Clear braces
A brace that is not as visible as metal braces

What are clear braces?

“White” braces, also known as “ceramic” or “clear” braces are fixed to the outside surface of the teeth. The bracket is white, tooth-coloured or clear. The brackets are a similar size and shape to metal braces.

What are the advantages of a white coloured brace?

They are less visible than metal braces.

Will my treatment be different if I choose a white fixed brace, compared with a metal fixed brace?

While treatment with white fixed braces is very similar to that with metal fixed braces, there are some differences.

  • Cost

White -coloured braces are normally more expensive than metal braces and are not available within the National Health Service in the U.K.

  • Treatment time:

Some studies suggest that the movement of teeth is slower with white braces and it has been suggested that treatment may take longer when white braces are used, compared with metal braces. There are many factors which affect the speed of treatment and new brackets are being developed all the time, however these developments appear to have little effect on the length of orthodontic treatment. If you are concerned about this, you should discuss it with your orthodontist / dentist.

  • White braces cannot always be placed on the lower teeth.

This is because most types of white braces are harder than the tooth surface (enamel). If this type of brace is fitted to the lower teeth and rubs against the upper teeth, it can cause damage to the upper teeth causing them to wear down. Your orthodontist or dentist will assess whether it is suitable for you to have white braces on your lower teeth.

  • Bracket removal:

Some white braces are more brittle than metal braces and break more easily. They also stick very well to the enamel surface of the tooth. This could mean they are more likely to break when they are taken off. Removal of white braces is often a little more difficult, may take some time and may be more uncomfortable for you than if you had worn metal braces.

  • Staining:

You are more likely to notice staining on white braces than metal braces. The elastic ties that hold the wire in place can also stain. Staining will result from eating or drinking certain foods and drinks, such as tea, coffee, red wine and curry. Therefore, you may choose to avoid these and it is very important you look after and clean your brace well.

Will I still need a metal wire between the brackets and elastics with white braces?

White braces still need to be used with a wire between the brackets. This is often a metal silver wire, but is sometimes white or tooth-coloured. With both metal and white braces, the wire is held in place in the bracket with an elastic tie. The elastic tie may be clear or coloured, depending on what you choose. These tooth-coloured wire and elastic materials can change in colour over time.