Types of Braces

Self-Ligating Braces

self-ligating braces

Drs. Carroll and Sutton use only self-ligating braces. Self-ligating braces are made from the same materials as traditional braces. However, self-ligating braces use a specialized clip in place of elastics to engage the archwire, which guides teeth into place. Since this clip does not fatigue or deteriorate like elastics there are no wasted “retie” appointments like there are with traditional braces. Lighter forces can be used to more safely and efficiently move teeth as well since the archwires no longer need to overcome the friction created by the elastics. This combination of more efficient tooth movement and lack of wasted appointments translates into fewer appointments. 

Clear (Ceramic) Braces

clear braces

Ceramic braces are made of tooth-color materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are popular with older teenagers and adult patients. The biggest complaint about traditional ceramic braces is that while they look great when you leave the orthodontist’s office, they stain within a few days. Drs. Carroll and Sutton use only self-ligating ceramic braces. Just like our metal braces, our ceramic braces do not use elastics to engage the archwire. It is these clear elastics that quickly stain. While ceramic braces do look nice, they are a little larger than metal braces and are made of a material (ceramic) that is harder than tooth enamel. For these reasons, ceramic braces are more appropriate for upper front teeth than for lower teeth.

Clear Aligners


Aligners, such as Invisalign®, ClearCorrect™, and SureClear, are a series of nearly invisible, removable, and comfortable plastic trays that straighten your teeth by applying specific forces to them, much like braces. Not only are the aligners nearly invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment. Brushing and flossing are easier as well. While these aligners are great for certain types of tooth movements, they are not suited for others.

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