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Difference Between Metal Braces & Clear Braces


Whether you are considering metal braces or clear braces, it is essential to understand their differences. This article will provide an overview of metal braces and clear braces, including their advantages & disadvantages, so that you can decide which type of treatment best suits your needs.

Braces are a standard orthodontic treatment used to improve the appearance and function of crooked teeth. While metal braces have long been the traditional choice for correcting misaligned teeth, clear braces offer a more discreet alternative with similar results. It’s important to note that metal braces are generally more durable than clear ones – but if discretion is your top concern, then clear aligners may be better suited for you.

Advantages of Metal Braces

Metal braces are made from metal brackets and wires that attach to your teeth. They’re the most common type of orthodontic treatment and offer some advantages, including:

  • Durability – 

Metal braces can withstand more wear and tear than clear ones, so they may be a better choice for those who have an active lifestyle or play contact sports.

  • Cost – 

Metal braces tend to be less expensive than clear aligners.

  • Treatment time – 

Metal braces typically require fewer appointments than other orthodontic treatments to provide results in a shorter time.

  • Precision – 

Metal braces can precisely adjust each tooth, which can help ensure a straighter, more even smile.

Advantages of Clear Braces

Clear braces are made from clear plastic trays that snap onto your teeth. They offer some advantages over metal braces, including:

  • Discretion – 

Clear braces are virtually invisible, so you don’t need to worry about metal brackets or wires on your teeth.

  • Comfort – 

Clear aligners are custom-made for each patient, so they fit snugly around your teeth and won’t cause discomfort.

  • Convenience – 

You can remove the aligners while eating or brushing your teeth, so it’s easy to maintain good oral hygiene habits.

  • Safety – 

Clear braces are made from non-toxic materials, so you don’t have to worry about metal brackets or wires coming into contact with your gums.

Disadvantages of Metal Braces

While metal braces offer some advantages, there are also some downsides. These include:

  • Visibility – 

Metal brackets and wires can be very noticeable on your teeth, which may make them a less desirable option for those who want a discreet look.

  • Irritation – 

Metal brackets and wires can be rough on the soft tissue in your mouth, causing irritation and discomfort.

  • Maintenance – 

Metal braces require more maintenance than other orthodontic treatments because they must be tightened regularly.

Disadvantages of Clear Braces

Clear braces also have some downsides, including:

  • Cost – 

Clear aligners are more expensive than metal braces, so they may not be the most cost-effective option for some people.

  • Treatment time – 

Clear aligners typically require more appointments than metal braces and can take longer to provide results.

  • Limited Usage – 

Clear aligners are only appropriate for mild to moderate misalignment cases, so that severe cases may be better suited for metal braces.

Both types offer advantages and disadvantages regarding metal braces vs. clear aligners that must be weighed carefully before deciding which is best for you. Metal braces are generally more durable and cost-effective, while clear aligners provide a more discreet alternative. Ultimately, the choice is up to you – your orthodontist can help you decide which type of treatment best suits your needs.


Q: How long do metal braces take to straighten teeth?

A: The amount of time metal braces take to straighten teeth depends on the severity of the misalignment but typically takes between 12-24 months.

Q: Are metal braces painful?

A: While metal braces can irritate the mouth, it’s usually only temporary and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.

Q: Can metal braces be removed early?

A: Yes, metal braces can be removed early if the orthodontist decides that the teeth have reached their desired alignment. However, it’s important to note that metal braces cannot be put back on once they are taken off.

Q: Are clear aligners better than metal braces?

A: The answer to this question depends on your individual needs and preferences. Your dentist or orthodontist can help you decide which treatment is best for you. Clear aligners offer a more discreet alternative, but metal braces may provide quicker results or better precision in some cases.