Alternatives to Straightening Teeth With Traditional Braces

Braces Brick Township, NJ

Many patients do not want to hear from the dentist that braces are necessary to straighten their crooked teeth. Most people think of metal squares that affect the look of the teeth. But dental technology has progressed to the point that conventional braces are not always necessary. Here, we explain a few alternatives to metal braces for straightening crooked teeth.

Alternatives to metal braces

Lingual braces

Lingual braces, also known as concealed braces, are similar to metal braces, but they are not as visually distracting. Lingual braces’ brackets are attached to the backs of the teeth. Patients with lingual braces can open their mouth to smile, talk or laugh, and no one will know that they are wearing braces. It takes a specialized dental mirror and the perfect vantage point to see lingual braces in the mouth.


Invisalign are popular among many dentists, orthodontists, and patients. These translucent plastic trays fit directly over the teeth. They are molded in a completely customized manner, enabling patients to progress from one tray to the next for timely teeth straightening. Invisalign cannot be seen by the naked eye unless the observer is within a few inches of the patient.

This alternative to braces for straightening teeth is also fully removable. Patients can remove their aligners to floss, brush, and eat a wide range of foods without restriction.

Between 18 and 30 plastic aligners are created to fit on the patient's teeth and gradually straighten crooked teeth. The aligners must be removed every couple of weeks across the treatment's duration. The length of treatment depends on the severity of the crooked teeth.


Although retainers cannot address all issues pertaining to crooked teeth, these custom-fit and fully removable dental devices can close spaces between teeth. They can even shift a single tooth. Unlike traditional braces, retainers are mostly concealed in the mouth. These metal or plastic devices are unobtrusive, comfortable, and affordable.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces are similar to regular braces in most facets except aesthetics. They are the same shape and size as regular metal braces, but they have clear or enamel-colored brackets. These brackets blend in with the teeth. Some ceramic braces even have tooth-colored wires to further minimize visibility.

Cosmetic dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry has emerged as a viable alternative to traditional braces. Dental veneers are thin but hard shells comprised of porcelain. They are permanently attached to the front portions of crooked, chipped, discolored, misaligned, or improperly spaced teeth. Patients who opt for veneers find these shells to be durable and strong.

Dental bonding can solve many spacing and shaping issues typically addressed by regular braces. Bonding is the application of resin material to conceal flaws and fill in gaps between teeth. The bonding hardens and provides improved durability and stability.

Frequently asked questions about straightening teeth with alternatives to braces

Many options are available if patients are considering straightening their teeth but are not keen on traditional metal braces. Here, we explore frequently asked questions about alternatives to braces, including how effective they are and what risks are involved.

1. What are alternatives to braces for straightening teeth?

Many different appliances can be used to straighten teeth, including clear aligners, removable appliances, and fixed appliances.

2. How effective are alternatives to braces?

The effectiveness of each appliance will vary depending on the individual case. Clear aligners are generally less effective than traditional braces for correcting severe misalignments but can be quite effective for minor corrections.

3. Are there any risks associated with using alternatives to braces?

No significant risks are associated with using any of these appliances, though there is a small risk of tooth damage or gum irritation with any type of orthodontic treatment.

4. How long does treatment with alternatives to braces take?

Treatment times will vary depending on the severity of the misalignment and the type of appliance used. In general, removable appliances can take the shortest amount of time to correct dental alignment, while fixed appliances can take several months to a year or more.

5. How much do alternatives to braces cost?

The cost of treatment will vary depending on the type of appliance used and the severity of the misalignment. Clear aligners and removable appliances are generally more expensive than traditional braces.

Contact us to find out more about alternatives to braces

Patients looking for an alternative to braces should give us a call as soon as possible. Our dental team is here to help patients straighten their teeth with options beyond traditional braces. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Request an appointment in our Brick Township dentist office here:

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