When it comes to orthodontic appliances, nowadays you have a range of possibilities to choose from. A couple of decades ago, wearing braces meant wearing a strange metal device that looked like something taken out of a horror movie. But the orthodontic field has evolved a lot since then and now, depending on the extent of your issues, you have the possibility to choose from several types of braces. Your orthodontist will, of course, recommend one course of action and it is recommended to follow it, but you can also ask them about alternatives and discover if you are suited for your preferred type of braces.

Traditional Metal Braces

The traditional brackets are the type of braces you can encounter in most people. The wires and the device are made of metal, but they are much smaller than they used to be. In addition, the traditional braces have been upgraded in time, and now the heat-activated archwires use your natural body heat to make your teeth shift faster and with less pain than a couple of years ago. The advantages of traditional braces are that they are the least expensive option, allow for coloured bands personalisation and will work even if there are significant issues to be addressed. The obvious disadvantage is, well… that they are obvious. If you don’t have a problem with people noticing your braces, then we can safely assume that traditional braces are for you. If you do have an issue with that, check the less noticeable alternatives for braces.

Ceramic Braces

The ceramic braces differ from traditional braces only when it comes to colour and material. They have the exact same size and shape, but the brackets are tooth-coloured and blend more easily with your teeth. Sometimes, the wires can be tooth-coloured as well, to make them even less noticeable. The biggest advantage of ceramic braces if that they do the job of traditional braces, but are less obvious. Of course, there are also some disadvantages, including the fact that they cost more than traditional braces and can be stained more easily.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces look exactly like metal braces and are made of metal, but the brackets and the wires are placed on the interior side of your teeth. This makes them impossible to notice when smiling and represent an excellent alternative for you if you are concerned about people seeing your orthodontic appliance. The disadvantages of lingual braces are that they are harder to clean, are not recommended for severe cases, are more expensive than traditional braces and can feel more uncomfortable.


Invisalign® are custom trays that look like a mouthguard and are made of clear plastic. They contain between 18 and 30 aligners that require replacement every two weeks. Invisalign® comes with the significant advantages of being almost invisible and allowing you to drink and eat whatever you want. They are more comfortable than other types of braces, but will not work for severe cases. Also, only adults and teenagers can wear them. Other disadvantages of Invisalign® is that they are rather costly, can be easily lost and your treatment may last longer than with other types of braces.