The Different Types of Braces

Dr. Glass September 23, 2022

When it comes to straightening your smile, there are many different types of braces. In the not-so-distant past, your options were pretty limited to bulky, uncomfortable metal braces, but we’re proud to say a lot has changed over the years. While metal braces are still the most durable and efficient option, they have become a worthy contender even when compared to the more modern options like ceramic braces and clear aligners like Invisalign. 

Choosing between the many types of braces is just as important of an investment decision as deciding where to go for a family vacation. Okay, maybe vacation is usually more fun than braces, but your best smile investment is worth the results and will last a lifetime. With the many advanced options available, you can likely plan your new smile and your next vacation without sacrificing your budget or lifestyle. 

Dr. Glass and his skilled team at Glass Orthodontics are committed to providing high-quality orthodontic treatment options that fit your needs, lifestyle, and budget for patients all around Daphne, Bay Minette, and Atmore, AL. Dr. Glass believes you should have the smile you’ve always dreamed of, and he works hard to ensure each person loves their smile. Let’s go over the different types of braces we specialize in here at Glass Orthodontics so that you can be prepared for your first visit on your journey to your new smile!

Braces Basics

In any discussion about orthodontic treatment, you should consider the difference between your fixed and removable options. At one time, all braces were fixed braces. They adhered to your teeth, and that was the end of the structural design, much less options for customization or aesthetics. Now, not only have your fixed braces options expanded, but you also have removable braces options that can give you an efficient treatment while meeting your aesthetics and easing your hygiene routine during the process. It’s like you can have your cake and eat it, too; just remember to floss and brush well afterward. 

The Different Types of Braces

Fixed Orthodontic Appliances

Fixed braces are orthodontic appliances that are applied directly to your teeth and can only be removed by your orthodontist at the end of your treatment. There is no denying the power that comes from a direct bond in manipulating the movements of your teeth, gums, and even jaw. When it is proven the most efficient way to straighten your smile, the only thing that can be done to improve the process is to make it more comfortable and visually pleasing, or at least less visibly noticeable. That’s just what has happened with traditional metal braces. They aren’t so conventional anymore. 

The old bulky brackets have been replaced with smaller, lighter, and much sleeker brackets made of high-quality metal or ceramic materials. The archwire is even thinner while being stronger. For our Glass Orthodontics patients, we offer a huge selection of colorful elastic bands that we utilize for a fun spin on our ligatures. While some versions of metal braces, called self-ligating braces, eliminate the ligatures that secure the archwire to the brackets by using a bracket that includes a clip mechanism. This clip allows the bracket to slide along the archwire comfortably while maintaining adequate pressure to keep your treatment plan on track. 

Another modern fixed orthodontic appliance that has come about more recently is an option called lingual braces. Lingual braces still utilize the direct bond of brackets to your teeth, but instead of placing the brackets on the front side of your teeth, this method places the brackets on the back side of your teeth. In order for this option to be efficient, a special archwire must be utilized. Many patients find that while this is an aesthetic option, it does take a bit to get used to the placement– and with the innovative option of Invisalign, is it worth it?

Removable Orthodontic Appliances

Removable braces are not bonded to your teeth and can be removed from your mouth. Removable orthodontic appliances like retainers and mouthguards are well-known maintenance devices that ensure your smile doesn’t shift or incur trauma after your teeth and bite have been aligned, but they are not actual straightening options. A less-known appliance called palatal expanders help create space in your mouth for the proper growth and alignment of your teeth, so while they seem to straighten your smile, they are usually not used alone for that goal.

When creating that smile alignment that changes your life with removable orthodontic braces, our Glass Orthodontics team has plenty of experience utilizing Invisalign clear aligners. Clear aligners work much like post-metal braces retainers of the past, except as a treatment option, they are stronger and must be worn for 22 hours each day to ensure your best results. This nearly invisible option will gently move your teeth into place based on the precise movements of your treatment plan without compromising your appearance. Because you can remove them, you are not restricted in what you can eat and can even take them to get a thorough floss and brush as you would outside of orthodontic treatment. 

The Different Types of Braces

A great smile starts with great options and Glass Orthodontics!

By pairing state-of-the-art technology with our thorough understanding of the movement and growth of the teeth and jaws, our experienced Glass Orthodontics team can treat many dental issues like gapped or crowded teeth, protruding or impacted teeth, and the many variations of bite concerns. While traditional metal braces are the most common option for the majority of the patients we treat, you have several great options that will lead to a great smile in the end! 

We are committed to giving patients in and around Atmore, Brewton, Bay Minette, and Daphne, AL, amazing smiles through the latest orthodontic treatments. Dr. Glass and his compassionate teams work hard to ensure you and your family feel right at home each time you step into our offices. You can expect quality care and excellent customer service because our team is dedicated to your unique needs. Schedule your FREE consultation today to determine which treatment would best suit your individual needs and smile goals.

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