Bracing the Alternatives: Other Ways to Straighten Teeth

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Woman holding dental retainers

The traditional metal dental braces are a useful tool to align your teeth properly. They’re efficient, durable, customizable, and they’re continually working as long as they’re attached to your teeth. Nowadays, braces have become smaller, and some are even designed to work faster and cause less pain.

However, despite them being useful and relatively inexpensive, people still find braces uncomfortable and unsightly. Not only do traditional metal braces make people feel self-conscious or unattractive, but they also make brushing and flossing more difficult, they limit what you can eat, and they can be painful especially after they’re put on or tightened.

Luckily, with advances in the field of orthodontics, there are other alternatives such as clear dental aligners that you can use instead of braces. So, let’s take a look at other options you can choose to achieve that perfect smile you’ve always yearned for:

Clear Dental Aligners

Clear aligners have recently gained a lot of popularity, especially among adults who wish to have their teeth properly aligned discretely. Clear aligners are, as the name implies, clear and transparent, and can treat conditions ranging from mild cases of misalignment to serious cases of malocclusion. They are made of removable “trays” that fit over your teeth. Clear aligners are made through digital scanning and modelling of your teeth, and the orthodontist makes multiple aligners for different “stages” that slowly move your teeth to their proper alignment. Those that use them are required to wear them for a set period (usually two weeks) until the next “stage” of clear aligners are used.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces work quite similarly with traditional metal braces, but they’re made with translucent or enamel-colored (with the same shade as your teeth) brackets and wires. As such, they’re less noticeable than metal braces, but they do need a bit more care and handling as they’re not as durable and can stain.

Incognito Hidden Braces

Also known as lingual braces, work similarly to metal braces and are made of metal. However, unlike regular braces, they’re attached on the back of the teeth and are in contact with the tongue, thus the name “lingual braces”. Due to this placement, incognito hidden braces are quite discrete but are relatively more expensive than regular braces. Additionally, some have noted that they are a bit harder to clean and may take some getting used to, especially since they’re always in contact with your tongue.

Veneers

Veneers are often seen as worn and endorsed by celebrities and media personalities. They’re ideal for those with gabs, fractured teeth, stained teeth, or those that have developed poorly. To use veneers, a layer of enamel is removed, and then veneers are attached to the teeth with resin. Veneers are quite durable and can show immediate improvement, but they require to be replaced every 5-10 years.

Retainers

Woman putting retainers on
Retainers are usually used after your teeth have undergone straightening with braces to ensure that they “retain” their alignment. However, if your teeth only need minimal correction, retainers can be used on their own to accomplish minimal tooth movement and, subsequently, alignment. They’re less obstructive, removable, and cheaper, but they can only work for minute realignment.

Conclusion

So, if you or perhaps your child would prefer not to wear unappealing and uncomfortable braces but still want to have your teeth properly aligned, rest assured that there are a lot of alternative orthodontic treatments that you can take advantage of. Visit your local orthodontist to check which alternative would be the best one for you.