also called a clear aligner.

Orthodontists use advanced technology, such as oral photos, x-rays, and scans, to develop a precise 3D model of the patient’s mouth.

This is then used to make customized plastic aligners that perfectly fit the patient’s teeth. Gradually, these aligners work to correct teeth position.

It would be best if you went for regular visits to the dentist till the treatment is over.

Pros of Invisible Braces

Extremely comfortable to wear

Easy to install

Hardly visible to others

Easy to remove

Easy to clean

Needs low maintenance

Smaller treatment duration

Cons of Invisible Braces

More expensive than other dental braces

Not advisable for patients with severe dental problems

You may need buttons at the back of the teeth to remain fixed in position


Thanks to dental braces, regaining your charming smile is easier and more convenient. These braces are available in fixed or removable types.

Conventional braces include metal and ceramic ones. Ultra-modern dental braces are discreet yet efficient, making them incredibly more popular than traditional braces.

It is highly recommended that you consult your orthodontist for the best-suited dental brace.

Considering your oral health and the status of your teeth disease, the orthodontist can advise you on the most affordable and convenient dental brace.

Dental Grants by State

See Also

Does Medicaid Cover Braces

How Long Does Brace Pain Last

Does Medicare Cover Braces

Grants for Braces

Cosmetic Dentistry Grants BBB

Loans for Dental Work With Bad Credit

Current Version
May 1, 2022
Written By
Shubham Grover
March 24, 2024
Updated By
Andleeb Asghar, PharmD

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