Which Type Of Braces Is Right For Me?

If you are thinking about getting braces for yourself or your child, congratulations! Getting braces is an exciting step in correcting dental issues and building a long-lasting, beautiful smile.

Often, we find that patients are surprised to learn that there are a variety of options when it comes to improving your smile. Sometimes, braces are not necessary; Dr. Olsen or Dr. French may recommend something else, like a retainer, expander, or steps to fixing a bite correction.

However, if the treatment plan includes braces, you or your child can discuss the following options to see what is best:

Traditional Braces

As the most common form of braces, traditional braces are a classic choice for a reason!

Traditional metal braces are common among kids, since they offer lasting, relatively quick changes to teeth. Comprised of brackets, wires, and elastic bands, these braces are adjusted periodically to continually shape and straighten teeth into a great smile.

It is recommended that kids first visit our office around the age of 7. This way, Dr. French or Dr. Olsen can identify any larger issues with your child’s bite or jaw, and can help determine when your child should come back to discuss whether or not braces are needed. Usually, braces will not be needed until all permanent teeth have come in, which happens over the next few years.

Once kids have braces, one of their favorite things to do is pick out which colors of elastic bands will adorn their brackets. Seasonal colors, favorite sports teams, school colors, and more inspire kids to get creative with their braces, as they become uniquely their own.

Caring for traditional braces does require some work, though. Since these brackets and wires are affixed to teeth, it is important not to eat certain foods – especially those that are chewy, sticky, or hard – or drink certain drinks – like juices, sodas, and more that can potentially stain teeth.

With the help of Dr. French and Dr. Olsen, you can learn the proper way to care for your teeth while you wear braces. Special techniques for brushing, flossing, and removing food stuck within wires are crucial to maintaining dental health and hygiene throughout the course of treatment.

Clear Braces

Clear braces, or ceramic braces, follow the same basic principles of traditional metal braces – with one clear difference!

Less noticeable than traditional metal braces, clear braces are made with ceramic brackets that are tooth-colored, making them blend in more naturally with your smile. Clear elastic bands blend into the brackets, rather than the colorful bands normally found on traditional braces.

Although ceramic braces are not as easy to detect as traditional braces, they do require a little extra work. Since the brackets are a lighter shade, they can stain more easily than metal brackets. The wearer should be diligent in cleaning, and they should talk to Dr. French or Dr. Olsen about the best ways to keep their brackets white and bright!

Similar to traditional braces, clear braces require that you follow certain dietary rules. Drinks that can stain your teeth and foods that can pull off brackets and wires must be avoided. Clear braces are a popular option from kids to adults, giving a look that is a little more subtle when transitioning to life with braces.


There are clear braces, and then there is Invisalign! These clear aligners are virtually invisible, making them an increasingly popular choice for orthodontic care. Only available to teens and adults, Invisalign is also used for teeth straightening that is not so complicated. Usually, Invisalign wearers have even worn braces before, but need to fix areas where their teeth have moved. 

Invisalign works over time through a series of aligners. First, Dr. French or Dr. Olsen take a scan of your smile; then, they create a plan moving forward with a series of aligners, made specifically for your smile.

While the Invisalign process can sometimes take longer than traditional or clear braces (this varies from patient to patient), it is much more flexible for the busy schedules of teens and adults. Invisalign is removable, allowing the wearer to take them out for eating, drinking, and cleaning teeth.

Being removable also allows the patient to take them out for big events, such as social outings, interviews, exercise and sports, and more. Invisalign is a great option for teens and adults on the go. Even though the patient must wear the aligners the recommended 20-22 hours per day, it is easy to forget that they are being worn!

Invisalign is comfortable, discreet, and effective, delivering great results without anyone needing to know.

Ready To Choose? Let’s Get Started

If you are ready to discuss options for yourself or your child with your orthodontist, contact our office today! With a convenient location, friendly staff, and a soothing atmosphere, you are sure to make the right choice with Authentic Orthodontics.