More and more adults are turning to orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth – fact! But while in the past, traditional bracket- and wire-style braces have been a preferred method of getting the job done, many more people today are seeking teeth straightening without braces.
Just imagine, you’re an adult looking to maintain a professional image. It’s probably fair to say that in this case, conventional ‘train track’ braces may not be the best option. The question is, how can you get a straighter smile without making it blatantly obvious that you’re wearing braces? Here are some orthodontic teeth straightening ideas that don’t involve fixed braces. Some are more practical than others…
There are two main types of retainers in orthodontics. Hawley retainers are a customized removable application made from a combination of acrylic and metal wiring. Essix retainers are made of clear plastic that has been specially designed to fit your teeth. Normally they’re designed to be worn after braces treatment to ensure teeth don’t drift back to their original positions. However, on some occasions, retainers can help to move teeth or close any gaps between teeth, provided that the problem is a minor one. So if you need very simple treatment, then wearing a removable retainer without braces may help in some cases.
That said, when retainers shouldn’t be worn as teeth aligners. They aren’t designed to carry out complex tooth movements or to target individual teeth like braces can. There are much better options available.
Although orthodontic appliances, such as headgear, are primarily used by children, they can also be used by adult patients. In adults, the appliance is often best used when a tooth is missing to prevent others from drifting into the gap prior to an implant.
Other orthodontic teeth straightening appliances that may not involve braces are:
- Separators or spacers – Tiny rubberized doughnut-shaped rings designed to be placed between the teeth, thus keeping them apart.
- Transpalatal arch (TPA) expanders – Help to expand or widen the palate and are designed to be worn for several months.
- Positioners – Aiding final tooth movements, positioners are usually worn for 4-8 weeks.
- Inman Aligner – A removable, aligner style appliance designed to quickly straighten front teeth.
Although not clinically indicated in all orthodontic cases, the above appliances can in some instances be used as forms of teeth straightening without braces. However, there is one thing they all have in common… They’re not particularly discreet! In fact, you could even say that some are highly conspicuous! Not particularly great if you’re looking to maintain that professional image, right?
So is there another alternative?
Cue clear removable aligners…
For those seeking discreet cosmetic teeth straightening, the best option may be clear removable aligners. Made using BPA-free plastic, they’re designed to be worn over the teeth, similar to a gum shield, so they do away with any type of brackets and wiring altogether. What’s more, they’re one of the fastest ways to straighten teeth without braces, as treatment can take just a few months in some cases.
Although not entirely invisible per se, clear teeth aligners are difficult to spot and unlike other forms of invisible systems such as those worn behind the teeth (lingual braces), they’re designed to be easily removed when eating and drinking. While some patients develop a slight telltale lisp, this quickly disappears within a few days when the mouth gets used to wearing the aligner. So, that aside, they really are discreet, meaning that you can happily wear them throughout your working day and chances are, no one will bat an eyelid.
What about clear teeth alignment cost?
Costs do vary depending upon the brand of clear brace aligner you opt for. In some instances treatment prices can be 50% less than the market leader, so you can get quite considerable savings. What’s more, many companies offer payment plans where costs can be spread over a period of time.
As you can see, teeth straightening without braces is not only possible, but, in the case of clear teeth aligners, it’s completely discreet. So if you’re looking to enhance your smile, but don’t want the world to know about it, then it’s great to know that there is something out there that fits the bill!