Types of Braces

If you or a loved one are considering orthodontic treatment, chances are braces have crossed your mind. Braces have been used for decades to straighten teeth and correct bite issues, making them the go-to option for achieving a beautiful, healthy smile.

At Apple Valley Orthodontics, we offer two types of braces: traditional metal and clear ceramic braces. Both options have their own unique benefits, but they both work in the same way to gradually move your teeth into their desired position.

So why choose braces? Well, for one, they are a time-tested and trusted treatment option. Countless success stories and satisfied patients can attest to the effectiveness of braces in achieving a straight and healthy smile.

But what sets braces apart from other orthodontic treatments? For starters, they can address a wide range of dental issues, including overcrowding, gaps, crooked teeth, and bite problems. This versatility makes them a popular choice for both teens and adults seeking to improve their oral health and appearance.

Not to mention, braces remain one of the most affordable orthodontic options, making them accessible to a wide range of patients. With advancements in technology and materials, braces are now more comfortable and discreet than ever before

Traditional Metal

Traditional metal braces have been around for a long time and for good reason. They are incredibly effective at fixing even the most complex dental issues. Made from high-quality stainless steel, these braces consist of metal brackets that are attached to each tooth and connected with a thin archwire. This wire applies gentle pressure to gradually move your teeth into their correct positions.

But why choose traditional metal braces? First, their durability is unmatched. They are designed to withstand daily wear and tear, making them an excellent choice for younger patients or those with active lifestyles. Second, metal braces offer predictability. Your orthodontist can precisely control the movement of your teeth, ensuring the best possible outcome. Lastly, they offer a bit of fun too! With colorful bands available, you or your child can customize your braces at each appointment.

Despite being a more visible option, traditional metal braces have stood the test of time, continually providing reliable and effective treatment for various orthodontic cases.


Clear ceramic braces offer a less noticeable alternative to traditional metal braces while maintaining the same level of effectiveness. These braces consist of clear or tooth-colored ceramic brackets that are bonded to each tooth, and they work in conjunction with the archwire to gradually shift your teeth into alignment. This discreet design makes them an excellent choice for teens and adults who prioritize aesthetics during their orthodontic treatment.

But what makes clear ceramic braces a worthy consideration? The answers lie in their distinct advantages. Firstly, they offer a high level of discretion. Their ceramic brackets blend in with the natural color of your teeth, making them less visible to others. Secondly, they are highly effective. Like their metal counterparts, ceramic braces can treat a wide range of orthodontic issues, offering the same meticulous control over tooth movement.

Keep in mind that ceramic braces require diligent care to ensure they remain discreet and continue to blend with your natural smile. However, with disciplined oral hygiene and regular dental visits, clear ceramic braces can help you achieve the radiant smile you’ve always wanted, discreetly and confidently.

early orthodontic treatment

Braces For Kids

As a parent, you want what’s best for your child. And when it comes to their dental health, braces are often an important part of the equation. At Apple Valley Orthodontics, we understand the importance of early treatment and how braces play a key role in smile development for kids.

The Key Role of Braces

Braces are the most common way to straighten teeth and align the jaw. They work by applying gentle pressure to move the teeth into their proper positions over time. But braces do more than just straighten teeth. They also play a key role in smile development for kids.

Here’s how:

  • Encouraging Proper Jaw Growth — Braces help guide the growth of the jaw, ensuring that it develops properly and can support a healthy bite.
  • Creating Space For Permanent Teeth — By addressing any crowding or spacing issues early on, we can ensure that there is enough room for your child’s permanent teeth to come in without complications.
  • Correcting Misalignments — Braces can fix a variety of issues, from overbites and underbites to crossbites and open bites. By correcting these misalignments, we can prevent future dental problems and promote optimal oral health.

Early Treatment

Many parents wait until their child has all of their permanent teeth before considering orthodontic treatment. However, this is not always the best approach. By waiting until all the permanent teeth have erupted, there may be missed opportunities to correct issues that could have been easily addressed at a younger age.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children see an orthodontist for an initial evaluation by the age of 7. This allows orthodontists to identify any potential issues and create a treatment plan that can be implemented at the appropriate time.

One of the major benefits of early treatment is preventing more serious problems from developing later on. By addressing orthodontic issues at a young age, you can avoid the need for more extensive and invasive treatment in the future. This can save time, money, and unnecessary discomfort down the road.

Early treatment can also help with improving facial symmetry and jaw alignment. By guiding the growth of your child’s jaw at a younger age, their teeth will have ample space to come in properly, resulting in a straighter and healthier smile.

Another advantage of early treatment is it can help correct harmful oral habits that may be affecting your child’s oral health. These habits, such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, can cause misalignment and other issues if not addressed early on.

Why Early Treatment Matters

Many parents may wonder if their child needs braces at a young age. The truth is, early treatment can make a big difference in your child’s smile and oral health. By starting orthodontic treatment or a plan to monitor your child’s smile, we can catch and correct issues before they have time to fully develop and cause any concern.

Some awesome benefits of early treatment include:

  • Correcting Crowded Or Crooked Teeth — Braces can help shift teeth into their proper positions, creating a straighter and healthier smile.
  • Addressing Bite Issues — Misaligned bites can cause problems with chewing, speaking, and even breathing. Early treatment can help correct these issues before they become more difficult to fix.
  • Improving Self-Esteem — A beautiful smile can do wonders for a child’s self-confidence. By addressing orthodontic issues early on, we can help your child feel more confident and comfortable in their own skin.

Phase 1 & Full Treatment

The first phase of orthodontic treatment, also known as Phase 1, typically begins around the age of 7 or 8. This phase focuses on correcting any bite and jaw alignment issues, as well as creating space for permanent teeth to come in properly.

Phase 1 treatment usually involves using appliances such as braces or expanders to guide the growth and development of your child’s teeth and jaws. The duration of this phase can vary depending on the specific needs and progress of your child’s treatment.

Once Phase 1 is complete, a resting period will follow to allow permanent teeth to continue coming in. This may involve wearing a retainer or other appliances as recommended by the orthodontist. After this resting period, Phase 2 — or full orthodontic treatment — begins.

Full treatment typically involves straightening and aligning all of your child’s permanent teeth to create a beautiful and functional smile. This phase may involve the use of braces, aligners, or other appliances depending on your child’s specific needs.

In conclusion, early treatment through Two-Phase Orthodontics can provide numerous benefits for your child’s oral health. By starting treatment at the recommended age of 7 and addressing any potential issues early on, you can help your child achieve a straighter and healthier smile for life.


Spacers, also known as orthodontic separators, play a crucial role in preparing your child’s mouth for Phase 1 of a two-phase orthodontic treatment. These small rubber doughnut-shaped devices are placed between your child’s molars to create space for orthodontic bands, a key component of braces and expanders.

The use of spacers typically takes place before the installation of braces or expanders, as these orthodontic bands need to fit snugly around the molars to exert the right amount of pressure. Without the adequate space created by spacers, the bands may not fit correctly, compromising the effectiveness of the treatment.

The placement of spacers is a temporary measure, usually lasting a few days to a week. During this period, your child may experience a sensation similar to having food stuck between their teeth, but any discomfort should be minimal and temporary. Once the required space is created, the spacers are removed, and the orthodontic bands are fitted, marking the commencement of Phase 1 treatment.

At Apple Valley Orthodontics, we are passionate about helping kids achieve their best smile. We understand the importance of early treatment and the role braces play in smile development. Our experienced team works closely with each child to create a personalized treatment plan that meets their unique needs.

Braces For Teens

If you’re a teenager, chances you’ve thought about having braces. Whether it’s because your friends have them or you’ve been told by your dentist that you need them, braces are a common orthodontic treatment for teenagers. But what exactly are braces and what can you expect from the experience?

Life With Braces

At first, it might feel uncomfortable or strange to have something foreign on your teeth. You may also experience some soreness and difficulty eating certain foods. But don’t worry, these are all normal experiences and will eventually fade as you adjust to life with braces.

One of the most challenging aspects of having braces is maintaining good oral hygiene. With brackets and wires covering your teeth, it can be more difficult to brush and floss effectively. It’s important to pay extra attention to your oral care routine and use tools like interdental brushes or water flossers to clean between the brackets and wires.

It’s also common for teens with braces to experience some self-consciousness about their appearance. However, it’s important to remember that braces are temporary and will lead to a beautiful smile in the end. And luckily, there are now options like ceramic braces that are less noticeable and can help alleviate some of the insecurities associated with traditional metal braces.

What to Expect During Treatment

The duration of orthodontic treatment varies for each individual, but on average most patients wear braces between 12 and 24 months. During this time, you will need to visit your orthodontist every few weeks for adjustments to your braces. These appointments involve tightening or changing the wires to gradually move your teeth into their desired positions.

Your orthodontist may also recommend certain lifestyle changes during treatment. For example, you may need to avoid hard or sticky foods that can damage your braces. You should also continue with regular dental check-ups and cleanings to maintain good oral health.

In addition to straightening your teeth, braces can also correct bite issues such as overbite, underbite, and crossbite. These issues may require additional appliances or procedures, but your orthodontist will guide you through the process and ensure that you achieve a healthy and functional bite.

Braces For Adults

Many adults hesitate when it comes to orthodontic treatment, largely due to the misconception that braces are solely for children or teenagers. However, the truth couldn’t be further from this. Today, more and more adults are opting for braces, opening a new chapter in oral health and aesthetics. At Apple Valley Orthodontics, we’ve been privileged to be a part of many such transformations.

No Age Limit to perfecting your smile

Orthodontic treatment is certainly not bound by age. Many aspects of dental health — such as correcting bite, improving oral hygiene, and balancing the force of the bite — can be addressed effectively in adults, just as in younger individuals. The key is to believe that it’s never too late to attain that perfect, healthy smile.

Braces have played a pivotal part in making orthodontic treatment plausible for adults. They have evolved over time, becoming more comfortable, less conspicuous, and more efficient. Today, braces range from traditional metal ones to clear ceramic braces, catering to the aesthetic concerns and lifestyle of adults.

Embracing braces as an adult delivers myriad benefits. Beyond improving your smile, they contribute significantly to overall oral health. Straightened teeth are easier to clean, reducing the likelihood of plaque buildup and gum diseases. Aligned teeth and corrected overbite also mean less undue stress on the jaw, preventing TMJ disorders.

At Apple Valley Orthodontics, your journey towards a healthier smile is our priority. We ensure a comprehensive consultation to understand your needs, your lifestyle, and your expectations. Our team is here to guide you towards the most suitable option and to support you in every step of your orthodontic journey. Remember, it’s never too late to achieve your best smile and we’re here to help you do just that!

To learn more about our adult braces options, schedule a consultation with us. The time to invest in your smile is now. After all, why should kids have all the fun?