Traditional Braces Alternatives For Adults

When an adult finds out that they need braces, walking around with metal brackets and wires sounds like a nightmare. Fortunately, there are alternatives that can still help you achieve a beautiful smile. Here are just some of the alternatives to traditional braces you should consider.  

Clear Aligners

If you can't see yourself with metal brackets and wires in your mouth, clear aligners offer an alternative that can still help improve the appearance of your smile. Aligners are basically clear, custom-fitted plastic trays that rest securely over your teeth. When worn regularly, the tray creates a force that gradually shifts the direction of your teeth.

Your orthodontist will design the tray based on your individual alignment goals. When you need to brush your teeth, floss or eat, you can simply remove the trays. The biggest concern with clear aligners is the fact that they can get misplaced since they aren't actually attached to your teeth.

Ceramic Braces

In terms of function and installation, there is little difference between these braces and regular, metal braces. However, instead of metal wire or brackets, you can choose from a clear or tooth-colored wire or bracket option. Each of these styles will blend in with your teeth, making the braces less noticeable.

Compared to clear aligners, the fact that ceramic braces remain on the teeth constantly allows them to align the teeth in a shorter length of time. Unfortunately, ceramic braces are prone to staining if you don't properly take care of them and clean them.

Lingual Braces

Depending on your provider, you may be able to have lingual braces installed. Lingual braces are the exact same as metal braces, except for the fact that they are installed on the inside of your teeth, making them nearly invisible. Lingual braces will also align the teeth faster than a clear aligner.

Unfortunately, there are concerns. First, it can be more challenging to have your braces adjusted since it is harder to reach them, which can make for an uncomfortable experience. In terms of home care, it can also be more challenging to keep lingual braces clean since they are harder to reach and you can't see them.

Your family orthodontist will be able to go over the pros and cons of each of these options with you to help you determine which method will be best suited for your alignment, oral health and lifestyle needs and goals.