Comparing Different Types of Braces

Before visiting Austin Orthodontics for a free consultation, you may be under the impression that there is only one type of braces for you to choose. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are more options than ever to get a beautiful, straight smile you will be happy to show off. Here are the types of braces we offer.

Self-Ligating Braces

Let’s start with the basics, shall we? Most people picture silver braces with brackets and wires when they think about orthodontic treatment. This tried-and-true method of straightening teeth has been used for decades to straighten people’s smiles and to fix jaw issues.

Self-ligating braces use the same bracket-and-wire approach, but instead of using elastic bands to attach the archwire, each bracket has a small gate that holds the wire in place. The elimination of the bands definitely has benefits, including a sleeker, less-cluttered smile and the increased ease of brushing and flossing. Patients have also experienced less discomfort compared to regular braces because the gate on each bracket allows more freedom to move than elastic bands do.

During the course of treatment, your orthodontist will adjust your braces during your visits to start the next correction phase. These adjustments with self-ligating braces often take less time than with traditional braces because it is faster to open the gate on each bracket to change or reposition the archwire than to remove and replace elastic bands.

Clear Braces

While metal braces are smaller and more discreet than they were in the past, they still are the most visible form of braces. An alternative to metal braces that delivers excellent results is clear braces. By replacing the metal brackets with a clear material, typically porcelain or ceramic, the braces are far less noticeable and result in a less cluttered smile. This can be a great option for people who are in college or who are trying to advance their careers but still want to correct their smile.  

At Austin Orthodontics, our clear braces are also self-ligating, which means your braces are even less noticeable since they do not require elastic bands on each bracket.


While older teens and adults are often looking for ways to make their orthodontic treatment less noticeable, many younger teens and tweens embrace their braces (pun intended) and incorporate them as part of their personal style. WildSmiles, available here at Austin Orthodontics, gives kids the ability to add fun-shaped brackets to their smiles. They still get great results since the braces are just as effective as traditional braces, but instead of only sticking to the plain bracket shape, they can express their personality by choosing from various sports ball shapes, flowers, stars, and more!

Contact Dr. Briggs and the team at  Austin Orthodontics today to learn more about these great options for braces. We offer free initial consultations so you can determine what type of treatment would work best and if we are the right fit for you.