Why Do My Braces Look Different Than My Friend’s Braces?

Most people have an idea of what braces should look like when they imagine themselves starting orthodontic treatment. But orthodontists know very well that braces can vary quite a bit, especially today with so many types of braces available for patients. If you’re left wondering why your braces look so different from your friend’s braces, there are several reasons why.

Each Patient is Different

One of the fundamental reasons why you’ll notice someone else’s braces looking different from your own is pretty simple: Every patient has different needs for orthodontic correction. The positioning of brackets will be different based on how the tooth needs to be moved, so even if someone got the same type of braces as you did, their set won’t look exactly like yours.

You also may notice other people with braces have elastic bands spanning from one arch down to the other, or maybe you have them and your friend doesn’t. These interarch bands are for patients that have underbites or overbites, which requires pressure from the bands to correct the bite.

Different Types of Braces

Speaking of bands, some types of braces will have little elastic bands directly attached to the brackets, which are known as ligatures. These tiny elastics hold the wire in place and provide the pressure that moves your teeth in the right direction.

However, not all braces have these ligatures. Some braces have what’s known as “self-ligating” brackets. This means instead of having the little rubber bands, each bracket has a small metal latch or gate that holds the wire in place.

Other times, you may notice someone else has braces, but they’re just not quite as visible. This is probably because they have ceramic braces, which are also known as clear braces. These ceramic braces use a special, medical-grade plastic for the brackets instead of metal. As a result, they provide a less visible treatment.

Another new type of braces you’ll be spotting more and more is custom braces. Even more so than conventional braces, these braces will look quite different depending on who has them since they are custom-made for each patient. Using cutting-edge technology, custom braces provide an exact fit, which results in a better correction and a quicker treatment duration. Each patient’s set of braces will look different as a result of this as well.

Stylish Braces

Braces may also look different from one patient to the next due to fun options patients can choose from for their braces. One great option that’s popular with kids is WildSmiles Braces. This option lets patients choose fun shapes for the brackets, including stars, sports balls, hearts, and more!

Different colors are also available for the ligatures, allowing patients to mix and match colors for their favorite sports team, different holidays, or simply to show off their favorite colors.

If you’re curious about starting orthodontic treatment and want to know about different options for braces, contact Milnor Orthodontics today to schedule your free consultation. We look forward to helping you get your perfect smile!

At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 230-3187 or visit to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.