What’s the difference between clear and metal braces?

clear braces and traditional braces

Ever wondered how clear braces and metal braces compare?

When choosing orthodontic treatment, these days’ patients often feel overwhelmed by the wide range of options available to achieve a straighter smile. Aside from the obvious aesthetic differences, it may be confusing as to why you should choose one treatment over another.

It’s important to remember that each and every case is different, meaning that even if a specific treatment works well for one person, it may not be the best option for another.

To help make your choice easier, we’ve listed the most important factors to remember when choosing between clear braces and traditional metal braces.


Appearance is often the most important factor when choosing orthodontics. Usually, a few aspects including the patient’s age, occupation, hobbies and personal preferences affect this.

Although modern orthodontic treatments are far less ‘bulky’ or visible than they once were, traditional metal braces are still quite visible when smiling and laughing. This can make some people feel self-conscious, especially adult patients who have big events, interviews or parties to attend during treatment. However, traditional metal braces are more accepted by school-aged teenagers.

Clear braces utilise clear, translucent elements to minimise the appearance, making them far less obvious when smiling and laughing. For this reason, they are very popular among adult patients and teens wanting something more discreet.


Whilst both treatments utilise metal wires to achieve the desired result, traditional metal braces are made from a material that is less likely to chip, crack or break. This is more likely to occur on the back teeth where you bite harder, which is why we recommend our ceramic braces on the upper front teeth only.

At Newwave Orthodontics we routinely use clear ceramic braces on the upper front teeth for the best cosmetic appearance but recommend you stay with metal braces on the back and lower teeth.


At Newwave Orthodontics there is no added fee for clear braces on your upper front teeth. However, clear braces on the remaining teeth are going to be more costly than traditional metal braces. Obviously, the influence of cost and budget will be different for every patient, but it can be a very important factor when choosing an orthodontic treatment option.

Complexity of treatment

One of the most influential factors when choosing an orthodontic treatment is the complexity of your treatment. Dr Peter Miles will provide you with a treatment plan upon initial consultation and depending on the complexity of your specific case, you may be limited to just one option.

When Dr Miles first started practice in Caloundra. He surveyed his patients and 99% preferred the clear braces on their upper front teeth, which is why he has offered it routinely ever since. Although both treatment options work using the same principle of making slight adjustments over a period of time to achieve a straighter smile, the combination of clear ceramic braces on the upper front teeth with traditional metal braces on the rest gives the best of both worlds. This optimizes treatment aesthetics and predictability of movement for the most aesthetic, comfortable and expeditious result.

Clear and metal braces at Newwave Orthodontics, Caloundra

To find out more about clear braces and traditional metal braces, or to book an appointment, please contact us today!