When it comes to straightening teeth, patients now have a variety of options.

It used to be that there was little choice when it came to braces; most wearers would have had to put up with unsightly metal brackets on their teeth for an extended period of time. These days, patients have options - a range of braces that make it a lot less uncomfortable to f lash that winsome smile.

  1. Metal braces

    When you think of conventional braces, these are what usually come to mind. They are made from high-grade stainless steel and are the most common type used.

    Pros: They are the least expensive.

    Cons: They are the most noticeable of all types of braces and the least aesthetically pleasing.

  2. Ceramic braces

    Ceramic braces are the same size as metal braces, but they have tooth-coloured or clear brackets that blend into teeth.

    Pros: Less noticeable than metal braces; move teeth much faster than clear plastic aligners.

    Cons: More expensive than metal braces.

  3. Lingual braces

    They comprise metal brackets that are bonded to the tongue side of the teeth, making them practically invisible as they cannot be viewed from the outside.

    Pros: They are invisible and suitable for working adults or people reluctant to reveal that they are undergoing orthodontic treatment.

    Cons: Initial discomfort with lingual braces affects mastication; speech takes longer to adjust — about two to four weeks — compared to less than one week for traditional metal and ceramic braces; unsuitable for people with short teeth or certain bites.

  4. Non-ligating bracket system (by Innobrace Orthodontics)

    Non Ligating Braces are comprised of bracket slots made of titanium alloy, which keeps them flexible, unlike those used in typical braces. When force is applied by the wire during orthodontic treatment, the bracket slots flex.

    Pros: They cause less discomfort and straighten teeth more quickly than conventional braces.

    Cons: They are expensive compared to other types of braces.

  5. Invisalign

    A near-invisible, removable set of teeth aligners that do not require metal wires or unsightly and uncomfortable attachments to achieve the same result

    Pros: Lightweight and transparent; can be easily removed when you eat so you can brush your teeth as usual; safe to wear during sporting activities such as diving and contact sports.

    Cons: Not suitable for everybody, such as those with short crowns.