Orthodontics 101

Types of Braces

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

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene.

Invisalign/Invisalign Teen

Invisalign and Invisalign Teen takes an innovative approach to straightening teeth, using a custom-made series of aligners created for you and only you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually invisible plastic that you simply wear over your teeth. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements that Dr. Stieg and Dr. Wachtel plan out for you. You simply pop in a set of aligners approximately every couple of weeks, until your treatment is complete and you achieve the confident smile that you’ve always wanted.


When active treatment is complete, we will begin the retention state of your care. Stability of your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you have put in so far. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.

We often use a clear form fitted retainer called a Trutain retainer. We also use a more traditional retainer that fits into the roof of your mouth and surrounds the teeth with a wire called a Hawley retainer. These are the retainers that come in a rainbow of colors. There are also fixed or bonded retainers that are utilized after some orthodontic cases are completed.