Types of Braces

Thanks to today’s advances in orthodontic technology, Marshall Orthodontics can provide our patients with more options when it comes to wearing braces than ever before. While traditional metal braces are still widely used, Invisalign removable aligners, the “braceless” alternative are are very popular with teens and adults who may be self-conscious about wearing braces.  If Dr. Marshall determines that you are not a candidate for Invisalign or other clear aligners, however, there are some other braces options available.  We are here to help you determine which treatment option is right for you.

Silver Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces used today.  They are smaller and more comfortable than ever before. With metal braces, you can choose to be colorful & festive with your o-ties (the rubbery ties around each bracket) or you can blend them in by choosing o-ties that are silver or gray.


Iconix® Braces (Champagne Colored)

We also offer champagne colored braces.  Teeth naturally have a yellower hue, which make the Iconix braces blend in much nicer than silver metal braces (look at the photo below for a comparison).  It is an elegant look.  The advantage is that it doesn’t have the cons that the ceramic braces have and yet it’s more esthetic than silver braces.

Ceramic Braces (White Colored)

Ceramic braces are made of white ceramic and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces.  Although it still is not as esthetic as clear aligners, such as Invisalign, ceramic braces is by far the most esthetic braces option.  While they are visually less prominent, they have several disadvantages:

  • Dr. Marshall is only willing to do ceramic braces on upper teeth only.  This is because ceramic braces are harder than the enamel (outer surface of teeth), and you can more easily get damage to your upper teeth when the upper teeth bite down on to lower ceramic braces.  Dr. Marshall doesn’t want to risk your teeth getting damaged in this way.  This means that your lower teeth will have metal (either the silver or the champagne, depending on what you decide).
  • They make the tooth move much slower, so much so that Dr. Marshall advises against ceramic braces for treatment plans that require extractions.  Treatment, even without extractions, will take longer (sometimes much longer) than with metal braces.
  • The teeth are more difficult to straighten with ceramic braces, which can increase treatment time.
  • They do require more attention to oral hygiene since ceramic braces are larger.
  • They are usually bulkier than metal braces.
  • They are more fragile than metal braces (ie more prone to breakage, if not taken care of well).
  • The ceramic braces still need to be tied in with o-ties (rubbery rings) and the o-ties tend to discolor between orthodontic visits with certain foods, beverages & other oral habits.
  • Will require more force to remove from your teeth (could be more sore when the ceramic bracket is removed).
  • Dr. Marshall’s verdict – if you want esthetic, go with clear aligners; if clear aligners is not an option, go with Iconix. 


Invisible “Braces” = Clear Aligners

Clear aligners is the recommended appliance, for best esthetics.  It’s still not quite invisible, but they will beat out all types of braces.  Invisalign® , a type of clear aligners, is offered at Marshall Orthodontics.