6 Alternatives to Braces for a Great Smile

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Having a nice set of teeth makes a great smile and a great smile can go a long way. It builds confidence and when you’re confident, it can often lead to better jobs and higher salaries. So if you’ve got crooked teeth, you’d naturally want to get it straightened out with an orthodontic treatment.

The most common treatment is to wear braces. Traditional braces, however, can be expensive and wearing them can take a few years. So if you still want to reposition those crooked teeth for a great smile but want to opt out of braces, check out our alternatives below.

Invisalign

Invisalign braces held by two fingers.

The Invisalign system uses a number of clear, plastic shields that fit over your teeth. You wear each of these shields for a certain amount of time, then switch to another one, with each shield moving your teeth just a little bit more. They are practically undetectable, so most people won’t even know you’re wearing them. There are many advantages, as well as disadvantages, to this system, including:

Pros:

  • They are easy to remove and replace
  • They are clear and do not look anything like regular metal braces
  • They are extremely comfortable
  • Fewer emergency repairs, since there are no wires or brackets to break

Cons:

  • You must wear them a certain number of hours per day or your treatment takes longer
  • You can still experience tenderness around the teeth and gum areas
  • The costs can be much higher than regular braces
  • Frequently changing the mouth shield, usually every two weeks, can make your mouth sore

You can also suffer with a lisp until you are used to wearing the Invisalign teeth guards, because even with this system there is an adjustment period. You have to remove them for everything except drinking water, but because of this, many people find that they lose weight while on the system, due to the fact that they snack less because they want to make sure they keep the teeth guards in as long as possible each day.

Six Month Smiles

The Six Month Smiles system is designed for adults, and even though there are brackets attached to your teeth, the brackets are clear, and the wires are either tooth-colored or a discrete silver. They are a lot more attractive than braces, and they are designed to produce results in six months. They are also made only for adults and to straighten only the front teeth and not your entire mouth. Here are some advantages and disadvantages to the Six Month Smiles system:

Pros:

  • They are a very affordable treatment plan
  • The treatment is faster because it is only moving the front teeth
  • Because it is only moving your front teeth, there is limited pain and soreness
  • They are very discreet

Cons:

  • Since everyone’s teeth are different, they do not always produce results in six months
  • They straighten your teeth, but do nothing for your bite
  • Sometimes your bite can be worse than before the treatment
  • The treatment is only meant to straighten your front teeth

If your teeth are not that crooked to begin with, this type of treatment may work for you. A good consultation with a qualified orthodontist will let you know for sure because this is the only way you can choose wisely between this type of treatment plan and regular orthodontic treatment. Despite its name, this system does not always straighten your teeth in six months; however, the amount of time that it takes is normally a lot shorter than other types of straightening devices.

Smile Direct Club

The Smile Direct Club is similar to the Invisalign system, except there are no visits to the orthodontist. You simply join, pay a certain amount each month, and keep receiving your teeth guards until your teeth are straight. It is discreet and simple, but does it work for everyone? Here are a few pros and cons to think about before making a final decision:

Pros:

  • You can do everything yourself without the need for orthodontist visits
  • They are almost impossible to see while they’re in your mouth
  • They are a lot less expensive than other replaceable teeth guard systems
  • You can get a brand-new smile in no time

Cons:

  • They can be time-consuming, since expert daily brushing and flossing are a must
  • You may have a lisp until you get used to wearing them
  • Your teeth and gums may still be sore for a bit
  • It sometimes takes awhile to get your next set

Like the Invisalign system, the Smile Direct Club isn’t for everyone, but most of the people who use the system are very happy indeed with how straight their teeth look once the treatment is complete. They also offer a convenient payment plan if you don’t want to pay it all at once, so they are essentially very affordable for everyone. In addition, they can save you a lot of time because there are no orthodontic visits to schedule, and all you have to do is wait for the next mouth guard to arrive, which is especially convenient for people who are very busy.

Incognito Braces

Incognito braces on teeth model.

Also called lingual braces, the braces are installed on the inside of your mouth so that no one knows that they’re there. These braces have actually been around since the 1970s but are gaining in popularity because for a long time, no one knew they existed. Even if you decide to get other cosmetic dental procedures, for example, implants, lingual braces will never be an inconvenience. Here are a few things to consider when you’re researching lingual braces:

Pros:

  • The brackets are custom-made and therefore fit your mouth perfectly
  • No one will ever know that you’re wearing braces
  • They take care of various problems, from severe crowding to bite problems
  • Minimal interference with your speech and gum pain

Cons:

  • You may lisp until you get used to them
  • They can be more expensive than traditional braces and even clear aligners
  • You can’t take them out if you want to eat or even to take a break from them
  • Some soreness and pain in the beginning

Incognito braces are perfect for people who need much more than a slight straightening of their teeth because they work just as well as traditional orthodontist treatments. The amount of time you’ll wear them will depend on many factors, including the amount of work that needs to be done, but a good orthodontist can help you determine an estimate on when your teeth might look the way you want them to.

Damon Braces

Close up of damon braces on teeth.

Because they are so technologically advanced, Damon braces tend to produce results a lot faster than many other types of braces. Instead of using brackets that the orthodontist tightens and adjusts regularly, there is a slide mechanism that attaches the wires to the brackets. They are, therefore, a lot more comfortable than regular braces, and the slide mechanism allows the teeth to align in a natural movement. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of the Damon braces system:

Pros:

  • They use self-ligating technology to prevent uncomfortable friction
  • You don’t have to visit the orthodontist’s office as much as with regular braces
  • They can take care of numerous types of orthodontic problems, including complex ones
  • They usually require less time to get great results

Cons:

  • They are a lot more expensive than other types of braces
  • They are not invisible; although, if you choose the Damon Clear they will be almost invisible
  • They are fixed and not replaceable, which means that you cannot just take them out when they get uncomfortable
  • The amount of time that it takes to straighten your teeth is usually just as long as regular braces.

Damon braces come in both metal and clear colors, so you do have a choice when it comes to the overall look of the braces. However, most people choose the clear model because they are less noticeable, and these types of braces are a smart choice for people who want to reduce the amount of pain that they feel and increase the odds of having perfectly straight teeth in the end.

Ceramic Braces

Woman smiles with mouth open wide displaying her ceramic braces.

Ceramic braces are made similarly to regular braces, except for the fact that the wires and brackets are tooth-colored, which means that they aren’t as noticeable as regular metal braces. They blend in perfectly with the rest of your mouth, so when you smile you do not have a mouth full of silver and metal to flash at people. Here are some of the pros and cons of ceramic braces:

Pros:

  • They are much less expensive than lingual braces and many types of aligners
  • They are discreet and much less noticeable
  • They can align the teeth very quickly
  • Your visits to the orthodontist are less frequent than other types of braces

Cons:

  • The brackets can become stained if you don’t brush and floss properly
  • You have to avoid certain foods so that they do not stain the brackets
  • Daily, expert oral hygiene procedures must be followed
  • They can be costly when compared to traditional orthodontic treatments

Whereas the cost of ceramic braces falls somewhere between traditional orthodontic treatments and braces such as lingual braces and aligners such as Invisalign, you should still consider this treatment plan a viable option, particularly if you do not want braces that are very noticeable. Ceramic braces are simply more discreet and more efficient than many other types of braces, which makes them a good type to consider for everyone.





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