Types of Braces

Ceramic vs. Metal

One of the more popular advances in modern orthodontia is the ceramic bracket, as opposed to traditional metal braces. Ceramic brackets are made of composite, clear materials to make them blend in with the appearance of the patient's teeth, unlike traditional metal braces. Ceramic brackets are not only very strong, but they are resistant to stains. In most cases, the rubber bands used with ceramic braces are white or clear to make the appearance of the braces even more subtle. Some patients even feel that their ceramic braces are less irritating to their mouths than metal braces.

Ceramic braces are not the right option for all orthodontic patients, however. They are more expensive than traditional metal braces, and treatment with ceramic brackets can take a few more months than with metal braces. Also, while ceramic brackets more closely match the natural color of a patient's teeth, they are often a bit larger than metal brackets, so they are not the right solution for patients who have small teeth. Ceramic brackets are also not as strong as metal, so they may not be suitable for patients who need more extreme repositioning.

If you are looking into straightening your smile with orthodontic treatment, speak with you orthodontist about ceramic braces. They could be a more discreet option for you than traditional metal brackets.


Invisalign® invisible braces are thin, clear plastic aligners that are worn over the teeth cause teeth to shift position gradually, discreetly, and comfortably. The first step in the Invisalign® process is a consultation with a cosmetic dentist or orthodontist, during which the patient will discuss his or her treatment goals and learn whether he or she is a good candidate for Invisalign®. If so, the dentist or orthodontist will then take an impression of the patient's teeth, and send this mold to a specialized laboratory where a series of Invisalign® aligners will be crafted using precise computer imaging.

Patients wear each aligner for roughly two to four weeks, then move on to a slightly different aligner after that. Each successive aligner will use gentle pressure to allow teeth to gradually shift position. These aligners are created from thin, clear plastic and are all but invisible, unlike traditional braces. Also unlike traditional braces, Invisalign® aligners can be removed for convenient eating, cleaning, brushing, and flossing, though they should be worn as much as possible, day and night.

Michael Kasso DDS, MSD
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