Types of braces

From fixed metal braces to the virtually invisible Invisalign aligners,
our fabulous team can work wonders with those treatments to ensure you leave our office with a smile on your face.

metal braces

Traditional metal braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. The metal brackets are bonded to the front surface of your teeth with an orthodontic adhesive. Thin archwires then connect these braces and small elastic bands (ligatures) are fitted around each bracket. Once attached, these three parts gently apply pressure to your teeth to straighten them.

With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics for a more unique and colorful smile.


To start painting your braces, click on a color, then on the tooth you want to paint. Or, click on a color, then click on one of the buttons below to assign that color to specific teeth. Check with your orthodontist to see which fun colors are available for your teeth!


Clear (ceramic) braces

Clear (ceramic) braces

Ceramic braces use the same technology as traditional metal braces, so they are highly effective at straightening your teeth. The difference is they come with the added benefit of being extremely discreet. That is because the metal brackets are replaced with clear ones making them less visible on your teeth.

Ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who are concerned about what they will look like when wearing braces. While visually less prominent, clear braces do require more attention to oral hygiene as the ceramic brackets are larger and more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.

Invisible braces

Have you ever heard of invisible braces? It’s highly likely that you’ve never seen them given they’re virtually invisible. Invisible braces, or Invisalign, is an orthodontic treatment method which uses clear aligners to straighten your teeth. There are no brackets, no archwires, no elastic bands and not a piece of metal in sight, which means they’re more comfortable to wear and won’t cause mouth abrasions during treatment.

Instead, Invisalign’s invisible braces use a series of virtually invisible, removable, and comfortable acrylic trays to move your teeth into position. They look a bit like a sports mouthguard. But their invisibility isn’t their only advantage. They are removable. Just take them out when eating, brushing and flossing. Having orthodontic treatment has never been so easy!

After braces

After treatment, once your teeth are in their newly straightened position and you can’t stop smiling at yourself in the mirror, there is one last, but very important step, in your treatment journey. This phase is known as the retention phase. 

The retention phase is the period of your treatment when you will be required to wear retainers to keep your teeth straight. After all, we don’t want them moving back into their original position, which could happen if you don’t wear your retainers. 

There are two types of retainers: fixed retainers, which consist of a small metal wire permanently fitted to the back surface of your front six teeth; and removable retainers which are like Invisalign aligners. You’ll need to wear the removable retainer full-time for the first three months, and then at night, or as we instruct you. 

To get the very best out of this extremely important phase of treatment, we recommend you: 

  1. Take your retainer out when eating, and always put it back in its case! Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants and replacement retainers are expensive. Take your retainers out if you go swimming too!
  2. Clean your removable retainer thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but do not replace brushing.
  3. Always keep your retainer in its case when you’re not wearing it. Pets love to chew on retainers! Keep them away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
  4. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to the retainer, as it may affect your speech to begin with.
  5. Treat your retainers with care. They are breakable. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us immediately. 

You will need to come in for a couple of appointments during the retention phase, so please bring your retainer with you to these appointments.  If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or you believe it needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust it yourself. 

Want to start your journey to a beautifully straight smile? Book your free consultation with the friendly Fillman Orthodontics team today.


33699 Yucaipa Blvd. #1-E
CA 92399