a smiling adolescent with braces

Clear Braces vs Metal Braces: Which is Better for You?

Team Orthodontics

If you’re feeling stuck deciding between clear braces and metal braces, you’re not alone. Many of our patients aren’t sure which option is best for them and conflicting information on the internet or from friends and family members doesn’t help either! Below, we discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of each option to help you make your decision.

Clear Braces Are More Discreet

While Invisalign and lingual braces are the most discreet orthodontic treatment options, if you’re comparing clear ceramic braces and metal braces, ceramic comes out ahead. Although they still have a stainless steel wire attached to the ceramic brackets, the brackets themselves will blend in with the rest of your smile. They might not be as invisible as Invisalign or lingual braces, but they are certainly less noticeable than metal brackets. For many patients, this is the deciding factor between clear braces and metal braces.

Metal Braces Are Less Expensive

For other patients, the deciding factor is cost: metal braces are less expensive than clear braces. While adult patients may prioritize a discreet option, it’s not unusual for tweens and teens to have metal braces, so having less obvious brackets isn’t necessarily as important. Many dental insurance plans will cover the cost of clear braces, but they only do so up to the cost of traditional metal braces, so your out-of-pocket expenses will likely be more with clear brackets.

Clear Braces Are Not as Durable

Clear braces have improved a great deal over the past two decades. Adults who had clear braces as teens may remember brackets that stained easily and broke off often, requiring frequent emergency trips to the orthodontist for repairs. Today’s clear braces are stronger and stain-resistant, but they still don’t quite measure up to stainless steel brackets when it comes to strength. Metal braces are a tried-and-true solution that’s been helping patients achieve beautiful smiles for decades, but modern clear braces give them a run for their money.

Clear Braces and Metal Braces Are Both Effective Orthodontic Treatment Options

Overall, clear braces and metal braces are both excellent treatment options for all patients. They both correct the same orthodontic issues, including overbites, underbites, crossbites, open-bites, and misalignments. In the past, clear braces might have taken longer to achieve results, but these days, differences in treatment times are minimal, if there are any at all.

Unlike clear aligners, which only work when you wear them, braces are affixed to your teeth, so they’re doing the work to improve your bite 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Choosing which option is best for you comes down to your lifestyle preferences and budget.

Learn More About Clear Braces vs. Metal Braces

Are you having trouble deciding between clear braces and metal braces? The best way to determine which option is right for your needs is to schedule a consultation at our office so we can discuss each solution with you. Contact us today at 860-667-8277 to get started.