A Comprehensive Guide to How Different Types of Braces Work

Everyone is familiar with braces, especially the metal ones. However, have you ever wondered how they exactly work to fix your teeth? If you have ever considered braces, you may want to know what kind of options are available for you and how they function to straighten your teeth. There are several types of braces including metal, invisible, ceramic and lingual.

Understand how different types of braces work:

How Do Metal Braces Work?
• How Do Invisible Braces Work?
• How Do Ceramic Braces Work?
• How Do Lingual Braces Work?


Let's explore each type in detail below.

teeth with metal braces

How Do Metal Braces Work?

Getting metal braces to fix teeth alignment are the most common orthodontic treatment that people get, but how do they work? Metal braces work by exerting constant direct pressure on your teeth. The pressure comes from the arch wires putting pressure on the brackets of the braces. This will cause your teeth to move into the correct position and eventually fix your teeth alignment problems.

woman wearing Invisalign

How Do Invisible Braces Work?

Invisible braces, also known as clear aligners, are a set of orthodontic devices that help align teeth. Unlike conventional braces, they are transparent.

If you're wondering if invisible braces work, the answer is yes. Just like normal braces, they can fix all the common teeth misalignments, such as crowding, overbite, and open bite, among others. But how do they precisely straighten teeth?

After all, invisible braces (clear aligners) are vastly different from metal braces, yet they can accomplish almost the same result. Many people think that they're effective just by snapping them onto your teeth and that your teeth will move magically. However, that’s not the case.

How Aligner Attachments Help to Straighten Teeth

Invisible braces work by applying gentle pressure on your teeth, slowly and gradually shifting them into the desired position. They are designed to make small movements, so switching from one aligner to the next tends to be more gentle and comfortable.



For particular cases, clients will proceed with something called “attachments”. Think of them as handles for your invisible braces. Aligner attachments are transparent bumps bonded to your teeth and are left there for the entirety of your treatment. The placement and shape of them will depend on the movement required. They help apply pressure from the aligners onto your teeth, directing them into the proper position.

teeth with ceramic braces

How Do Ceramic Braces Work?

Apart from the brackets being either clear or tooth-coloured, ceramic braces function just like traditional braces. Like their name implies, this type of braces is made of ceramic. They are still functionally capable of treating any teeth misalignments that traditional braces can treat by applying consistent pressure to your teeth. But because the substance is less durable than metal, they can be less long-lasting.

teeth with lingual braces

How Do Lingual Braces Work?

Lingual braces are suitable for people who want to be discreet about their braces treatment. If you get this type of braces, it will not be placed in the front of your teeth but rather at the back. Like traditional braces, they are able to correct the majority of alignment issues by exerting pressure on the teeth. The main difference between normal braces and lingual braces is that they are hidden inside the teeth and hence cannot be seen.

Most braces function similarly, but you can choose the type based on your personal preferences and the condition of your teeth. However, it's always best to consult a dentist before deciding on a treatment plan to ensure you're choosing the most effective option for your situation.

To check if you might be a fit for braces, you may also spare less than a minute or so to take a Free Smile Consultation.

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