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The Different Types of Braces

by Dr. Amer Hussain, on Jan 14, 2020 3:02:00 PM

When it comes to the different types of braces, most people only think there’s one type of braces. But in reality, there are actually a variety of braces that all vary in how they work and in their appearance. 

Braces are all made of the same components — brackets, wires, o-rings, etc. — but how they are applied can be very different. For instance, not all braces have to be adhered to the front of your teeth. 

The different types of braces are: 

  • Metal braces
  • Clear or ceramic braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Self ligating or damon braces

Metal Braces
These are the classic OG’s of braces. This is what most people think of when they hear the word braces. Metal braces are usually made out of high-grade stainless steel, and that applies to both the brackets and the wires. 

Metal braces are applied to the front of the teeth and one of the most visible out of the options. This type of braces requires the wires to be tightened every 4-6 weeks so expect to be in the orthodontist chair often. 


Clear or Ceramic Braces
These braces are literally no different than metal braces. They are the same size, function the same as metal brackets the only difference is their appearance. 

Instead of having stainless steel for the brackets, clear or ceramic braces use tooth or enamel coloured to help the braces blend in. Much like their metal brother, clear or ceramic braces are applied to the front of the teeth and need to be tighten every 4-6 weeks. 

Lingual Braces
Lingual braces have all the same components as traditional braces, they are often stainless steel just like metal braces but the big difference with lingual braces is where the braces are located. 

Instead of being adhered to the front of the teeth, lingual braces are adhered to the back of the teeth. Lingual braces are considered hidden braces since they are pretty much invisible to others but they are a great fit for those with severe orthodontic cases. 

It is worth noting that lingual braces do take a little longer to correct your teeth and they are more difficult than traditional braces. 

Self Ligating Braces
Self ligating braces use a slide mechanism instead of elastics to connect the archwires, so essentially they move with the natural movement of your teeth instead of having to be tighten by your orthodontist. 

Self ligating braces are similar to metal braces in appearance, they are made of stainless steel as well. They do work a little faster than traditional braces because the teeth can move on their own without needing to be adjusted. 

We get this is a lot of information, so we made this nifty little table for you to look at that summarizes the different types of braces. 


How visible?

Made out of?

Good for all orthodontic cases?

Treatment time?

Cost? (Low, average, high)

Metal Braces

Very visible



Average treatment time


Clear or Ceramic Braces

Not as Visible 

Porcelain or plastic


Average treatment time


Lingual Braces 




A little longer than average


Self Ligating Braces




A little faster than average



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