Can I straighten my teeth without braces?
When it comes to orthodontic treatment, many patients ask if it is possible to straighten teeth without braces. The simple answer is yes. Today, contemporary teeth straightening treatment methods are designed to be as unobtrusive and practical as possible so patients can get on with their lives with confidence.
Reasons to straighten your teeth
The main reason people want to align their teeth is to feel more confident in their smile. However, having orthodontic treatment can also improve your bite, reduce tooth wear and help with dental hygiene. Ignoring problems related to your teeth and bite may seem convenient, but the treatment needed to fix your concerns may be more simple than you think.
Teeth straightening options
Ceramic braces are popular among adults and older teens who are looking for an effective teeth straightening option with a less obvious appearance. They are less noticeable than standard metal braces because they have clear or tooth-coloured brackets and optional tooth-coloured wires.
While ceramic braces are much less visible, they work in precisely the same way as metal braces, producing the same results in the same treatment time.
Lingual (inside) braces
Lingual braces are truly invisible – these custom-made braces are attached to the inside surfaces of your teeth, instead of the front. Lingual braces are 100% personalised to follow the individual contours of your teeth, ensuring they are as comfortable and effective as possible.
However, because lingual braces are located near the tongue, they can take some time to get used to and may impact on speech and eating more than regular braces, which is one of the reasons many people opt for alternative treatments.
Clear plastic aligners can provide an almost invisible alternative to fixed braces but are generally better suited to correcting less severe orthodontic problems. Clear aligners are removable and virtually invisible, but if they’re not worn consistently or are removed from the mouth too often the treatment will not work.
Traditional metal braces are still the most common type of braces used for kids and teens, but they’re also an option for adults, particularly those who are on a tighter budget.
With this type of treatment, small metal brackets are attached to the teeth and are then connected with a thin wire, which is adjusted or changed at regular intervals to gradually align your teeth and correct your bite – making them a very effective and reliable treatment option. Modern metal braces are much smaller and more comfortable than ever before. In younger patients, you’ll often see them jazzed up with colourful elastic modules to make the fun and fashionable!
What is the cheapest way to align your teeth?
The cheapest way to align your teeth is to take the traditional route with metal braces. This will cost you between $5,500 – $9,000 for a full 15-18 month treatment plan. Generally, clear aligners are also quite affordable due to requiring cheaper materials to make. And you can also ask your orthodontist about payment plans to help you spread out the cost of your treatment. Saying that each case is different and the only way to know the costs will be is to have a consultation with an orthodontist.
How to straighten teeth without braces?
Removable plates are not a true alternative to braces or aligners as they can only provide limited corrections. Plates are mostly used in young children who still have baby teeth present and whilst they can certainly be very helpful for correcting some simple problems in this age group, the second stage of treatment with braces will usually be needed after all the adult teeth have come through a few years later.
While there are alternative treatment options available if you’re looking for ways to correct your smile without braces, they may not be suited to everybody. It is always best to discuss the best treatment options for your smile when you make an appointment with your local specialist orthodontist.
Can teeth be straightened at any age?
There is no cut off age for getting braces, which means your teeth can be straightened at any age. Saying that having corrective treatment as an adult can be more complicated for a number of reasons including fillings, missing teeth or other dental issues. Your specialist orthodontist has a wealth of knowledge and clinical experience, which means that you should have no problem overcoming any challenge. In your consultation, your orthodontist will carefully assess your oral health and flag any concerns that may arise.