Braces: Types and Differences


Braces are fixed orthodontic devices that correct malocclusion and present an efficient method to align crooked teeth. The brace system consists of a metal arch and ceramic or metal plates fixed on the tooth’s inner or outer surface. A metal archwire passes through each bracket, providing the required tension. During treatment, the doctor can adjust the applied force.

Braces for children and adults are the optimal and most effective method of correction. The earlier orthodontic treatment is started, the faster you can observe the results and schedule the retention period. The best orthodontists in Kyiv work at the Clinic of Aesthetic Dentistry. They apply all possible methods of placing lingual or vestibular braces, which significantly speeds up the treatment time.

Why Correcting Your Bite Is Important

Malocclusion and crooked teeth are not just a matter of aesthetics. Pathology leads to a variety of health problems. Violation of occlusion and incorrect anatomical alignment of the upper and lower jaw teeth leads to the following common complications:

  • reduced speech clarity;
  • difficulty in hygienic care and underlying risk for tooth decay;
  • injury to the tongue and mucous membranes of the oral cavity;
  • loosening of teeth with their subsequent loss;
  • drooling, spitting while talking.

Malocclusion can lead to external imperfections, such as facial asymmetries, hollow cheeks, drooping mouth corners, and the nasolabial folds deepening. Depending on the malocclusion type, particular signs are formed: the jaw extending forward, chewing disorders, pushing the tongue, and narrow mandible.

Main Types

There are many types of braces. The doctors of our Clinic will choose the best option that suits the dental needs and the client’s financial capabilities. Main classification:

  1. By attachment type. There are ligature or self-ligating braces. Self-ligating (ligature-free) braces: clips, locks, or micro-doors fix the metal arch. Ligature braces: ligatures made of metal ties or elastic bands fix the arch the braces.
  2. By placement type. Lingual and vestibular correction systems differ by the place of fixing the braces. Traditional vestibular ones are fixed on the teeth’ outer surface, lingual ones – on the inner one. The latter are more often used to correct malocclusion in adults. They are invisible on the teeth but often injure the sublingual area and mucous membranes, affect articulation, and complicate the daily care routine.

Another type of braces classification is the material. Today, a patient can choose a specific system and combine them to improve aesthetics and reduce the total cost.

Metal Braces

The original brace system was first created in 1977. If decades ago the appliance looked massive and aggressively influenced the tooth enamel, modern products are made from soft metal alloys. Such designs are robust but have poor aesthetics. The metal structures are coated with Teflon to improve the appearance. Metal braces are used to reduce the cost of treatment. The duration of treatment in children is 1-1.5 years, in adults – over 1.5 years. They are recommended for all pathology types.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are a more aesthetic option that can solve several dental problems. Dental ceramic braces are ideally combined with the shade of tooth enamel, and therefore are most often used in children and adults. Despite the high cost, ceramic braces are not used to correct significant pathologies since they can be chipped and cracked due to the increased tension or chewing load.

Sapphire Braces

Sapphire vestibular brace systems with high aesthetic qualities. Faux sapphires look like gemstones and shimmer beautifully in daylight. The products look like an expensive accessory, and despite the high cost, sapphire braces are popular among patients.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are a corrective appliance fixed on the inner side of the teeth. Products are invisible when talking or smiling and are increasingly used in orthodontic treatment for adults. They can be made of gold, for example, in the Incognito system.

Indications for lingual appliances:

  • violation of the position of individual teeth;
  • ranges of malocclusion;
  • invisibility and high requirements for aesthetics throughout the treatment;
  • risk of injury, for example, when playing sports;
  • dwarfed enamel.

Lingual braces are less likely to break because they are located behind the teeth. The appliances are not used for malocclusion in children, in patients with a short clinical crown and crowded teeth. Lingual braces are not installed in case of bruxism, allergy to metal alloys, pregnancy, narrowness of the lower jaw, large tongue, and deep bite.

The advantage of lingual braces is that they are invisible. Ceramic and sapphire braces, although beautiful, are noticeable on the teeth due to the metal arc. Lingual, on the other hand, is not noticeable to others when smiling or talking. The preservation of the appearance of the enamel after treatment also speaks in favor of choosing lingual braces. Fastening is carried out on the inside and does not lead to yellowness, visible traces on the enamel layer, especially in dwarfed enamel.

Titanium Braces

The use of titanium in braces production is a discovery in dentistry and orthodontics, so the product is not easy to find. At the KES clinic, patients have the opportunity to install titanium braces having the following advantages:

  • high strength;
  • hypoallergenic;
  • safety due to biocompatibility;
  • lightness of structures;
  • durability.

Titanium braces do not attack tooth enamel aggressively, even if you wear them for an extended period. The option is suitable for people with gastrointestinal comorbidities. Breakage of titanium braces is rare. Even though titanium braces are not widely used today, they are gaining more popularity.

Combined Braces

Combination braces are designed to improve the quality of orthodontic treatment while reducing the cost of the appliance. For this purpose, ceramic or sapphire braces are installed along the smile line, and metal products are used outside of it. Combined braces can be:

  • metal and sapphire or porcelain fused metal;
  • ligature and self-ligating.

Combined braces allow you to solve several problems at once due to the combination of various properties in one appliance. Metal is preferable for the correction of grinding teeth due to its strength, and ceramic or sapphire are suitable for aligning the frontal incisors.

It’s crucial to master proper daily oral care. In this regard, it is essential to purchase an irrigator, special brushes, and rinses.

Retention Period

The retention period is a crucial stage in orthodontic correction. The therapy does not end after the braces are removed. To maintain the treatment results, it is essential to properly maintain the teeth’ shape in the new position. When correcting malocclusion in children, auxiliary treatment is not required. The teeth do not return to their original place; the roots are formed in a new anatomical position. Correction is often required after orthodontic treatment of adults.

During the exposure to the orthodontic appliance, the teeth are placed in the desired position. After removal, the teeth tend to return to their previous position. New bone tissue is formed throughout the treatment, the connective tissue structure, and the root system changes. The older the patient is, the longer these processes take. Therefore, it is recommended to start treatment at the age of 10-14 years.

A popular method of retention treatment is the use of plates, metal retainers, or mouth guards. The retention period is determined by the results achieved, the severity of malocclusion. Most often, 6-12 months is enough to achieve a lasting effect and enjoy a new smile.

If you ignore the retention period, the teeth will sooner or later return to their previous position. Other problems join, such as abrasion of enamel, root mobility, pain with increasing chewing load. All this can lead to even more significant problems.

Which Braces Are Best for You?

Braces are complex appliances consisting of many elements. Before deciding on a malocclusion correction, you should choose the right Clinic. The success of orthodontic treatment also depends on a specialist. With proper fixing, adherence to all medical recommendations, the treatment time can be significantly reduced.

The choice of braces today directly depends on the severity of the pathological process. In case of apparent violations, it is recommended to install metal or combined braces; in case of common problems, treatment with sapphire or ceramic braces will be effective.