Clear Braces

Smiling girl with clear braces

Clear braces are used for the same purpose as metal braces but are made of clear or tooth-colored clear material. Many clients, especially adults, opt for clear braces over metal braces because they are less obvious. This may be appealing if you need braces but do not want to feel self-conscious or embarrassed about having them.

However, even though clear braces are less noticeable while still doing the job, there are downsides to choosing them over standard metal braces. As your local Laredo orthodontist, we at Laredo Orthodontics will inform you of the pros and cons to having clear braces.

Pros and Cons of Clear Braces

These pros and cons are meant to give you an overview of how clear braces compare to traditional metal braces.


  • Less visible: The clear material used for braces is typically clear-colored or tooth-colored.

  • Faster than clear aligners (Invisalign): Another popular method of discreet teeth straightening is Invisalign. While Invisalign is tempting to choose over traditional braces, it can take over a year to fix even the simplest of teeth misalignment. Invisalign is unable to treat severe cases of misalignment or malocclusion (an imperfect bite). clear braces have no restrictions severity and take around 18 to 36 months to fully straighten teeth.

  • Imaging interference: Metal braces are able to disrupt imaging tests by disrupting signals. clear braces yield significantly less interference.

  • Color options: Metal braces are simply just that- metal. clear braces are able to come in almost any color, however, most people opt for clear or teeth-colored.


  • Expense: clear braces typically cost $1,000 to $2,000 more than standard metal braces.

  • Gum sensitivity: Typical metal brackets are actually smaller than clear brackets. The size of the clear brackets makes it difficult to clean your teeth and gums, which can lead to receding or swollen gums.

  • Less durable: Compared to metal braces, clear braces are more likely to fracture or debond from a tooth.

  • Slower: Due to the clear material being more fragile, your orthodontist may have to make smaller adjustments over a longer period of time to avoid breakage. 

  • Staining: The elastic ties that hold the wire to the clear brackets can stain quite easily and will need to be replaced.

How to Tell if You're a Good Candidate for Clear Braces

Braces of any type are meant for those who have all of their adult teeth and have, for the most part, stopped growing. This makes sure your teeth align quicker and lowers the odds of brackets breaking from tooth movement over time.

clear braces are the best choice if you want the fast-paced alignment of metal braces with the subtlety of Invisalign.

The Cost of Clear Braces

Overall, clear braces cost about $4,000 to $8,000. Comparatively, metal braces usually cost $3,000 to $6,000. Clear aligners like Invisalign can cost $3,000 to $8,000.

Unfortunately, most insurance plans do not cover braces or aligners of any kind. It's likely you'll have to purchase a separate orthodontic plan from your orthodontist. Even if orthodontic care is covered, braces may not fall under coverage if you aren't getting them for malocclusion or other dental conditions that negatively impact oral functioning.

Length of Treatment

clear braces can take from about a year and a half to three years to successfully straighten teeth while metal braces can take less than a year to three years.

Due to the fragility of clear braces, the brackets need to be replaced and adjusted more often to prevent them from breaking. This is a cause for more adjustments over a longer period of time.

Schedule a Consultation with Laredo Orthodontics

Despite the durability and length of time it takes for clear braces to align your teeth, they are a great option for discreetly perfecting your smile. Please contact us for more information about clear braces. To see how clear braces can transform your smile, feel free to request an appointment online today. We look forward to helping you achieve your dream smile with clear braces!