Different Types of Braces – Which is Right for You?

There are four different types of treatment that your Melbourne orthodontist can use to straighten your teeth and resolve other oral health problems. The type of appliance that may be recommended for your or your child will vary based on an individual diagnosis. Every patient is unique, so we can’t know which type of treatment will be recommended for you until after that first visit. Here’s a look at a few different kinds and the types of patients they help.

Metal Braces

When most people think of “braces,” they’re thinking of the traditional metal wire-and-bracket braces. This remains the most common type of braces used to correct and straighten teeth. The stainless steel parts are used to gently shift the teeth over time. These are one of the most cost-effective types of orthodontic treatment, and patients get to choose the color of elastic bands used to personalize the experience. They are also one of the most obvious types of braces, so everyone will know you are having your teeth straightened.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic or “clear” braces work exactly the same as traditional metal ones. The main difference is that the braces are made from tooth-colored materials. The ceramic brackets do not stain over time but the clear rubber bands around them can, so they require great attention when it comes to your daily oral health care routine (brushing, flossing, etc.). They can be more fragile in some situations. Ceramic braces are also typically more expensive than traditional metal ones.

Removable retainer

Generally speaking, retainers are used to hold teeth in place, not move them.  However, there are certain situations and designs that can be formulated to improve alignment with a retainer.  Your Melbourne orthodontist will normally recommend full-time wear of a retainer if you are trying to move the teeth with it.  Although retainers are limited in their ability to straighten the teeth, they can be successful if the situation is right and/or the needed movement is minor.  Many times, the same retainer can be used to hold the teeth in place after it has improved the alignment.  This is usually the most cost effective orthodontic treatment if it will work for your situation.


The clear aligners known as Invisalign are by far one of the most popular forms of orthodontic treatment. In many cases the aligners are more comfortable than other types of braces, because they fit over the teeth like an invisible mouthguard. Your clear aligners are custom fitted to your teeth. They work to shift the teeth over time into a straighter position. Older teens and adults usually prefer Invisalign, because it is nearly invisible and people cannot tell you’re having your teeth adjusted.

One major benefit to Invisalign is that the aligners can be taken out for up to two hours per day. This makes eating meals, along with brushing and flossing your teeth, much easier. You then put the aligners back on your teeth. Wearing your aligners should be done for 22 hours per day for maximum effectiveness.

Contact Melbourne Orthodontics

We won’t know which type is right for you until you visit us at Melbourne Orthodontics for an appointment. The doctor will conduct a full exam of teeth and jaw structure, and then discuss your smile goals with you. Contact Us today to schedule an appointment.