The orthodontic care industry has grown to $19 billion as more people recognize the benefits of improving their smiles. In fact, four million people in the US are already wearing braces. You’re no longer limited to traditional metal braces for quality orthodontic care, though.

Here are a few types of orthodontic treatment options you might consider for yourself or your kids. Reviewing these options can help you choose family orthodontic care based on your family’s needs.

Read on to learn more about orthodontic treatment options today!

Metal Braces

When most people think of quality orthodontic care or braces, they’re thinking of traditional metal braces. However, there are three types of braces we’ll cover in this guide:

  • Metal braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Self-ligating braces

Of the three, traditional metal braces are the most common. These braces involve using a metal wire and brackets to put corrective pressure on your teeth. 

Traditional metal braces can fix a range of orthodontic issues, including:

  • Underbites
  • Overbites
  • Crossbites
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Alignment issues

Some orthodontic options can’t resolve complex orthodontic issues. Metal braces, however, can. If you have complex problems, talk to your orthodontist about traditional metal braces.

Metal braces have changed a lot over time. For example, some practices use heat-activated archwires. Heat-activated archwires use natural body heat to move teeth without causing additional pain or discomfort. 

Today, traditional braces are also more comfortable, though they can cause some discomfort in comparison to Invisalign aligners. 

Pros and Cons

Traditional metal braces are versatile and efficient. They’re also less reliant on patient compliance. With some treatment options, like Invisalign, you can remove the appliance.

Removing your aligners and failing to put them back into place could cause delays with your treatment plan. You could also lose your aligners. You won’t have to worry about this problem with traditional metal braces.

Metal braces are less expensive than many other treatment options available. You can also customize them to turn them into a personal accessory.

However, metal braces can cause discomfort. You might need a few weeks to grow accustomed to the wires and brackets. 

You’ll also need to make changes to your diet. Hard candies and foods could break the brackets and wires. 

You can visit your family orthodontic care practice to determine if you’re an ideal candidate for traditional braces. 


Your orthodontist might recommend Invisalign treatment for your teen or older members of your family.

Invisalign treatment involves clear, plastic aligners that are custom-made to fit around your teeth. You can take the aligners in and out throughout your treatment plan. You’ll need to remove them to eat, drink, brush, or floss.

You’ll receive a new pair of aligners every week or so to bring your teeth closer together throughout the treatment plan.

Invisalign can help resolve mild to moderate orthodontic issues.

Pros and Cons

The clear, plastic aligners aren’t as obvious as metal brackets and wires. You might feel less self-conscious about beginning treatment as a result. Most people won’t recognize the aligners in your mouth.

Since you can remove the aligners on your own, you won’t have to worry about dietary restrictions. However, you will need to wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours every day.

You’ll need to brush and floss after meals before putting the aligners back on. Otherwise, food particles could get stuck between the aligners and your teeth. Your risk of gum disease and tooth decay could increase if you neglect your oral hygiene.

Invisalign isn’t ideal for younger patients who might lose their aligners or neglect to wear them for the proper duration. 

Make sure to talk to your dentist about the cost of each treatment option. Invisalign ranges between $3,000 to $5,000.


Headgear is ideal for patients who need to realign their back teeth. However, it can also affect the front teeth to ensure everything is in proper alignment.

You’ll need to wear the headgear evening and night. Otherwise, it could limit your ability to perform certain tasks throughout the day. 

When used improperly, headgear can cause your front teeth to protrude outwards, leading to new orthodontic issues. 


Retainers are usually used during the last step in a patient’s orthodontic care plan. Most retainers are removable, though there are fixed options.

Retainers are custom-made based on your teeth and jaw structure. They’ll hold your teeth in place to ensure changes from your treatment remain permanent.


If your child’s permanent teeth aren’t in yet, your kids’ dental care orthodontics practice might recommend expanders. An expander is a tool that encourages the growth and expansion of your child’s upper dental arch.

They can support permanent teeth to ensure proper spacing while minimizing your child’s need for orthodontic treatment in the future.

Lingual Braces

If you’re interested in treatment options that offer discretion, consider lingual braces.

Though they’re one of the least common orthodontic treatment options, they are effective. Lingual braces are placed behind the teeth. You won’t have to worry about anyone noticing you’ve started treatment.

Pros and Cons

Lingual braces are ideal for older patients who prefer discretion. However, they could cause speech changes, including a lisp.

It can also take you a while to adjust to the new appliances and their placement. 

Self-Ligating Braces

Self-ligating braces are available both as metal and ceramic braces. They’re designed using a wire to move your teeth into place. Instead of rubber ties, these braces use clips to ensure the wires remain secure. 

Pros and Cons

Self-ligating braces are ideal if you want to schedule shorter appointments at your orthodontist’s practice. These braces are easy to adjust to ensure you continue your treatment plan.

This form of treatment is ideal for patients with dental anxiety who can’t sit still in a dentist’s chair for too long.

Schedule an Appointment to Discuss Orthodontic Care for You Today

Don’t let a crooked smile impact your oral health or self-image. Instead, visit your family orthodontic care practice to discuss your treatment options. With the right form of orthodontic care, you can straighten your smile in no time. 

Discover treatment options for your entire family today.

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Contact us to schedule your next appointment.