Braces options

From clear to metal braces, there are several types of braces to look at together with your orthodontist. 

Orthodontics is the area of dentistry that specialises in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of irregularities of the teeth, jaws and face. The technical term for these problems is ‘malocclusion’ which means ‘bad bite’.

Most orthodontic problems are inherited, such as teeth crowding, gaps between teeth, buck teeth or a cleft palette. However some problems can be a result of habits such as finger sucking, premature loss of primary or permanent teeth, or as the result of a sporting accident.

The value of a beautiful smile can’t be underestimated because of the benefits it can bring to a person’s self-esteem. Some malocclusions will lead to increased tooth wear, and crooked or crowded teeth can be difficult to clean, resulting in tooth decay and gum disease. Orthodontic treatment by a registered specialist will help give you a winning smile that you will be proud of.

Speed braces are smaller to traditional braces, making them more aesthetically pleasing.

Clear braces

Fixed braces are made from clear material such as porcelain, ceramic, glass or plastic. These braces don’t show as much metal, although the wire running across the teeth is still visible. Porcelain or ceramic is abrasive to enamel so many orthodontists will not place them on the lower teeth if the patient has an overbite.

Clear braces are applied to the top teeth to create the best aesthetic appearance, while stainless steel or metal brackets are used on all other teeth as they are not immediately visible with smiling or talking. Brackets are glued onto the surface of the teeth and an arch wire is inserted into the brackets, and secured with elastic rings. Different arch wires will be used throughout your personal treatment plan.

You can choose to apply different coloured elastic rings to each brace during their scheduled adjustment visits. Elastics are the primary mechanism we use to gently move teeth into their correct position and correct your bite. It is important that you wear your elastics as instructed by your specialist orthodontist as this will ensure a high quality result in the recommended treatment time.

Speed braces

Speed braces are a modern form of braces that do not require elastics to straighten teeth and correct your bite. Instead they use low profile, self-litigating metal brackets and a spring clip which can be programmed to exert the correct amount of pressure to move your teeth gently into place. Speed braces are smaller than traditional braces, so they are aesthetically pleasing however they can only be used on patients that do not require tooth extractions. Speed braces generally require fewer orthodontic visits than clear braces during a treatment programme.

Functional appliances

A functional appliance is a type of brace used to correct bite problems that cause the top teeth to bite in front of the lower teeth. Functional appliances are either fixed or removable.

Expansion appliances

Expansion appliances can be removed or fixed, and are often used to widen the upper jaw and correct a cross-bite. A fixed expander is attached to the upper back teeth and spans across the roof of the mouth. It can only be removed and adjusted by your specialist orthodontist.

Please remember that you don’t need a referral from a dentist or dental therapist if you are concerned about your teeth
and wish to see a specialist orthodontist.

Contact us

Orthodontic treatment will help give you a winning smile that you will be proud of.

Key terms

Common orthodontic abnormalities that may trigger dentists and/or dental therapists to refer you to Dr Green include:


A crossbite is caused by one, or more, upper teeth biting behind the lower teeth.

Rotated teeth

Rotated teeth refer to a condition where the tooth has turned and is displaced out of its normal position.

Retroclined teeth

Retroclined teeth refer to the condition of teeth being inclined backward.

Protruding teeth/buck teeth

Protruding, or buck, teeth are caused by the upper teeth projecting out of a person's mouth and over the lower lip.

Missing teeth

Missing permanent teeth is a common orthodontic issue.

Deciduous or primary teeth

Deciduous or primary teeth, commonly known as baby teeth, temporary or milk teeth are a person’s first set of teeth. They are developed during the embryonic stage of development and erupt during infancy.


A diastema is a space or gap between two teeth.


An open bite exists when upper and lower front teeth don't meet when biting the back teeth together. This is very common in children who persistently suck their thumbs or fingers.

Crowded teeth

Crowding is the most common orthodontic problem.

Deep bite

A deep bite is an exaggerated vertical overlap of the upper and lower front teeth.

Proclined teeth

Proclined teeth refer to the condition of teeth being inclined forwards ('buck teeth').

Thumb and finger-sucking habit

Thumb and finger-sucking is a natural reflex for a baby, that may begin before birth and is considered a normal part of a young child's development. If the habit continues past five to six years of age, there is potential for undesirable tooth movement and a bite problem may develop.

Orthognathic surgery

Orthognathic surgery is a corrective jaw surgery that straightens and realigns the jaw to correct skeletal deformities in combination with orthodontic treatment.

Retained teeth

Deciduous or baby teeth can be retained for a variety of reasons and may indicate the absence of a permanent tooth. A retained deciduous baby tooth can also still be present despite the eruption of a permanent tooth and will require removal.


An underbite occurs when a person’s lower jaw protrudes or extends forward and is positioned in front of the upper jaw, making the chin and lower teeth prominent.

Impacted teeth

Impacted teeth increase the chance of delayed eruption. Delayed eruption occurs when teeth don't come through at the normal time. Ectopic teeth are teeth that erupt in the wrong place. This can lead to impacted canines, molars, premolars and ectopic molars.
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