Traditional braces are stainless steel, sometimes in combination with nickel titanium, and are the most widely used. These include conventional braces, which require ties to hold the archwire in place, and newer self-tying (or self-ligating) brackets. Self-ligating brackets may reduce friction between the wire and the slot of the bracket, which in turn might be of therapeutic benefit.
“Clear” braces serve as a cosmetic alternative to traditional metal braces by blending in more with the natural color of the teeth or having a less conspicuous or hidden appearance. Typically, these brackets are made of ceramic or plastic materials and function in a similar manner to traditional metal brackets. Clear elastic ties and white metal ties are available to be used with these clear braces to help keep the appliances less conspicuous. Clear braces have a higher component of friction and tend to be more brittle than metal braces. This can make removing the appliances at the end of treatment more difficult and time consuming.
Lingual braces (Incognito Braces) are custom made fixed braces bonded to the back of the teeth making them invisible to other people. In lingual braces the brackets are cemented onto the backside of the teeth making them invisible while in standard braces the brackets are cemented onto the front side of the teeth. Hence, lingual braces are a cosmetic alternative to those who do not wish to have the unaesthetic metal look but wish to improve their smile