Types of Braces

For many orthodontic patients in Marin County, wearing braces is one of the most common ways to achieve a straight bright smile that is unique to you! While traditional-looking fixed braces are a popular choice of treatment for patients of all ages, there are a number of alternatives too. Learn about the different types of braces available at Haney Orthodontics below.

Fixed vs. Removable

Fixed and removable appliances are two very different forms of orthodontic treatment. Fixed appliances, like braces brackets, are attached to the teeth by metal bands or cement and remain in place until treatment is complete. Removable appliances, such as Invisalign clear aligners, are typically worn between 22 and 24 hours per day and are easily taken off as needed. While clear aligners can be effective in treating mild to moderate orthodontic problems, fixed appliances are generally more effective for comprehensive treatment.

Metal Braces and Clear Braces

Made of high-grade stainless steel, traditional metal braces remain by far the most common type of fixed orthodontic appliance. They consist of metal bands that wrap around the molars in back, and smaller metal brackets that are cemented to the front surfaces of the other teeth. A thin, springy metal wire runs through the brackets and gently guides the teeth into a proper position. This archwire may be fixed to the brackets by flexible elastics, metal ties, or other types of clasps.

There are several reasons why time-tested metal braces remain popular. They offer a reliable and economical treatment option and, in contrast to braces of the past, are actually smaller, lighter, and more comfortable to wear. Plus, we now offer clear braces as an effective alternative!


As a leading dentist in San Anselmo and San Rafael, Dr. Haney proudly provides Invisalign as a discreet alternative to traditional metal braces. The Invisalign system is a set of clear aligners that are custom made for your unique treatment plan. Because the aligners can be removed, there’s no need to change your daily oral routine. Invisalign is a great option for patients seeking an effective yet discreet method of straightening teeth.

Invisalign Teen

Invisalign Teen is a popular program that takes the advantages of the Invisalign system and tailors it for teens! Teens can now straighten their teeth without having to worry about the obvious appearance of metal braces. The clear aligners also include blue dots on the back that disappear the more they’re worn so parents can ensure their teen is wearing their aligners.

What’s Best For You?

Are you still not sure which type of braces are the best orthodontic treatment for you? The skilled staff and doctors at Haney Orthodontics in Marin County would love to answer any questions you may have and help you find the right treatment plan for you. Contact us today!