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What are Clear Braces?

Clear braces are a fixed orthodontic treatment for teeth misalignment. They’re sometimes referred to as ceramic braces and are an aesthetic alternative to metal braces.

As the name suggests, clear braces are see-through, making them similar to clear aligners, such as Invisalign. Unlike Invisalign, they’re not removable. And like traditional metal braces, they use wires and brackets to move your teeth.

The brackets in clear braces can be made of different materials, including:

  • Ceramic
  • Plastic
  • Plastic emulator
  • Porcelain 
  • Sapphire
  • Resin
  • Zirconium

How Do Clear Braces Work?

Clear braces work in much the same way as traditional metal braces. 

Brackets are attached to your teeth with special glue or orthodontic bands. They hold the archwires in place while they gradually move your teeth. 

Treatment with clear braces usually takes between 18 to 24 months. Similar to regular braces, dentist and/or orthodontist appointments occur every 4 to 6 weeks to check treatment progress.

Clear aligners can save you thousands of dollars compared to braces. Learn about clear aligners.

What Do Clear Braces Look Like?

The metal brackets and wires on clear braces are colored to match your teeth. Any rubber bands or elastic components are see-through or white. This makes them a lot less noticeable than traditional metal braces. 

Clear and Metal Braces
Comparison of clear and metal braces / NewMouth

What Alignment Issues Can Clear Braces Fix?

Clear braces can fix a variety of problems that may be too difficult for clear aligners.

This includes severe instances of: 

Clear braces can also address complex cases, such as when there’s both crowded teeth and an underbite.

We recommend at-home clear aligners if you have mild teeth misalignment. View our top recommendations.

Clear Aligners vs. Clear Braces

Clear aligners and clear braces are both discrete forms of orthodontic treatment. But there are some important differences between them.

Aligners

Advantages of clear aligners:

  • Removable — this makes brushing, flossing, and keeping the aligners clean easier. It also means there are no dietary restrictions.
  • Fast — they typically straighten teeth faster than braces.
  • Comfortable — clear aligners tend to be more comfortable than braces.
  • Convenient — fewer trips to the dentist’s or orthodontist’s office are required.

Disadvantages of clear aligners:

  • They can’t treat severe or complex cases
  • Being removable means treatment outcome is dependent on the wearer

Clear Braces

Advantages of clear braces:

  • More affordable — while more expensive than traditional braces, clear braces are also generally more affordable than Invisalign.
  • Able to treat complex cases — clear braces can treat more severe or complex cases of teeth misalignment than clear aligners.
  • Discreet — clear braces are for people who want to correct their teeth misalignment but don’t want to wear traditional metal braces.

Disadvantages of clear braces:

  • Dietary restrictions due to the potential of certain foods to damage the brackets or wires
  • Make oral hygiene more difficult due to the large brackets
  • Some varieties are prone to staining from certain foods
  • More difficult to remove than metal brackets

How Much Do Clear Aligners Cost?

Aside from Invisalign, there is also a variety of at-home clear aligners to choose from. 

Here’s how some of them compare:

Candid Byte ALIGNERCO SmileDirectClub NewSmile
Hybrid Model of Care Fast Treatment Budget Aligner Option Original At-Home Aligner Budget Aligner Option
Cost $3,300 (varies by provider) $1,895 to $2,295 $1,145 to $1,345 $1,950 $1,195 to$1,295
Treatment Length 4 to 12 months 4 to 12 months 4 to 6 months 8 to 12 months 4 to 6 months
Financing Available Depends on provider
In-Office Consultation X X
Orthodontist-directed X X X

How Much Do Clear Braces Cost?

The per-arch cost for treatment with clear braces is usually between $4,000 and $8,000. This varies depending on the brand.

Here are some brands of ceramic braces and their costs per arch:

  • Damon Clear — $1,900 to $4,000
  • Clarity Advanced — $2,200 to $4,700
  • InVu — $2,300 to $4,300
  • Clarity SL — $2,500 to $5,000
  • Radiance Plus — $2,500 to $5,000

On average, treatment with clear braces costs $1,000 more per arch than traditional braces. But clear braces are potentially more affordable than Invisalign, which can range between $3,500 to $9,000.

What’s Next?

The most popular at-home clear aligner kits can be found right here:

Learn about the different brands and what they offer.

Last updated on April 21, 2022
7 Sources Cited
Last updated on April 21, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Alexandria Old Town Dental “3 Benefits of Clear Braces.Alexandria Old Town Dental Alexandria Virginia, 21 July 2020.
  2. InformedHealth.org. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. “Misaligned teeth and jaws: Treatment with fixed braces.” 2020 Jan 16
  3. Ke, Yunyan et al. “A comparison of treatment effectiveness between clear aligner and fixed appliance therapies.” BMC oral health vol. 19,1 24. 23 Jan. 2019
  4. Love Orthodontics. “The Difference Between Clear Braces and Invisalign Treatment.loveorthodontics.com.
  5. My HM Dentist. “Clear Aligners vs Braces – What’s Best For Me.www.dwdentistkellyville.com.au.
  6. Natural Smiles. “Types of Braces.” www.naturalsmiles.co.uk.
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