Types of Braces & Appliances

At Gruelle Dempsey Orthodontics, we offer a few ways to get you a beautiful smile. From traditional metal braces to clear aligners like Invisalign, we’ll make sure your teeth get the proper, most effective treatment. Give us a call to find out more!




The most common types of braces are the traditional metal braces. Metal braces correct crooked teeth, a misaligned bite, crowded teeth, or jaw problems using high-grade stainless steel with metal brackets and archwires. They require periodic tightening so that pressure can gradually straighten your teeth and align your jaw. Over the years, they’ve become sleeker, smaller, and more comfortable. You can also add colored rubber bands for a more colorful smile!

self ligating braces


Self-Litigating Braces Self-Litigating braces require fewer appointments and less friction being placed on the tooth since they do not require the use of elastics. They can also be used with clear, ceramic, or traditional metal brackets. Self-litigating braces like the Damon® System and In-Ovation® are similar in size to traditional braces but use a special clip that helps guide the teeth into place while lessening the pressure placed on them. They require fewer adjustments since there are no elastics which means no more taking off those rubber bands at meals or when brushing.



Clear braces, also known as ceramic braces, are made of materials varying in levels of transparency so that the braces appear to mimic the color of your natural teeth. They are less noticeable on your teeth than metal braces and are more popular on teenagers and adult patients. Clear braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth due to their ceramic bases being more fragile than their metal counterparts.



Invisible braces, such as Invisalign® are a set of clear, removable, and comfortable trays that are custom fitted to your teeth. The trays are virtually invisible and allow more freedom to eat and drink what you want while in treatment. The aligners are required to be worn throughout most of the day, and since they have no metal to cause abrasions during treatment, they are much more comfortable than traditional braces. They also make brushing and flossing much less difficult.



Lingual braces give off the appearance of no braces when you smile since they are hidden behind your teeth! Lingual braces like the Incognito® are therefore “invisible” in appearance. The metal appliances are created uniquely for you by matching the shape of your teeth and mouth. For cosmetic reasons, lingual braces are popular with those who act or model as well as athletes and public figures.




The rubber bands that wrap around your braces are used to help move your teeth around. They should always be worn as instructed to ensure that the braces are working correctly.



The Forsus is a medical appliance that helps get rid of overbites by moving the upper teeth backward and the lower teeth forward. In doing so, it aims to prevent the possibility of jaw surgery.



Headgear works by gently pulling on your upper teeth and jaw to prevent them from moving forward. It can be used to treat both overbites and underbites.



Commonly used for younger children, the Herbst® appliance pushes the lower jaw forward to reduce overbites and is usually worn for around a year.



The palatal expander works by making slight adjustments to the appliance over a designated period. Gentle pressure is applied to the upper molars in order to widen the upper jaw until it reaches the desired expansion.



Positioners are the last appliances you’ll use in your orthodontic journey. As long as you wear them as directed, they only need to be used for a month or two.



Retainers are used to keep your teeth in their new position after treatment is over. They can either be permanently placed or removable. Special care should be taken so that you do not bend or damage it. It is very important that you wear it as instructed or your teeth might move back to their original position and become misaligned.



Separators are used to push your teeth apart to make room for the elastic bands. They are removed before the bands are placed.

More than half of our current patients are being treated with Invisalign. Our orthodontists are a Super Elite Preferred Provider, which means they are in the top 1 percent of dental professionals in North America using Invisalign. Also, we are the number two provider, out of more than 86,000, in the world!