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The different types of braces

Gone are the days where one solution fits all in the world of orthodontics. As technology advances and braces become more streamlined, there’s a lot more to getting braces than just metal and brackets. Orthodontics is a highly specialised field where creating the right smile is very much individually customised. If you’re considering braces for yourself or your child, here’s what you need to know about the different types of braces and the benefits that each can offer.

Braces basics

Regardless of whether it’s a clear aligner like Invisalign or traditional metal braces, all braces work on the same principal of using gentle application of pressure over time to shift teeth into a more favourable position.

This method has been employed for centuries, however, with new and improved technologies like computer modelling and more refined orthodontic products, we now have the benefit of being a lot more specific when it comes to meeting an individual patient’s needs.

Not only can this accuracy cut down the time spent wearing braces, it also allows for greater patient comfort in chair.

Metal braces

Think braces, and the metal variety usually springs to mind. This option has been effectively utilised for a number of decades to move teeth into position and ensure that beautiful smile is built to last.

Metal braces comprise brackets that are affixed to teeth using a special adhesive, and an arch wire that connects the brackets to guide teeth into place over time.

The arch wire varies in strength and is regularly replaced throughout the orthodontic process, applying gentle but consistent pressure to position teeth in the best possible alignment.

Traditional metal braces remain an affordable and effective option for repositioning teeth.

Damon braces

Considered the Rolls Royce of the braces arena, Damon braces combine tieless brackets with high-tech arch wires to deliver results in a shorter time.

There are a number of key differences when it comes to using Damon braces rather than traditional metal braces for straightening teeth. The first is in the way the arch wire interacts with the brackets, and the second is the technology of the arch wire itself.

Traditionally, metal and ceramic braces involve an attachment of the arch wire to the bracket using ties made of elastic or metal. Damon braces feature a self-ligating arch wire that’s designed to memorise the anticipated shape of the mouth. Damon braces also use a slide mechanism to hold the wire, which allows teeth to move more freely, quickly and comfortably.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces differ little from the traditional metal variety, except brackets are ceramic and therefore blend into the look of teeth. Ceramic braces are considered a more discrete option and are often preferred by adults undertaking orthodontic work.


Catering to minor and major teeth repositioning, Invisalign is a near invisible treatment that has revolutionised the world of orthodontics.

Invisalign operates like braces, but does not require metal fixtures to be adhered to teeth. Instead, Invisalign uses clear, removable aligners that look a little bit like a sports mouth guard, but are a lot thinner and less noticeable.

These aligners are specifically moulded to each individual’s requirements and fit over the upper and lower teeth. The aligners are designed to gradually move teeth into the desired position, with patients regularly provided a new set of individually-crafted aligners which build on the work of the previous appliance.

About Norwest Orthodontics

Norwest Orthodontics offers a variety of options when it comes to straightening teeth. Our aim is to achieve the best possible smile, while working with patients to meet their orthodontic, budget, and lifestyle objectives. Our treatments include Invisalign and Damon braces, along with traditional methods.

You can learn more about our services here, or contact us directly to book an assessment.

The different types of braces

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