Orthodontist located in Fairfax, VA

Braces services offered in Fairfax, VA

If there are things about your smile you’d like to change, braces offer a solution. Residents in and around Fairfax, Virginia, rely on Kristin Nelson, DDS, MDS, of Metropolitan Orthodontics for outstanding orthodontic care, including top quality braces options. Booking a visit takes just moments online, or feel free to call the office to check appointment availability.  

Braces Q&A

What are braces?

Braces are a type of orthodontic appliance that are affixed directly to your teeth. They slowly shift your teeth into optimal positioning. 

When most people think about braces, it’s the aesthetics benefits they consider. Braces can correct many alignment issues to give you a more visually appealing smile. However, there are also serious dental health reasons to consider getting braces for yourself or your child. 

Misaligned teeth are more challenging to keep clean, especially in the areas where they meet or where one tooth is partially behind or in front of another. When the chewing surfaces of your upper teeth don’t meet your bottom teeth, your bite becomes unstable. That places pressure on some teeth, causing wear and increasing your risk of tooth loss. 

How do braces work?

Braces work by placing gentle pressure on your teeth. That prompts the periodontal membrane, a ligament surrounding your tooth root, to compress on one side as it stretches on the other. The bone tissue breaks down in the path of the tooth and remodels in the wake. 

Great orthodontia relies as much on the planning stage as it does on the implementation. Dr. Nelson understands the specific forces needed to move your teeth into the optimal positioning. 

With traditional metal braces, small brackets are affixed to the front surface of each tooth and tied together with a treatment wire to provide the force needed to slowly move teeth into improved positioning. Periodic office visits give the team the chance to change the treatment wire and make other adjustments as needed.

Metropolitan Orthodontics offers several braces options, including self-ligating braces, CLARITY™ Ceramic clear braces, DAMON™ Smile braces, and even clear aligners that don’t require any metal components.  

What is it like to wear braces?

Today’s braces are smaller and more streamlined than the options available in decades past. 

When you arrive for your office visits, a degree of soreness is normal after having a new wire placed. That means your treatment is working, and any soreness will fade within a couple of days. 

Getting used to caring for your braces also takes a little time. Your dental hygiene routines will take a bit longer simply because you have to brush and floss carefully to remove all traces of food particles, plaque, and bacteria from the brackets. 

When you’re ready to learn more, call or click to book your visit at Metropolitan Orthodontics. 




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 (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.




Self-ligating braces are made from the same materials as traditional braces. However, self-ligating braces do not require the use of elastics, meaning fewer appointments and less friction being placed on the tooth. Self-ligating braces come with traditional metal, ceramic, or clear brackets. They are the same size as metal braces, but use a specialized clip in place of elastics to help the archwire guide teeth into place. The clip helps reduce the amount of pressure being placed on the tooth, and requires fewer adjustments because there are no elastics to replace.




Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are 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 as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.




Clear aligners are a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable acrylic trays that straighten your teeth like braces. Not only are the aligners invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment, plus brushing and flossing are less of a hassle. The aligners are comfortable and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment.




Damon braces use a slide mechanism to hold the archwire, reducing the amount of pressure exerted on the teeth and allowing the teeth to move more freely, quickly, and comfortably. Thanks to these innovative new braces, achieving your perfect smile can be faster and easier than you ever thought possible! Tie-less braces help reduce the amount of pressure being placed on the tooth and require fewer adjustments because there are no elastics to replace. Damon Smile facilitates healthy tooth movement with complete control. By combining tie-less brackets and high-tech archwires, we can minimize discomfort and create beautiful smiles that last a lifetime.



 By incorporating the strength and function of traditional braces with the aesthetics of translucent ceramic, Clarity brackets can give you the same orthodontic results without the need for large, noticeable metal braces. They move teeth with the same efficiency as traditional braces and are safe to use for patients of all ages.

A successful practice doesn't just happen; it is the result of a strong commitment to excellence in the professional community and in the relationships we build with our patients and colleagues. We appreciate the confidence you've placed in us to provide you with the complete care you need, and we thank you for recommending our practice to your friends and family.

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