appliancesTypes of Braces

Metal Braces

Metal braces are the most common type. They are made of high-grade stainless steel. Today's metal braces are smaller, more comfortable and more attractive.

Clear Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are made of translucent (clear) material. They are most popular with adult patients due to their cosmetic appeal. The only drawbacks to ceramic brackets are that they are more fragile, and the elastic ties can discolor between orthodontic visits.


The Invisalign system is a series of clear overlay templates – called aligners – that have been generated by computer simulation to gradually move the teeth. This system is available to adult patients with certain orthodontic bite problems. Ask us if you are a candidate for the Invisalign system.

Parts of Braces


Bands are a ring of metal, which fit around the molars and sometimes premolars. The bands are selected from a range of sizes in order to find the tightest fitting band. The bands are sealed in position using dental cement that contains fluoride to prevent any decalcification during treatment.


The brackets hold the archwire against each tooth. The archwire fits into a slot in the bracket. Brackets may be attached directly to each tooth or to a band.


The main wires or archwires, are shaped specifically to fit around the arch into the bracket slots. Teeth move from the pressure that is applied by the braces. That pressure comes from the archwire, which guides the direction of the movement.


An elastic is the tiny rubber ring that ties the archwire into the bracket.


Hooks are small attachments on the brackets used to attach elastics (rubber bands).

Coil Spring

The coil spring fits between brackets and over the archwire.

Rapid Palatal Expander

A Rapid Palatal Expander is a fixed orthodontic appliance used to widen the upper dental arch. Widening the upper jaw allows for more room for the eruption of permanent teeth if your arch is too narrow.

To activate your RPE, insert the key firmly into the hole closest to the front of the mouth. (It may be necessary to tilt the key to insert it into the hole.) Turn the key backward, toward your throat, until it can not move any further. Make sure the turn has been completed, and remove the key by pulling it straight down. (The key must be removed this way to ensure the turn is not reversed.) Once the turn has been completed, the next hole will become visible. Rapid Palatal Expanders are normally activated once daily, however your orthodontist will determine the proper activation plan for your case.

Since your RPE isn't removable, keep the area between your expander and the roof of your mouth clean to reduce the risk of irritation. Brush and floss your teeth as usual, paying special attention to brushing around all areas of the expander. Refrain from eating hard and/or sticky foods as they can damage your appliance.

  • Ladera Ranch

    800 Corporate Dr., Suite 220

    Ladera Ranch, CA 92694

    Phone: 949.347.2525

  • Tustin

    500 S. C St.

    Tustin, CA 92780

    Phone: 714.838.6464

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