What is the difference between Metal & Clear Braces?

What is the difference between Metal & Clear Braces?

What is the difference between Metal and Clear Braces?

Metal Braces vs Clear Braces

Misaligned and crooked teeth can lead to improper tooth wear and jaw pain. Dental braces straighten teeth, align your bite and adjust spacing between teeth for a more beautiful smile and a proper bite. Metal braces are obviously noticeable and can be seen from a distance. Clear ceramic braces may be used in place of metal braces for a more inconspicuous appearance. Each type of braces has advantages and disadvantages but ultimately you will be making the decision that works best for you.

What do they do?

All types of dental braces rely on a metal wire that applies steady pressure to move the teeth bit by bit. The wires attach to the teeth with brackets, and the material of the bracket varies according to the type of braces selected. Metal brackets are typically made from stainless steel but can vary depending on any allergic reaction a patient may have. The traditional bracket sits on a metal band that fits around each tooth. Newer metal brackets attach with adhesive onto the tooth surface and are much less noticeable than the banded brackets. Clear ceramic brackets also attach to the tooth surface by method of adhesive.

Keep in Mind

Clear ceramic braces are either clear or a shade of white, so they blend to the tooth and are virtually invisible. The arch wire in many cases are still metal although a seemingly invisible wire may be used as well. Contrary to popular belief ceramic and metal brackets resist discoloration. Arch wires attach to ceramic brackets with plastic ties, which may become discolored dependent on the diet you may have. Unlike brackets, which are cemented to teeth, the ties can be replaced if they become unsightly.

clear braces

Clear Braces

Length of Treatment

The choice of braces material may affect treatment time(not common). Braces work by applying pressure to the brackets to move teeth along the arch wire. To make the tooth move, the braces must apply enough force to overcome the friction between the bracket and the arch wire to shift the tooth. Metal brackets have the least amount of friction against the metal wire compared with ceramic brackets. This means teeth move slightly more freely with metal braces, requiring less treatment time. Although today, technology has proven that either choice you make really adds up to about the same length of treatment.


Traditional metal braces are typically the most economical alternative. Ceramic braces tend to be a bit more costly because of the higher cost in production of the material plus additional maintenance costs.

All in all whether your heart yearns for metal or clear ceramic braces the choice is up to you. Why don’t you schedule a complimentary consultation if you haven’t done so already and find out which type of treatment fits you best!

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