objective: to evaluate the esthetic perception of different appliances by brazilian lay adults and its influence in the attributed value of orthodontic treatment, considering evaluators' socioeconomic status, age and gender. methods: eight different combinations of orthodontic appliances and clear tray aligners were placed in a consenting adult with pleasing smile. standardized frontal photographs were captured and incorporated into a research album. a sample of adults (n = 252, median = 26 years old) were asked to rate each image for (1) its attractiveness on a visual analog scale and (2) the willingness to pay (wtp) for a cosmetic appliance when compared to a standard metalic appliance and a clear tray aligner. comparisons between the appliances' attractiveness were performed using the friedman's test and dann's post-hoc test. correlation between appliances' attributed value, socioeconomic status, age, gender, and esthetic perception was assessed using spearman's correlation analysis. results: attractiveness ratings of orthodontic appliances varied significantly in the following hierarchy: clear aligners>sapphire brackets>self-ligating/conventional stainless steel brackets>and golden metal appliances. the correlation between wtp and esthetic perception was week. however, for individuals with better socioeconomic status and aged between 17-26 years old significantly, a significantly higher wtp was found. conclusion: clear aligners and sapphire brackets with esthetic archwire were considered better esthetic options in this sample. nevertheless, patients were not willing to pay more money for appliances they deemed more esthetic, however, they were significantly influenced by their socioeconomic level and age.