Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.
Gold braces are similar to traditional metal braces in many ways. They are made of stainless steel, but are uniquely coated in gold. The gold coating may be considered a more cosmetic option than traditional metal braces. The additional cost for gold braces is surprisingly inexpensive.
Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.
Clear appliances (such as Invisalign®) use a series of clear trays to straighten your teeth. From a distance the appliances are only slighly visible. These appliances are used generally for minor tooth guidance. There are numerous draw backs including but not limited to: Cooperation is a full time commitment (and your result is predominantly based upon this), expectations should be limited, speech may be affected, and braces may be required to complete treatment.
Lingual braces are hidden behind the teeth and are therefore "invisible" when you smile. Lingual braces are 100% customized to match the shape of your teeth and therefore the metal appliances are created uniquely for you. Lingual braces afford patients the option of appliances for those who cannot have them show. Patients such as athletes, models, actors, wind instrument musicians, and adults are great candidates for these appliances.