Types of Braces

A majority of patients who come visit the trusted orthodontists of Coastal Carolina Orthodontics will end up opting for traditional metal braces as a means to straighten their teeth.

However, while traditional metal braces are the most common type of orthodontic treatment, there are many different types of braces to choose from. Depending on your unique needs and smile goals, our orthodontists will help you select the type of orthodontic treatment that’s right for you. To investigate the different kinds of braces we offer at Coastal Carolina, continue reading below.

Fixed vs. Removable Appliances

Before delving into the different types of braces our practice provides, it is important to understand the distinction between fixed and removable appliances. Fixed appliances like braces are attached to the teeth by metal bands or special cement. They aren't ordinarily taken off until treatment is complete. Removable appliances on the other hand, such as Invisalign aligners, are typically worn some 22 hours a day, but can be easily taken off as needed. However please note that while Invisalign aligners can be effective in treating mild to moderate orthodontic problems, fixed appliances are generally needed for more comprehensive treatment. Thus, they are typically the more reliable, frequently selected option.

Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of fixed orthodontic appliances utilized by orthodontists. Typically made of high-grade stainless steel, they consist of metal bands that wrap around the back molars and smaller metal brackets that are cemented to the front surfaces of the other teeth.

By means of a thin, springy metal wire that runs through the brackets, your teeth are gently guided into the proper position. This archwire may be fixed to the brackets by flexible elastics, metal ties, or other types of clasps.

Reliable, effective, and economical—traditional metal braces are a time-tested option that do not disappoint. Moreover, today's metal braces are smaller, lighter, and more comfortable to wear than ever before. They even come with the great personalization option of choosing your own set of elastic colors, which lends to a less traditional look.

Ceramic Braces

While traditional metal braces are very popular, they are not longer the only game in town. Ceramic braces (otherwise known as clear braces) are a new variation on the conventional system of braces that provide a far less noticeable method of treatment.

Ceramic braces utilize the same components as traditional braces, except the brackets on the front side of the teeth are made of a translucent ceramic material that blends in with the tooth's natural color. As a result, this system of braces has become a favorite among because it is a lot less noticeable.

Several types of ceramic braces are currently available, and the technology is constantly improving. Although, while ceramic braces’ aesthetic appeal is undeniable, there are a few tradeoffs. Ceramic brackets can be less durable than their metal counterparts. The elastic bands that attach to these braces’ archwire do still stain (though typically elastics are changed each month before appearances suffer too greatly). And ceramic braces cost more than metal braces. However, for many people the benefit of having an inconspicuous source of orthodontic treatment outweighs the costs.

Damon Braces

Damon braces utilize a sliding-door technology known as “self-ligation.” These brackets allow the wire of your braces to slide back and forth within the bracket to provide more efficient treatment. With Damon braces you’ll experience less friction and, thus, greater comfort. Damon braces can also reduce treatment time and (as they require fewer adjustments than traditional braces) you won’t have to come into our Jacksonville, Morehead City, or Havelock office for check-ins as frequently.

SPEED Braces

SPEED braces use a self-ligating SPEED Braces clip that allows efficient movement with light force. SPEED Braces have a lot of benefits that traditional braces do not offer in terms of structure, comfort, hygiene, and esthetics. SPEED braces are made from nickel titanium, do not utilize elastic ties, and are 1/3 smaller than traditional braces.


Unlike traditional braces, this form of orthodontic treatment does not rely on a system of brackets and wires. The Invisalign system is made up of a series of clear overlay templates called aligners that are generated by advanced computer simulations and are customized to gradually move your teeth.

These aligners are comfortable, removable, and practically invisible. Each aligner set is worn for a few weeks until your orthodontist provides you with a new one. As Invisalign only corrects a sub-set of adult bite problems, it might not be a suitable choice for every patient. Schedule a consultation with your orthodontist today to find out if Invisalign is right for you.

Contact Your Orthodontist Now

If you’ve been thinking about getting started with orthodontic treatment, contact the team at Coastal Carolina Orthodontics today. Our orthodontists will help you find the treatment that’s right for you. Call our Jacksonville, Morehead City, or Havelock office now!