Traditional metal braces are one of the least expensive but most noticeable types of braces. Stainless steel brackets are glued to each tooth, and metal alloy arch wires connect brackets that gently pull the teeth into proper placement. With regular braces, small rubber bands or ligatures are used to keep the wires attached to the brackets. Self-ligating braces have built-in clips to hold the wires.
Length of treatment: 14–20 months with appointments every 6–8 weeks1
Typical cost: $2,500–$7,0002
Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, but made from white or clear material so they’re less noticeable. Sometimes called “white braces,” the wires can also be coated in white to hide them better. Ceramic braces can be regular braces with bands or self-ligating.
Length of treatment: 18–24 months with appointments every 6–10 weeks3
Typical cost: $2,000–$5,0004
Lingual braces are metal braces behind the teeth. Their placement makes them the least noticeable, but also the most difficult to adjust and keep clean. They’re typically the most expensive because of the difficulty placing and adjusting them.
Length of treatment: Generally, 14–20 months with appointments every 8–12 weeks5
Typical cost: $5,000–$13,0006
While not exactly “invisible”, they are one of the less noticeable ways to straighten teeth. Instead of wires and brackets, invisible braces use a series of clear plastic aligners to guide the teeth into the desired position. The aligners fit on your teeth like a mouth guard or a teeth whitening tray.
At-home length of treatment: 6 months with no appointments7
At-home typical cost: Generally, $2,0008
In-office length of treatment: 12–20 months with appointments every 8–12 weeks9
In-office typical cost: $3,500–$8,50010