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Types of braces at Total Orthodontics

Modern braces come in all shapes and sizes – so you can rejoice in the knowledge that traditional metal braces are not your only choice. Braces are constantly improving and there are some that are so discreet that even we can’t spot them (unless we have our dental mirror handy).

Here are some of the most popular types of braces that we are proud to offer at Total Orthodontics. While we’ve tried many different braces over the years, this is the selection that offers our patients a variety of choice and, importantly, great results.


Invisalign is a popular removable brace that uses clear aligners to straighten teeth. Without a trace of metal it gently moves teeth using a series of transparent plastic aligners. Your Invisalign aligners will be custom-made just for you, and each one will move your teeth little-by-little.

Because there are no metal wires or brackets, Invisalign is very discreet. Best of all, you can take your brace out to enjoy all the foods that would be difficult to eat with a fixed brace on. Just make sure you wear your brace for a minimum of 20 hours each day.

Invisalign braces in Sussex & Kent

The pros of Invisalign®

• Invisalign can be removed for eating, drinking and teeth brushing
• It’s very inconspicuous
• Your clinician will be able to show you a digital representation of how your teeth should look once you finish your treatment.

The cons of Invisalign®

• Invisalign will only be effective if you’re wearing your aligners for the recommended amount of time.
• There are some more complex problems that will be better suited to fixed braces.

Self-ligating braces

Self-ligating braces look very similar to the traditional fixed braces that orthodontists have used to straighten teeth for decades. However, they are now available with clear or ceramic brackets, making them far more discreet.

They also use clips instead of elastic bands to hold the brace’s wire in place. This creates less friction and makes it easier for you to brush around your brace and keep your teeth clean during your orthodontic treatment.

Clear braces

The pros of self-ligating braces

• Self-ligating braces can be used to effectively treat simple or complex problems
• They can also achieve precise results by giving your clinician complete control over the way your teeth move.

The cons of self-ligating braces

• Clear self-ligating braces are not completely hidden
• You will need to brush carefully around brackets and wires in order to keep your teeth clean.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces attach to the lingual (tongue) side of your teeth. No one can see them, but they’ll be hard at work straightening your teeth from the inside. Your lingual brace will look and function just like a fixed brace, using brackets and wires to gradually move your teeth.

In the case of lingual braces, though, the brackets are custom-made to fit the more irregular back surfaces of your teeth. If you’re looking for a discreet brace, this is the crème da la crème of ‘invisible’ braces.

Incognito braces

The pros of lingual braces

• They are completely hidden from sight
• The can be used to treat the majority of problems.

The cons of lingual braces

• It can take a few days for your tongue to adapt to your brace and it may rub at first
• Lingual braces require a high degree of skill and specialist materials, so they are usually more expensive than other braces.


Strictly speaking, retainers aren’t braces. Instead of moving your teeth, their job is to hold them in their new position once your braces come off. They’re so important, though, that we think they’re always worth a mention.

We offer two types of retainers, and if you’re a private patient you’ll receive both. Removable retainers consist of clear vacuum-formed mouth guards that snugly fit your teeth to hold them in position. Fixed retainers are thin stainless steel wires that are permanently attached behind your front teeth where they stop your teeth from moving 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The pros of retainers

• After a short period of wearing your removable retainers full-time, you’ll only need to wear them at night
• Fixed retainers are very unobtrusive and you’ll quickly forget they’re there.

The cons of retainers

• If you don’t wear your retainers your teeth could move and undo all your hard work.

If you’d like to see the types of braces we offer at Total Orthodontics ‘in the flesh’, get in touch to book your free, no-obligation consultation. Or, keep browsing our website to find more information on all the braces and treatments we offer.

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Specialists in Straightening Teeth