Types of Braces

Very few people are born with a perfect, straight set of teeth. It’s common to see people, especially teens, with a mouthful of metallic braces. This solution is relatively fast-acting and efficient, but it leaves you with a metallic smile for many months. Fortunately, if you want to get your teeth straightened these days, you don’t necessarily need to have metal braces installed. If you need some orthodontic work done, whether it’s for aesthetic or medical reasons, there are several options available to you. Below, Flintlock Dental will take a look at some of these options to help you choose the right braces for you and your situation.

Metal Braces

The traditional type people think about when it comes to braces are made of metal. Metal braces are often made up of two basic parts – metal brackets are glued to the teeth and a bendable metal band is weaved though the brackets to apply pressure to the teeth and move them. These types of braces are most often used on teenagers, as they are one of the least expensive options and move the teeth into place relatively quickly.

  • Pros: Relatively inexpensive. Straighten teeth quickly. Colored bands can be fun for kids to change and show off their personality.
  • Cons: Most noticeable type of braces. Metal can be irritating to the mouth.

Ceramic Braces

Braces made of ceramic can closely match the color of the teeth, making them less noticeable than metal braces. They work similarly to and offer the same speed of treatment as traditional braces. However, they’re more expensive and are easier to stain if the patient doesn’t stick with a good cleaning schedule.

  • Pros: Less noticeable. Straighten teeth quickly.
  • Cons: More expensive than metal. Stain easily. Less widely available.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces, but they’re placed on the back of the teeth instead of the front. They can be just as effective as traditional metal braces, while being much less visible (you’ll only see them when the mouth is wide open). However, they are a bit harder to keep clean. Initial placement and readjustment can be more uncomfortable and harder to get accustomed to.

  • Pros: Invisible from the outside.
  • Cons: Harder to keep clean. Not suitable for all conditions. More difficult to install and adjust.


Invisalign has become the most common type of invisible braces, and they are very effective. You have the ability to completely remove them, making them easier to clean. They’re very discreet and are far more comfortable than traditional braces. However, they haven’t been adapted to solve all orthodontic issues, so they won’t work in every situation, but they do provide a lot of benefits to those who can use them. They also align teeth more slowly than traditional braces. These types of braces are more expensive than most others.

  • Pros: Nearly invisible. Removable. Easy to clean. Comfortable.
  • Cons: Will not work for serious dental problems. Treatment takes longer. More expensive.

Self-Ligating Braces

Similar to metal braces, self-ligating braces make use of the bracket and wire system. The bracket is used with clips or doors versus the rubber bands of traditional braces. This system is designed to hold onto less food debris as well as be less painful to install and adjust. Using these braces can also result in fewer trips to the orthodontist, and they can be made with either metal or ceramic materials.

  • Pros: Catches less food. Less painful. Straighten teeth quickly.
  • Cons: Not good for every dental issue.

The decision to install braces depends on your situation. Most people use braces to improve their appearance, but some serious dental conditions can also be improved by straightening the teeth. In the end, your finances may dictate which type of braces you decide to use. Not all conditions can be treated with all types of braces, so consult with your dentist or orthodontist to learn more about your options.

Wisdom teeth are another issue that needs to be observed and possibly treated in teens and young adults. Learn more about the problems that arise with wisdom teeth here!

Dr. Wolfgang Schaller

Dr. Wolfgang Schaller was born in Germany, but he moved to Kansas City, Missouri in 1975 and has been here ever since. He loves this area! After graduating from Rockhurst High School, he went on to pursue extensive higher education. Dr. Schaller really values continuing education and training because that’s how he is able to be the most qualified that he can to care for you and your family’s dental needs!

Dr. Schaller completed his undergraduate studies at Kansas State University. He then obtained both an MS degree in biochemistry and his DDS degree at the University of Iowa. Dr. Schaller has worked as a DDS in a group office in Kansas and a solo practitioner in Independence for almost 10 years.

Studying at the University of Iowa was a great experience not only for education, but that’s also where Dr. Schaller met his wonderful wife, Monika. They moved to theNorthland area of Kansas City after graduation, where they now live with their two beautiful daughters, Natalie and Gabrielle. Monika Schaller works at North Kansas City Hospital as an oncology pharmacist.

In addition to dentistry and spending time with his family, Dr. Schaller’s other interests include gardening and photography. He looks forward to getting to know you and your family, too!