Clear braces are braces which blend in with the colors of your teeth. Like traditional metal braces, they are made of brackets, wires, and sometimes elastics, where there are different options for each component.
Clear braces – brackets
The brackets are available in tooth-colored ceramic or translucent colors. Compared to metal brackets, this is clearly a more aesthetic option. The potential disadvantages is that ceramic brackets in particular can be more brittle and hence easier to chip or break than metal brackets. You must be more careful eating. You must also be very conscious of what you drink, the bracket companies have certainly engineered the brackets to be stain resistant, but it is still a possibility depending on what you drink. Be cautious, since stained brownish ceramic brackets could be even uglier than metal brackets. More information about clear braces staining here.
Clear and tooth-colored elastics
In addition, you can choose between tooth-colored or clear elastics, which will hold the wire in place, or newer self-ligating brackets. Self-ligating brackets hold the wire in place using a built-in clip, eliminating the need for separate elastics, which can become stained, and tends to contribute to food accumulating in brackets. Self-ligating brackets also reduce the friction between brackets and wires, meaning that teeth can actually move faster and complete treatment sooner using self-ligating brackets. Although, with traditional brackets and elastics, you keep the option of doing black and orange for Halloween.
Archwires for clear braces
The most common type of wire used with clear braces are traditional silver metal. This is somewhat visible although since they are relatively thin, are not as noticeable when used with ceramic or clear brackets. The other newer option is clear archwires, custom-fabricated by Simpliclear. This is a more expensive option since the archwires are custom-made, but a notable improvement in aesthetics. Although, if aesthetics were the most important concern, you might end up opting for clear aligners or lingual braces. For a complete comparison of the costs and advantages of the different treatment types, see the clear braces comparison chart.