Braces have come a long way since their introduction to the world. At Ellingsen smiles, we are happy to offer a wide variety of options to best meet the needs of each patient. If you are interested in any particular type, contact us today to set up a consultation.

Metal Braces

Metal braces are the most common type of braces for orthodontic patients. Today's metal braces are much smaller, flatter, and more comfortable than in the past. Traditional metal braces are made of high-quality stainless steel or titanium. The three main parts of your braces are:

  • Brackets — Brackets are attached to the teeth using special glue that bonds them to the tooth surface and holds them in place.
  • Archwire — The archwire is the thin metal wire that connects each bracket and puts pressure on the teeth to help guide them into place.
  • Ligature Elastic (also known as the “rubber bands”) — Elastics, or rubber bands, are the colored ties that hold the archwires to the brackets. Your orthodontist will change the elastics at each appointment. Elastics may come in a variety of colors.

How Braces Work

Once placed on your teeth, braces place constant pressure on your teeth, and the force of the pressure helps move teeth into proper position. At each appointment, your orthodontist may tighten the archwires. In addition to braces, some patients may need to wear rubber bands or headgear. Patients wearing braces may notice their teeth feeling a little loose. This is normal and temporary; once the teeth are done moving this feeling will go away.

Metal Braces for All Ages

Traditional metal braces are still the most popular, quickest, and most cost-effective orthodontic treatment available. Your orthodontist can help you determine what treatment is best for your individual case. Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment and learn more about how braces can enhance your smile.

Clear Braces

Having braces doesn't necessarily require highly noticeable metal brackets and wires. In fact, many of today's braces are made from either clear or natural tooth-colored materials to provide patients with an attractive, less noticeable alternative to traditional braces. 

What is the difference between clear braces and clear aligners?

Clear braces are the same as traditional metal braces except that they are clear! Clear braces are a less noticeable alternative to traditional metal braces and provide patients with an equally effective treatment. Clear aligners are different from clear braces. Clear aligners are pieces of hard plastic that are designed to fit into your mouth like a mouthguard. Clear aligners are great for patients requiring minor orthodontic treatment.

Self-Ligating Braces

Self-ligating braces are made from the same materials as traditional braces; however, self-ligating braces do not require the use of elastics, meaning fewer appointments and less friction being placed on the tooth. Self-ligating braces come with traditional metal, ceramic, or clear brackets. They are the same size as metal braces, but with more options they can provide a more aesthetic appearance, particularly for adult patients. There are two specific types:

  • Passive — Passive brackets use a smaller archwire that creates less friction and allows teeth to move more freely. Passive brackets are often used at the beginning of treatment to help the teeth start moving into position.
  • Active — Active brackets use a much thicker archwire that delivers greater pressure to the teeth and more aggressively moves them into position. The active brackets also offer more control for consistent, strong results.

Self-ligating braces are a great option for patients needing braces. Your orthodontist can help you determine what type of braces will be most effective for your smile. Please contact our practice to schedule your orthodontic consultation.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are an effective alternative to traditional braces, because they use a system of clear, removable trays used to straighten teeth. Each aligner is custom-made to fit over your teeth and is designed to gradually move teeth into their proper position. Using clear aligners for orthodontic treatment is not for everyone. The best way to find out if clear aligners are the right option for you is to schedule a consultation with your orthodontist.