Teeth Straightening Options

One of the things we all learning on the way to becoming an adult is the importance of a first impression. And the appearance of our teeth goes a long way in that regard. An even, healthy-looking set of pearly whites helps us project a professional, attractive overall appearance.

Many people get braces during their awkward puberty years, so by the time they reach adulthood, their teeth are in good shape. But for those who miss this milestone, it’s important to remember that it’s never too late to correct the alignment and appearance of their teeth. Best of all, it absolutely doesn’t mean committing yourself to years with a mouthful of metal! Read on for our list of the best alternative options to braces.

Clear Aligners

The use of clear aligners is one of the most popular alternatives to braces for adults. Because they can only be used after the teeth have mostly stopped shifting around, they’re a great option for people who are past the typical braces-wearing age. They’re also remarkably unobtrusive, drawing little to no attention during your day-to-day life.

Clear aligners are made of strong, transparent plastic. The aligner fits over your teeth and gently pushes them into place over the span of ten to 24 months — as long as you’re wearing them as often as your dentist recommends. They’re comfortable to wear and don’t get in the way as much as braces do, so it’s generally not a problem for people to leave them in place throughout the day. But since they are removable, wearers do have the option to take a break from them when necessary.

Lingual Braces

Clear aligners are great alternative to traditional braces, but they’re not for everyone — they only work to correct moderate issues of crowding and spacing. For those with more severe alignment issues, lingual braces are an excellent option to consider. Like traditional braces, lingual braces are affixed to the teeth and not removed until the treatment is complete, which generally takes between 18 and 36 months. The difference? Lingual braces are placed at the back of the teeth. Facing the tongue and palate, the hardware isn’t visible when you smile or speak.

Lingual braces are an excellent option for anyone who dreads the idea of sporting a mouthful of obvious, distracting metal hardware, yet has alignment issues that are more serious than clear aligners can correct.

Contouring and Veneers

Although both clear aligners and lingual braces are barely noticeable to others, many people may still not be thrilled at the idea of wearing something on their teeth for upwards of a year. For this reason, many candidates consider contouring or veneers instead as an alternative to braces. The big draw to these treatments is that the results are immediate!

The process of dental veneers involves removing a thin layer of enamel from your teeth and permanently affixing custom-shaped pieces of durable resin over top. For contouring, dental professionals can sand away parts of the tooth and sometimes add resin implants as well. Both of these procedures are highly effective when it comes to improving the shape, size, and color of your teeth.