Difference Between a Clear and Metal Brace

Almost everyone desires a beautiful smile, and to have a perfect smile, it is essential to have those perfect teeth. Only a few people are fortunate enough to have perfectly aligned teeth. However, having chipped teeth is not a hopeless case with different types of braces. Braces are the system of wires that pull a person’s teeth into alignment. If you are thinking of getting your teeth straight, you will want to know the difference between popular clear braces and metal braces. 

What are Clear Braces and Metal Braces?

Metal Braces

Metal braces are traditional ones used for years to straighten people’s teeth. The reason why they are called metal braces is that they use metal brackets attached to the teeth of the patients. The wire is either lengthened or shortened by the dentist in gradual increments so that metal ones can be adjusted appropriately on the patient’s teeth. 

Clear Braces

Clear braces function similarly to metal ones. They use ceramic or clear brackets that are made of polycrystalline alumina. They can blend effortlessly with the tooth’s surface and, thus, are less noticeable than metal ones. In addition, the connecting wire can be tooth-coloured, further decreasing the visibility. 

Clear Versus Metal

Metal and clear ones are used to straighten the individual’s teeth. The one significant difference between these two types is the material from which the brackets are made. 

Usually, medical-grade stainless steel is used to manufacture the brackets of metal ones. At the same time, clear ones use polycrystalline alumina for manufacturing their brackets. The material used in ceramic ones can either be explicit or the same colour as a particular patient’s teeth.

Metal braces, on the one hand, are visible and can make the patients self-conscious about their looks, specifically when the patients are teenagers. But on the other hand, ceramic brackets made of transparent material are less noticeable and a great option for those who care a lot about their looks. 

Other Differences 

  • Archwires

The flexible metal archwires connecting the brackets are made of lighter shade colours, like white, silver, or frosted tones for these. The combination of tooth-coloured brackets and wires makes ceramic less visible than metal ones. 

  • Staining

Since brackets of these clear ones are made of lighter tones, they are more likely to stain than metal ones. Professional dentists ask patients to limit the intake of dark foods and drinks when choosing them over metal ones. 

  • Durability

Since racket material used in these is not as strong as stainless steel, ceramic ones are known to be less durable than metal. In addition, studies show they are more prone to break off or fracture than metal ones. 

Enamel Wear

Enamel wear could be an issue for the patients getting these braces placed on the upper and lower arches. There are chances that they on the lower arch can cause the enamel on the back of the top teeth to wear down. This usually happens when patients bite or chew their food because of the abrasive material used to construct the ceramic braces. 

To prevent such problems, opting for metal ones on the bottom teeth is always better, especially if the patient suffers from an excessive overbite.


Clear ones cost between $3,000 and $7,000 while metal braces cost between $1,700 and $6,000. The cost of both varies depending on the type and material used for the brackets. 


You might feel overwhelmed choosing between clear and metal ones with all these differences. So, always consult a professional dentist when having difficulty determining which will be better for you. They are expert enough to understand your unique needs and thus, put the right treatment plan with available options. Whether you opt for clear or metal braces, your main aim should be to straighten your teeth by the end of treatment. 

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