Brace Yourself: 4 Alternatives To Old School Braces

Having a healthy smile and straight, even teeth can help you make a great first impression when it comes to everything from job interviews to dating. In fact, a recent study showed that 2 in 5 Americans wouldn't go on a second date with someone with crooked teeth. While this may seem a bit harsh, the truth is that if you currently have crooked and overcrowded teeth, you are likely to feel much more confident about your appearance once you receive orthodontic treatment.

This treatment doesn't necessarily need to involve traditional metal braces, either. Here are four cool alternatives to consider:

Removable Aligners

In cases where your teeth are only mildly crooked, you may qualify for removable aligners, sometimes referred to as invisible aligners. These plastic devices are similar to mouth guards but much thinner and with a much lower profile. They are custom-fitted to your mouth and can be removed from time to time as needed, in some cases for a few hours each day. While removable aligners aren't super noticeable, it can be nice to be able to remove them for important events.

They are also removed in order to brush your teeth and floss, which allows you to avoid some of the dental hygiene challenges of other forms of orthodontics. Removable aligners do, however, require frequent visits to your orthodontist as they need to be replaced fairly often during your treatment in order to be most effective. As they begin to do their job of re-shaping your teeth, they need to repeatedly be made smaller and refitted to continuously help guide your smile into place.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces work in the same way as traditional metal braces, using gentle pressure to slowly move your teeth into better alignment. Unlike metal braces, they are made from tooth-colored ceramic, which makes them much more natural-looking and less noticeable. They typically cost a bit more than metal braces, but less than removable aligners or accelerated orthodontics, so they can be a good middle-of-the-road option when it comes to cost. A similar option is clear braces, which also work the same way as traditional braces but with a clear material instead of metal or ceramic.

Accelerated Orthodontics

A newer alternative to traditional braces is accelerated orthodontics. Accelerated orthodontics combine a minor oral surgery with whichever type of braces you are most interested in. The oral surgery portion of the process involves intentionally weakening and shaving down part of the bone, helping your teeth move into their new position (with the help of braces) much more quickly than with traditional orthodontic treatment. Accelerated orthodontics usually works in 6-9 months, compared to 18-36 months for traditional braces.

Lingual Braces

If your teeth are severely crowded or crooked, and you need the effectiveness of traditional braces but hate how they look, you may want to ask your orthodontist about lingual braces. These are metal braces that are placed behind your teeth instead of in front of them, rendering them invisible unless someone is looking inside your mouth.

Lingual braces can easily trap food, which in turn can lead to plaque and tooth decay. This can easily go unnoticed since it's happening behind your teeth instead of in the front where you would clearly see it when you look in the mirror. For this reason, it's especially crucial to be diligent about brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash when you have lingual braces.

In order to determine which orthodontic solution is best for you and your specific smile needs, it's best to make a consultation appointment with an orthodontist. Soon you will be on your way to a straighter, more confident smile. Contact a company like Wright Center For Orthodontics to get started.