When it comes to braces, there are so many smiles to choose from.

So you’re getting braces. We hope you’re excited because these days, braces are more of a fashion statement than an aesthetic disaster. There are about five main types you can choose from, depending on your individual likes and dislikes. Each type has its own unique characteristics. Let’s explore a few of them to help you make up your mind.

Type 1: Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional braces are made of metal and involve brackets and wires. They are attached to the teeth which allows you or your dentist to change their positioning fairly easily. Even traditional braces have new upgrades: heat-activated archwires are quite popular these days. They utilise the heat in your mouth to allow your teeth to move more quickly and comfortably than before.

Pros: Least expensive option, Very effective

Cons: The most noticeable type so may not suit self-conscious people.

Type 2: Ceramic

Ceramic braces resemble traditional metal ones in terms of shape and size but the material from which they’re construct allows them to blend more easily into the natural colour of your teeth. Does this make them less effective? Not at all. Unfortunately, they aren’t as cheap as their older brethren and you also need to clean them regularly to make sure they don’t get a nasty stain.

Pros: As effective as traditional braces, but less noticeable

Cons: More expensive, Need maintenance to avoid being stained

Type 3: Lingual

Lingual braces are also made of metal but they’re difficult to spot. That’s because they’re attached to the inside of your teeth. Someone would have to crane their necks and peer fairly closely to be able to see them inside your mouth. Before you sing hallelujah, keep in mind they do have certain drawbacks: they take longer to align your teeth and may cause some discomfort by coming into direct contact with your tongue. They’re also a little tricky to clean. But they’re still an excellent option if you don’t want anyone to know you’re wearing them.

Pros: Practically invisible

Cons: Less effective than traditional and ceramic braces, Difficult to clean

Type 4: Invisalign

Invisalign uses a series of custom-made clear plastic aligners that are neatly placed over the teeth. The aligners are easy to remove and replace – this is done every two weeks throughout a standard treatment period. Most people need about 18 to 30 aligners to complete their treatment. People like this option because the braces are almost invisible. They’ll also allow you to eat or drink pretty much anything. The downside? They’re expensive. Also, they can only correct minor to moderate dental problems – not the really serious stuff.

Pros: Pretty much invisible, Doesn’t restrict your diet

Cons: Expensive, Limited effectiveness

Type 5: Self-Ligating

Self-ligating braces look a lot like their metal counterparts with one important twist: they use clips instead of elastic bands to hold the wire of the brace in place. This basically means that there is less friction on the braces and more comfort for you. You’ll also find it much easier to keep both your braces and your teeth clean. When it comes to effectiveness, they’re at the top of their game: by increasing your control over them, they lead to more accurate tooth alignment. You won’t be surprised to hear they’re expensive though. And they’re not invisible either. But if you want something that’s efficient and gets the job done while keeping you comfortable, well then, what are you waiting for?

Pros: Highly effective, Very comfortable

Cons: Expensive, Quite noticeable