Types Of Braces

Here at RiverView Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer a variety of effective and efficient treatment options to patients of all ages in our Tuscaloosa and Demopolis offices. Our expert team is dedicated to creating personalized treatment plans that are designed specifically to meet your unique smile needs! Using the latest techniques and innovative technology, Dr. Mike Upton is able to successfully diagnose, treat, and prevent a wide range of orthodontic issues, including:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Spacing
  • Protruding teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Impacted teeth

Our team uses many different treatment methods, including different types of braces and clear aligners. As the most popular type of orthodontic treatment, braces have gone through a major transformation over the years. Today’s metal braces look and feel better since the brackets are smaller and more subtle. They also move the teeth more efficiently, giving you a better orthodontic treatment experience all around! 

Now that you’ve decided to improve your oral health and align your smile, you may be wondering what your next steps are. At your initial appointment with Dr. Upton, you’ll have an orthodontic examination that will help him determine which treatment option is the best fit for you, your smile, and your lifestyle. Keep reading as we take a closer look at the types of braces we have available, how they differ, and how they can give you a confident smile you’ll love!

A note about traditional braces

Braces do a great job fixing complex tooth issues and can close gaps and align teeth faster than other treatments, potentially shortening your overall treatment time. Because every case is different and everyone responds to treatment differently, treatment time with metal braces will vary from patient to patient. In general, however, the average time tends to be anywhere from 18-36 months. You can even start to see encouraging signs of improvement quickly. 

Maintaining your traditional braces might come with a slight learning curve in the beginning, but it gets easier as your treatment progresses. A good dental hygiene routine is essential for the health of your mouth, especially during orthodontic treatment. There are quite a few accessories designed to make cleaning braces easier, such as waterpiks, that help rinse any hard to reach areas and ortho picks to help you floss. We recommend brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time and flossing every night before bed.

You’ll need to avoid some food while wearing braces to protect them, including anything sticky or crunchy since these can wreak havoc on the brackets and wires. This won’t last forever, though, and will all be worth it once your braces come off and you see your beautiful new smile!

You can expect follow-up visits with us every 4-8 weeks or so throughout your treatment process. During these appointments, Dr. Upton will check the progress of your teeth, change the bands attached to the brackets, and replace any wires that may be worn out as well. These visits tend to be fairly quick, so you can get back to school or work on time! Though there may be some slight residual soreness after each adjustment, it should only be temporary. These visits are a very important part of your overall treatment plan and help us ensure the best results in the least amount of time, so try your best not to miss them. 


Metal braces

Metal braces are one of the most recognizable symbols of orthodontics, and also the most common type of treatment. The brackets are made of a mix of stainless steel, nickel, and other high-quality metals, making them very durable and long-lasting. 

Modern metal braces are much more comfortable and lighter than they used to be, and they’re also customizable, thanks to a variety of fun colored bands to choose from! These braces deliver excellent results and are especially useful in cases that are more severe or complicated.

Since they don’t require some of the more complex technology or expensive equipment that newer treatments do, metal braces also tend to be a slightly more affordable option. The overall strength, durability, and cost-effectiveness of traditional braces keep them the top treatment for orthodontics, year after year. 

Clear braces

Also known as ceramic braces, tooth-colored braces, or aesthetic braces, clear braces work in the same way metal braces do, with the added benefit of semi-translucent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets. While clear braces are about the same size and shape as metal braces, they’re able to better blend in with a patient’s natural smile for a more subtle straightening option. 

While ceramic braces are tough, the material they are made from can be prone to chipping or cracking. Since metal braces can tolerate more pressure than ceramic ones, they may be a better option for younger patients and those who have severe corrections that need to be made. 

Ceramic brackets are often slightly more expensive than metal brackets, as well. Since they can be more expensive and are more prone to breakage, we believe ceramic braces are generally better suited to adults and older teens. That said, ceramic braces can be an excellent treatment option for many patients. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties, they’re an incredibly discreet and efficient way to straighten your smile! 

Invisalign clear aligner therapy

The Invisalign system consists of clear, removable aligners that are customized to fit comfortably over your teeth. Like traditional braces, clear aligners apply gentle pressure to move your teeth into the desired positions. This is accomplished by wearing them 20-22 hours per day throughout the course of treatment, and replacing them every 1-2 weeks for the next aligner in the system.

Invisalign offers patients a bit more freedom and flexibility than other treatment options do. There are no food restrictions since aligners are removed when eating or drinking, and it’s easy to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy since you don’t have to work around wires and brackets. You simply remove the aligner, then brush and floss the way you normally would! 


Find braces that work with your smile at RiverView Orthodontics

At RiverView Orthodontics, we know every smile is unique, and what works for one patient may not be a good choice for another. That’s why Dr. Upton creates a customized treatment plan for every patient! With his education, skills, and experience, you can feel confident that he’ll only recommend the course of treatment that’s best for your smile. 

If you’re in Tuscaloosa, Demopolis, or the surrounding area, we would love to meet you and give you more information on how orthodontics can give you a healthier, straighter smile. Get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation!