Clear Braces vs Metal Braces [Which is Better?]

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Metal vs Clear Braces: Which should I Go With?

Having a crooked smile can be a striking blow to your self-image. Most people don’t like what to flash their pearly-whites if they think it will embarrass them or set a bad first impression. Fortunately, orthodontics can help you straighten your teeth and help you overcome your self-confidence issues.

A set of braces can help pull your teeth back on track. According to a study by the American Association of Orthodontics, cited by the Washington Post, an estimated 4.5-million Americans rely on braces to straighten their smile. Further research in the study shows that 80% of people using orthodontics to correct their smiles are between the ages of 6 to 18-years old.

We imagine it’s challenging to grow up feeling self-conscious about your crooked teeth. That’s probably why so many young people decide to do something about it and turn to braces for treatment. If you need to straighten your teeth, you have two options – clear and metal braces. Let’s unpack the different options and differences for clear vs metal braces in further detail.

Our Top Teeth Straightening Recommendations

70% Off + $100 off your Impression Kit and Invisible Braces

Byte Customized Clear Teeth Straightening Treatment

These aligners offer outstanding value and are running a special offer for $65 off the Impression Kit and $100 off Aligners 

  • Extremely fast treatment time of 6-8 weeks with unique HyperByte technology
  • Get impression kit to do at home today
  • Choose between day time or nighttime aligners
  • Amazing financing program
  • Work with orthodontists to craft the right treatment plan

Smile Direct Club

Another at home offering that offers clear or daytime aligners for those with mild alignment issues

  • Clear aligners priced at $85/month
  • Average correction time of 4 to 6 months 
  • Nighttime Clear Aligners produce a new smile on average in 10 months

Clear Braces vs Metal Braces – What’s the Difference?

Traditional braces consist of metal brackets glued to the teeth with dental cement. The orthodontist attaches wires to these tracks, using instruments to tighten the wires and pull the teeth into position. Traditional braces are an effective treatment for fixing a wide variety of alignment issues.

Unfortunately, the downside of metal braces is the impact they have on your appearance. Many kids experienced cruel bullying at school because they were different from the other kids in class. Braces may also cause shyness in smiling, which is what we’re trying to avoid with crooked teeth in the first place.

Metal braces can cost you upwards of $8,000 a set. It also involves several checkups with your orthodontist to monitor the progression of the treatment.

Clear braces, like the Byte, involve the use of clear retainers to reshape your crooked teeth. They’re as effective as braces, provided you don’t have severe overcrowding or complex orthodontic issues.

You’ll have to wear these retainers for several hours each day, and the orthodontist adjusts your retainer throughout the process. Byte and Smile Direct Club are also a better value than metal braces, and they’re clear, allowing people to realize you aren't wearing braces from a distance.

Clear Braces Vs Metal Braces Which Is the Better Choice?

It depends on your needs. If you have severe dental issues, a metal system is the better choice. There’s more customization with the wire and track setup than there is with an invisible retainer.

However, if cosmetics are a concern for you, we recommend Byte or Smile Direct Club.

Clear aligners


  • Inconspicuous and aesthetically better 
  • Can be removed
  • Faster treatment times
  • Lower cost
  • Does not require in person orthodontist visits


  • Not suitable for those with several dental issues
  • Do not get physical in-person interaction with dentist 

Metal braces


  • Customized by a dental professional that knows you personally
  • Can be used to treat severe misalignment issues


  • Expensive
  • Cannot be removed easily
  • Extremely Visible 

At-Home Orthodontics – An Affordable Alternative for Braces

If you don’t have $8,000 to spend on braces, there’s an affordable orthodontic solution for straightening your teeth. Several at-home smile correction brands offer you a system like Smile Direct Club, Byte, or Candid. You use sets of clear retainers to correct your smile one step at a time.

However, there’s no need for a trip to the dentist. The treatment is also a quarter of the price, saving you a ton of money. You can order an impression kit online and send in your impressions. A team of talented orthodontists produces you a series of custom retainers, and you wear them for some portion of the day over 6 to 8 weeks.

These at-home options are affordable, but they might not work for people with severe dental issues. All at-home brands recommend visiting your dentist to check if you’re candidates for this system before you rush into the treatment.

The Verdict – What's the Best Whitening for Sensitive Teeth?

If you have the budget, then we recommend going with a professional whitening service at your dentist. However, if the cost is a concern, and you want a brighter smile, give at-home whitening a try.

Both have advantages and drawbacks, and everyone's experience will be different. Choose the system that makes sense for your teeth and your budget.


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