Exploring Alternatives to Traditional Braces: What Are Your Options?

While a slight tooth gap can add to your personality and become your defining attribute, misaligned or crooked teeth can often overshadow your beautiful smile. This not only damages your overall appearance but also causes your confidence to take a hit.

With braces, you can correct these alignment issues in your teeth. But traditional braces with their metal wiring are painful while also remaining fixed on top of your teeth for as long as you need to wear them. This can affect your aesthetic and self-image during the entirety of your braces treatment.

That’s where looking into alternative treatments for braces can help. The following guide gives you an overview of these solutions.

Why do you have to wear braces?

Braces are a form of treatment in orthodontics, which is a branch of dentistry that focuses on treating teeth and jaw misalignment issues. Braces are traditionally made from metal wires that are customized to fit over your teeth. This enables them to fix specific concerns with the placement and alignment of your teeth.

When you continue wearing braces for a certain period of time and get regular adjustments to their size, they can retrain your teeth’s placement and fix their alignment issues. This can take anywhere from 1–3 years. From there, you can maintain healthy teeth with ideal eating habits and hygiene practices.

What Alternatives Are Available?


Similar to an NTI night guard that can treat TMJ cases without surgery, you can find a few solutions that fix tooth and jaw misalignment without braces. But it’s important to understand that in some cases, only traditional braces may be able to fix your teeth. You can discuss your concerns about braces with your orthodontist to determine if an alternative treatment could be the right solution for you.

With that being said, popular alternatives to braces include the following approaches:

Clear Aligners

With clear aligners, you can show off your teeth as usual while also consistently training them to change their position and alignment. Unlike braces that are fixed on your teeth for 1-3 years, you need to take off your clear aligners before every meal. You need to wear these aligners 20–22 hours a day for up to 1 year. If remembering this practice is difficult, you can turn to a reminder app for help.

Ceramic Braces

If you don’t like the metallic appearance of braces, you might prefer the discreet look of ceramic braces. The color of these braces can somewhat blend in with the natural enamel of your teeth and does not make your braces appear as prominent as the traditional metal option. This can help you garner the perks of wearing braces without having to announce them to the world every time you speak.

Lingual Braces

Unlike traditional braces and ceramic braces that are worn at the front of your teeth, lingual braces are fixed to their back. This hides them from immediate view and gives you more confidence in wearing them. But similar to monitoring the health of aging parents, you need to consistently get these braces checked through follow-up appointments. This means that, apart from the method of fixing lingual braces, you may have essentially the same experience with them as with traditional braces.

Dental Veneers

If you don’t want to wear braces or aligners, you can take the route of dental veneers. These are personalized tooth coatings that are fixed above your natural teeth. For this purpose, your natural teeth are prepared in a shorter form. While veneers are a long-lasting solution that can last anywhere between 5 and 15 years, they are expensive to get. This means that you need some funds in a personal savings account before you can get them.


Typically, you wear retainers once your braces treatment has been completed. But in cases where you have minimal misalignment issues, wearing a retainer throughout the night might be a suitable way to obtain your ideal smile. To ease yourself into adopting this solution, you can also look into wearing a custom dental guard. This can go a long way towards your overall comfort while also helping you fix your smile.

Are braces alternatives covered by insurance?

Similar to braces, some brace alternatives are partially covered by insurance. This depends on your dental coverage plan and the type of treatment that is suggested by your dentist. You may also need to visit an in-network dentist to get the most coverage from your insurance. With that being said, you may still need to cover a large part of these expenses with your savings. For this purpose, you may want to use solutions like a personal finance app.

By learning about these alternatives to braces, you can get the most out of these orthodontic wonders. This way, you can improve your smile without having to make major compromises for your comfort.

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