Clear braces; a guide

Do you have a more complicated case of dental misalignment that you want to correct, but are not eager to sport the standard brace?


Luckily, there is a way that you can get the straighter smile you want without needing to wear an obvious orthodontic brace.

At Harley Street Dental Clinic we can offer many of our adult, teenage and even younger patients clear braces W1, to help them achieve an aesthetically pleasing smile without putting a temporary dent in their self-esteem.

Here, we answer the most common questions that our patients have about the ever-popular clear braces W1.

Clear braces; what are they?

It may seem like an odd statement as it stands; to have nearly invisible or clear braces W1.

However, these types of braces are becoming more common, especially if you are a patient who has an alignment problem that requires something a bit more sturdy than invisible aligners, but is also not so complex as to require a full orthodontic brace.

In short, these braces are made primarily of metal, but the archwire is thinner overall and the brackets that are used to hold them to the teeth are made from either clear plastic or enamel coloured plastic.

This allows them to be tightened or adjusted but also helps them to remain discreet.

Are they only for cosmetic issues?

No, they aren’t.

As these braces are fitted to the teeth, they can be used to treat more complex cases of dental misalignment.

And as we mentioned earlier, these types of braces do need to be adjusted and tightened, so they can offer more personalised treatment for severe dental misalignments or protrusions.

Can anyone have them fitted?

Unlike invisible aligners, clear braces do not have such a restrictive age limit, provided adult teeth are through. Children and teenagers can have them fitted if they wish and if our team deems it appropriate.

But as these braces are fitted, we have to make sure that those who do wear them will be able to care for their teeth correctly, as wearing braces can get quite fiddly, and we of course want your teeth to remain in good condition while you have them straightened.

Are they uncomfortable?

In simple terms, many orthodontic tools can cause a bit of discomfort.

And as these braces are fitted, they are designed to manage more complex cases of dental misalignment and will require tightening. So, while they are physically unable to use the same amount of force as standard braces to move teeth, they still have a bit of strength on their side and can cause a bit of a twinge following adjustments.

But if you find these braces uncomfortable after having them adjusted, we recommend using over-the-counter pain relief such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. And if you find yourself experiencing intense discomfort due to these braces, please book yourself in for a check-up with our team so we can assess the issue!

How long is the treatment time?

With clear or nearly invisible braces, the treatment time isn’t set and depends on the severity of the misalignment being treated.

But, as an average, these braces can take anywhere between 3-9 months to straighten your teeth.