What Are The 5 Types of Braces?

What Are The 5 Types of Braces

Most people with crooked teeth experience anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. When people meet you for the first time, the first thing they will notice is your smile. If you have crooked teeth, you could experience long-term psychological and emotional suffering. The good news is that with braces orthodontics, you can straighten your teeth and get the smile you have always wanted. When most people hear about braces, they imagine a mouthful of metal. They could not be further from the truth. With the rising popularity of orthodontic treatments, you can choose from different types of braces for teeth.

Orthodontic treatment has significantly improved in recent years. Braces have also come a long way from the conventional metal wires placed over the teeth to the invisible plastic aligners. How many different types of braces are there? There are five types of braces: metal braces, ceramic braces, self-litigating braces, lingual braces, and clear aligners. You should consider the pros and cons of different types of braces to ensure you choose the ones that suit you best.

Fixed and Removable Braces

Braces can be either fixed or removable. As their name suggests, fixed braces are attached to the patient’s teeth by an orthodontist. They typically consist of square brackets and have a wire that joins the brackets together. An orthodontist cements the brackets on each tooth. Fixed braces are the most common teeth-straightening solution across the world. Fixed braces help solve dental problems like misaligned bites, crooked teeth, and abnormal eruption of teeth. The typical treatment period with fixed braces is two years.

Removable braces do not stay fixed in the mouth. A patient can remove the braces without visiting a dentist. The most common type of removable braces is the invisible braces.

Metal Braces

Metal or traditional braces have been in use for over 100 years. They are the most common type of braces. Initially, metal braces were bulky and noticeable; this is no longer the case. The advancement in orthodontic technology has made metal braces small, more comfortable, and more effective. Metal braces are common among children and teenagers. A dentist applies the braces on the teeth and connects them with a wire. An orthodontist adjusts the braces every 4-8 weeks to move the teeth.


  • Efficient in straightening crooked teeth
  • No effects on speech
  • Available in different colours
  • It relies less on patient compliance, unlike Invisalign
  • Affordable
  • Dental appointment every 4-8 weeks


  • More noticeable/conspicuous
  • Difficult to brush or floss
  • Not ideal for patients with poor hygiene

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces work in the same manner as metal braces but are discrete and less noticeable. They are made from a clear material that resembles the colour of your teeth. If you want to straighten your teeth in an affordable and discrete manner but don’t want Invisalign or lingual braces, ceramic braces are ideal. Ceramic braces are common among adolescents and adults who are conscious of their aesthetics.


  • They are affordable
  • Highly durable
  • Compared to metal braces, ceramic braces are more comfortable


  • The braces can break if exposed to excessive pressure
  • They can easily stain; a patient may have to avoid certain types of foods

Self-Litigating Braces

Self-litigating braces are a new type of braces that have gained immense popularity in recent years. They resemble and function in the same way as metal or ceramic braces. They have brackets and a wire system. However, unlike metal or ceramic braces that use rubber bands, self-litigating braces use a sliding bracket mechanism. They have clips that attach to the wire. They are less painful and have less friction than metal or ceramic braces.


  • The sliding bracket mechanism makes them less painful
  • Reduce the treatment time
  • Fewer dental appointments


  • Not as affordable as conventional braces
  • Need advanced care to maintain proper dental hygiene
  • They are not entirely transparent thus not suitable for patients with high aesthetic standards

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces have been in use since their invention in the 1970s. They are similar to metal braces except that the brackets and the wires are attached to the inside of the teeth. They are also known as hidden or incognito braces because they lie behind the teeth. Due to their bulky nature, lingual braces could cause discomfort to a patient. Lingual braces could also be uncomfortable because they come into direct contact with the tongue. For this reason, many people prefer other types of braces to lingual braces. Many patients experience these problems shortly after the dentist applies the braces, but the symptoms fade away as your mouth becomes more used to the new appliances. Granted, lingual braces have evolved over the years, and they are now as efficient as other types of braces.


  • High aesthetics because they are invisible from outside
  • Do not cause decalcification problems like traditional braces
  • Ideal for people who play musical instruments with the mouth


  • A higher level of discomfort
  • Patients could have a problem of lisp while talking
  • More expensive than other braces
  • Treatment takes longer
  • They are more difficult to clean
  • Patients may experience slight changes to their speech because lingual braces are behind the teeth
  • Could cause irritation to the tongue

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners have gained immense popularity over the last decade. They gained popularity in the 2000s with the surging use of Invisalign. Invisalign became the most popular brand of clear aligners. These braces are ideal for persons who had braces as children and only need a touchup. They are also suitable for people with mild to moderate dental issues. These issues include large overbite, open bite, and misaligned teeth. Clear aligners have some limitations in correcting complex dental problems like jaw alignment issues. To address complex dental problems, a patient would need to combine both lingual braces and Invisalign.

Many adults prefer these braces because they are invisible. Invisalign also allows patients more freedom to eat anything. Clear aligners are easy to remove and replace with the next one, usually in a series of every two weeks. To achieve the desired results, most patients require 18-30 aligners.


  • Removable
  • Clear and transparent
  • Allows easier brushing or flossing
  • Require fewer dental appointments in most cases
  • Shorter dental appointments


  • Not ideal for complex dental issues
  • More costly than other dental braces

Now that you understand the different types of braces, you’re probably wondering, what type of braces should I get? The best teeth orthodontics braces will depend on several factors like your budget, whether you want visible or invisible braces, the extent of your dental problems, and the results you want to achieve.

Choose the Best Braces

Crooked teeth could hinder you from getting the perfect smile. By choosing the right braces, you can start your journey of acquiring your dream smile. At Molson Park Dental, we provide different types of braces to help our patients achieve the desired results.