Clear Braces vs Metal Braces

If you are considering getting braces then at some point you will almost definitely find yourself asking whether clear braces or metal braces are more suitable for you.

This blog post takes a quick look at the differences between the two, and different factors you will need to bear in mind when you are considering getting clear or metal braces.

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The Difference Between Clear Braces and Metal Braces

Clear braces and metal braces ultimately achieve the same effect, which is to straighten your teeth. But clear braces and metal braces look different, use different methods, and are used to treat slightly different dental issues.

Clear Braces

Clear braces like Smilelign consist of a series of removable, see-through plastic aligners that gradually move your teeth. Because they are made of see-through plastic, they are virtually invisible. For many people, this is an obvious benefit.

As well as being nearly invisible, clear braces are generally more comfortable than metal braces, thanks to a lack of sharp edges. Because they are removable, clear braces also have the advantage that they can be removed, if necessary, for a few minutes each day. However, it is recommended that they should be worn for 23 hours a day.

Clear aligners can be used to treat a wide range of dental misalignment issues. However, there is a limit to what they can achieve. If your teeth are severely misaligned, metal braces may be necessary.


  • Virtually invisible

  • Comfortable

  • Removable


  • Cannot rectify severe dental misalignment

Metal Braces

Metal braces, sometimes known as train-tracks, use metal wires and brackets that are glued to your teeth, to gradually pull them into alignment. They are usually quite noticeable, and for this reason, some people are reluctant to have them. However, for severe misalignment issues, metal braces are necessary.

As most people know, the unfortunate disadvantage of metal braces is that they are obviously visible when you smile, laugh, or even talk. For this reason, many people prefer clear braces as an alternative when possible.

In the UK, metal braces can be provided for free from the NHS for under 18s. This is why many teenagers have metal braces at some point during their adolescence.


  • Available for under 18s on the NHS

  • Can rectify severe dental misalignment


  • Highly visible

  • Uncomfortable at times

Clear Braces for Adults

There is no age limit for having braces. You can get braces at any age. But sadly, some adults feel some stigma attached to having metal braces. Having highly visible braces makes most adults feel self-conscious - even if they know that the braces will ultimately help them have better teeth!

Fortunately, clear braces can be used instead of metal braces to remedy many dental issues. Get in touch with your local Smilelign provider to find out if clear braces can work for you!

Clear Braces vs Metal Braces

Now you know the basic differences between clear braces and metal braces, the next step is simply to visit your dentist and ask for their advice. There is no substitute for having the assessment of a trained medical professional, who will understand exactly what can be achieved with your teeth, and which sort of braces will work for you.

If you think that clear braces could work for you, find a dentist near you who offers Smilelign. Your dentist can advise you on the next steps. You’ll be on your way to straight teeth within no time!

James CorryComment