Demand for orthodontic supplies is booming around the world with the market estimated to be worth a staggering 7 billion dollars as of 2020. That increased strain on orthodontic supply chains is telling of the fact that more people than ever want perfect smiles.
The trouble with that is achieving a perfect smile via traditional methods like braces take a long time, costs a lot of money and can look embarrassing. Fortunately, there are several braces alternatives that can help you get the smile you want without as much hassle.
Below, our team outlines seven alternatives to braces that are worth exploring as you search for the best way to own the smile of your dreams.
No alternatives to braces option have garnered more fame over the last decade than Invisalign. Invisalign actually came onto the orthodontic scene back in 1997 but didn’t hit its stride until the mid-2000s.
Today, millions of people have used Invisalign’s unique technology to achieve great smiles without needing to endure the emotional stress of sporting the dreaded “brace-face.”
Invisalign works by sending patients sets of clear, retainer-like teeth inserts every few weeks. These inserts gradually work one’s teeth into formation over the course of 12 to 18 months.
2. Back-Side Straighteners
One of the most difficult aspects of sporting traditional braces is the look that they impose on wearers. What if you could take all of those brackets and wires and house them on the back of your teeth though?
Thanks to today’s orthodontic advances, you can!
The caveat here is that putting braces on the back-side of your teeth is a practice that only a handful of orthodontists feel comfortable doing. If you find one that performs the treatment, count yourself lucky.
Back-side straighteners can be just as effective as front-side braces, although, they may cost more.
3. Enamel-Shaded Braces
There is a special class of braces that are made to blend in perfectly with your tooth enamel. This makes them almost invisible at a glance.
It’s easy to come across enamel-shaded brackets at just about any orthodontist’s office. What’s hard to find are enamel shaded wires.
Talk to an orthodontist that you’re considering to see if they have this special rendition of braces available to customers and how much extra it costs.
4. Rubber Bands
Several DIY teeth-straitening methods are advertised on the internet as being both effective and cheap. In almost all cases, you don’t want to get caught up in these procedures as they can do more harm to your smile than good.
Among the many DIY treatments touted, using rubber bands to close minor teeth gaps is seen as the most sensible and may be worth exploring. You can learn more about rubber banding online and should bring any questions that you have about it to an orthodontic or dental professional.
Similar to Invisalign, wearing a retainer can have an effect on your teeth formation. Granted, by wearing a single-retainer and not changing its shape every so often, your teeth won’t shift very far.
Take the time to find out more about Invisalign vs retainer differences to better understand the limits that retainers have in fully reshaping your smile. You may find that a retainer’s limited functionality is all that you need to achieve the ends that you’re looking for.
For those of you with minor tooth gaps, bonding may be the alternatives to braces option that you’ve been hoping for. Dental bonding is a substance that matches your enamel and is commonly used to fill in chipped teeth.
By applying a small amount of dental bonding to both sides of a tooth gap, your teeth will appear wider which can reduce or close spaces.
Since widening your teeth too much can appear just as unsightly as having a gap, using bonding as a means of improving your smile should only be leveraged to finesse minor problems.
If your teeth have a multitude of form and function issues, sometimes it’s best to remove and replace them with Veneers. Veneers are safe tooth replicas that look real and function wonderfully. By opting for Veneers, you could literally walk into a dental office in the morning and walk out in the afternoon with a brand new smile.
Veneers are by far the most expensive alternatives to braces option that’s out there. They also provide the most dramatic results so many find them to be well worth the investment.
As with all expensive dental treatments, financing for Veneers is available.
Bonus Tip: Crush Destructive Habits
While stopping destructive dental habits won’t improve your teeth, it can keep your dental problems from getting worse.
Doing things like grinding your teeth, sucking on your thumb or even maintaining a poor diet can have dramatic negative effects on your bite. Talk to your dentist to see what simple things you can cut out that can make the smile you have look its best!
Alternatives to Braces Work for Thousands of People Every Day
You may run into orthodontic traditionalists that claim traditional braces are the only effective way that you can straighten your teeth. The truth is that thousands of people turn to alternatives to braces every year and achieve fabulous results.
Our advice to you is to learn all that you can about your options and discuss with your doctor which ones might be a good fit for your lifestyle.
We wish you the best in your teeth-strengthening journey and welcome you to read more of the content on our blog if you’re craving additional educational resources on everything from health to work!