Getting to Know Each Type of Braces

in Columbia, SC

Before considering getting braces, it is essential to know the different types available and their pros and cons. Braces are dental appliances used to straighten teeth, correct misaligned bites and improve overall oral health. They work by applying constant pressure on the teeth to move them into the desired position over time.

Types of Dental Braces

Traditional Metal Braces

These are the most common types of braces and have been used for decades. They consist of metal brackets bonded to the teeth and connected by wires and rubber bands. The wires are tightened regularly, gradually moving teeth into place.


  •  Affordable cost
  • Durability and strength
  • Can correct severe orthodontic issues
  • Ability to choose different colored rubber bands for a unique look


  • Visible
  • High-maintenance
  • Can cause discomfort and irritation
  • Dietary restrictions

Ceramic Braces (Clear Braces)

These are similar to traditional metal braces, but the brackets are made from clear or tooth-colored ceramics instead of metal. They blend in with the natural color of teeth and are less noticeable than metal braces.


  • Less noticeable
  • Less painful


  • Less durable
  • Larger brackets
  • High-maintenance
  • More costly than metal braces

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces work the same way as traditional metal braces, but they are placed on the inside surface of the teeth instead of the front. This makes them virtually invisible from the outside.


  • Less visible
  • Can correct a wide range of bite problems and severely crowded teeth
  • Can be customized for comfort and efficiency


  • May take more time to get used to the discomfort
  • Difficult to clean
  • More expensive than metal braces
  • Longer treatment time

Clear Aligners (Invisalign)

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are popular for adults and older teenagers. They consist of a series of clear plastic trays that are custom-made to fit over the teeth and gradually move them into place. These aligners are removable, allowing you to eat and drink without any restrictions. They also require minimal maintenance and do not cause speech difficulties.


  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • More comfortable
  • No dietary restrictions
  • Easy to maintain
  • Potentially shorter treatment time


  • Can be more expensive than traditional braces
  • Not suitable for severe orthodontic issues
  • Removing may be inconvenient for some

Choosing the Right Braces

When deciding on the type of braces, consider the following factors:

The Severity of Your Orthodontic Issue

If you have severe crowding or bite problems, traditional metal braces may be the most effective option. Clear aligners are only suitable for minor to moderate cases.


The cost of braces varies depending on the type and duration of treatment. Traditional metal braces are more affordable, while lingual braces and clear aligners can be more expensive. Because cost should not prevent you from achieving a healthy, beautiful smile, we offer flexible payment plan options for our patients.


You must also consider your lifestyle and how certain types of braces will fit into it. For example, traditional metal braces may pose some challenges if you play sports or a musical instrument. In this case, ceramic braces or clear aligners may be more suitable.


If you are concerned about the appearance of braces, clear aligners or lingual braces may be a better option as they are less noticeable. However, if aesthetics is not a significant concern for you, you may opt for traditional metal braces, which are more durable and effective in correcting severe orthodontic issues.

Let Washington Orthodontics Help You Decide

At Washington Orthodontics, we offer various braces to suit different needs and preferences. Our experienced orthodontists will work closely with you to determine the best treatment option for your specific case.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation!