- Published Date: 05 Dec 2020
- Updated Date: 05 Dec 2020
- Reading Time: 12 min
In your day-to-day life, your smile can serve multiple purposes. It is a fantastic communication tool that can break down barriers between people. Intuitively, smiling is our go-to reaction when you meet someone for the first time. Why? Because it’s a universal, cross-cultural greeting that puts everyone at ease. Even in your professional career, smiling can make a great deal of difference. In a job interview, recruiters are more likely to hire candidates that smile a lot as they communicate.
Unfortunately, not everyone is satisfied with their smile. Do straight teeth change your luck? Professionals think so. A whopping 62% of Australian adults perceive crooked smiles to be unsuccessful. Even if your everyday interactions, crowded teeth or spaced out smiles can make you feel more self-conscious. As a result, you smile less, which can have lasting consequences on your career, social circles, and overall mood.
Straight teeth can make you more attractive to others, whether you are on a date or interviewing for a role. Therefore, it is understandable to consider teeth straightening options if your smile is a source of worries. We’ve compiled a guide on the different teeth braces and other straightening solutions available to help you choose the right one for you.
Can I straighten my teeth as an adult?
A lot of people tend to associate teeth braces with teenage years. However, it doesn’t mean that adults can’t straighten their teeth. To understand how things work, you need to understand how your teeth are maintained inside your mouth. Teeth are attached by their roots to the jawbones. As you are growing up, aka as a teenager, the bones are not fully set. As a result, it makes it easier to remove your crooked smile with teeth braces.
Additionally, it’s fair to say that your teeth are more likely to shift during puberty. Indeed, as the body grows, a lot of children tend to get their first adult teeth before the jawbones can grow to their full size. Therefore, your smile can feel crowded. For some teenagers, teeth can correct themselves and fall back into a straight position as they grow. But, for many, teeth straightening options are necessary to fix their smiles.
It isn’t recommended to use teeth braces in young children, as the bones and teeth are not fully set. In fact, worrying about straight teeth at an early age can have detrimental effects. In rare cases, orthodontists can recommend specialist braces for young children to address speech and eating issues caused by teeth.
How does it affect adults? As your jaw tissues set, it doesn’t mean you can’t use teeth braces in adulthood. There may be many reasons why you may want braces. Adult teeth can shift considerably over time, even if you used to wear metal braces as a teenager. Some adults didn’t need braces when they were growing up and may need some in later years. Often, wisdom teeth growing in early adulthood are responsible for delayed shifting! Sometimes, you didn’t pursue teeth straightening options growing up but wish to address the issue now. You can straighten your teeth at almost any time in your life, as long as your teeth are not loose.
What are the different teeth braces options?
Metal teeth braces
Metal braces are the most commonly known teeth straightening options. Most people know someone who needed to wear metal teeth braces growing up. Basically, the braces consist of metal brackets, which are placed on each tooth. Two thin metal wires run through all brackets, one for the borrow row (the mandible) and one for the upper row of teeth (the maxilla). Elastic bands hold the wires in place at each side of the mouth. When it comes to customization of your teeth braces, the only choice you get with metal braces is the colour of the elastics.
Metal teeth braces are a popular choice due to their affordability. They’re one of the cheapest teeth straightening options you can receive at your dentist’s office. When it comes to health insurance, many insurers provide partial or full cost cover for metal braces, which influences the choice of straightening solutions. They are also highly effective and can help correct a lot of teeth straightening issues, from crooked teeth to spaced out smiles, overbites, and underbites. The bottom line: They are visible, but they work.
You can expect the average treatment to last a few months to a few years. Adults who opt for metal braces are likely to wear them for a couple of years to achieve best results. If you are self-conscious about your smile, visible braces may not be the optimal solution for you.
Do metal teeth braces have disadvantages? They can be uncomfortable to wear, as regular adjustments for teeth shifting can lead to soreness. Additionally, some patients have reported discomfort and minor wounds as the metal parts of the braces rub against or dig inside your inner cheeks. They require special attention for dental hygiene, as food debris can get stuck in the teeth braces. Unfortunately, metal braces are not removable, so you need to be careful to avoid cavities and stains.
Lingual teeth braces
Lingual braces are similar to metal braces in all points, except for one major element: The brackets are attached at the back of your teeth. As such, they are virtually invisible braces. Due to the unique position, they are some of the most expensive teeth straightening options. You can struggle to find orthodontists who can provide lingual teeth straightening options, as it is one of the least common solutions for straight teeth.
Discomfort with lingual teeth braces is similar to issues you may experience with front metal braces. The lingual position, aka next to the tongue, can also be a source of discomfort, or minor tongue wounds if you are not careful. It is, however, unlikely to happen!
Keeping lingual teeth braces clear of debris can be a delicate task, as you can’t see the area you need to clean. Some food debris can be easily dislodged with your tongue, though!
Ceramic teeth braces
You may not be familiar with ceramic braces, but they are in many ways similar to the popular metal teeth straightening options. However, ceramic braces act as almost invisible braces. They are a lot less noticeable than metal braces, due to the nature of the material used. Ceramic is close in appearance to your natural teeth colour and can be coloured to match your teeth if required. However, as a result of extra adjustments, it takes longer to get your ceramic teeth braces ready. They also come at a higher cost.
However, just like metal braces, they also need additional care to remove food debris that can get stuck.
It is worth noting as well that ceramic brackets are not as durable as metal ones, so you may need to get repairs or upgrades during your treatment. Due to their larger size, brackets can also lead to increased gum sensitivity.
Self-ligating clear braces
Also called Damon braces, self-ligating braces do not need elastics to support the wire. Instead, the braces are self-supporting and use a spring-loaded clip mechanism that straightens the teeth. They are less conspicuous than metal braces, but they remain visible at close range. The teeth straightening system is self-adjusting. You will not need to book a regular check-up to adjust your teeth braces. It also reduces the duration of treatment significantly.
The contraption puts less pressure on the teeth, which reduces friction and pain. Additionally, because self-ligating teeth braces have fewer components than typical metal braces, they are easy to clean and maintain.
However, Damon braces are one of the most expensive teeth straightening options.
Clear aligners are the only removable clear braces you can find. Unlike other teeth straightening options that are fixed with brackets or clips for the duration of the treatment, clear aligners are bracket-less. As a result, they are completely invisible braces that nobody will spot in your mouth.
There’s a significant advantage to being removable: They are easy to clean and maintain. You don’t need to worry about food debris or stains, as the aligners can be conveniently removed whenever you need to. As a result, they offer a manageable solution that can be fully adjusted to your lifestyle. Brackets can put too much pressure on the teeth, which can lead to risks of root resorption. However, a bracelet-less solution keeps your roots safe and strong without compromising on the end result.
The treatment duration with clear aligners is the same as with traditional teeth braces. You can expect to wear these for a few months to a few fears, depending on your teeth. Because they are fully customised to your bite via an impression kit, clear aligners deliver quality results with any of the typical teeth braces discomforts.
When it comes to braces cost, clear braces are one of the most affordable treatments, making them an ideal choice for budget-conscious individuals.
As a patient, I want a quick teeth straightening solution
Unfortunately, there is no overnight straight teeth miracle. Teeth braces are the best medical approach to straighten your smile. The treatment can vary greatly in duration, depending on your teeth. As a rule of thumb, the average treatment duration is between 6 months and 2 years for moth teeth braces, whether you opt for metal braces or clear aligners.
However, while you can’t have an overnight solution, you can cut down unnecessary delays and time wasting appointments. Non-removable teeth braces, at the exception of Damon braces, require regular check-ups and adjustments with a professional orthodontist. Metal teeth braces, for instance, can need monthly checks for pressure. When you’ve got a busy schedule, making time for frequent dentist visits can be tricky.
However, clear aligners offer a unique option to straighten teeth at home. You can save yourself the time-consuming repeat journeys to the dentist, as clear braces are designed as a convenient teeth straightening option. You only need to order an impression kit to make a mould of your teeth. The kit is sent directly to your home and used to create your custom invisible braces. The at-home treatment, however, doesn’t compromise on professional services. Your dental impression is managed and checked by a professional orthodontic technician, who can promise ad hoc advice and support if needed.
Tooth hygiene and teeth braces
You can’t compromise in dental hygiene when you look for teeth straightening treatments. Regardless of the teeth braces you decide to use, you can expect professional follow-ups and advice on how to best look after your braces and your smile.
Best practices gestures for dental care don’t change, regardless of the teeth braces you are wearing. Therefore, whether you are wearing metal braces or clear aligners, you need to make sure these dental routines are part of your everyday care:
- Tooth brushing, at least twice a day
- Daily flossing
- Mouth washing
With some teeth braces options, keeping up a good dental hygiene routine is crucial to avoid damaging your teeth. Non-removable braces, for example, are more likely to get food debris stuck against your teeth. You need to make sure your braces are clear; otherwise, debris could lead to stains on the surface of the teeth. In some cases, they can also contribute to the formation of cavities.
Removable teeth braces, however, are less likely to lead to dental complications. While it doesn’t mean you can ignore essential dental care, you are not putting your smile at risk if you forget to floss before going to bed!
I don’t like the hassle of wearing teeth braces
There is no magical remedy to correct crooked teeth. If you want straight teeth, you need to invest in teeth braces and wear them for the duration of your treatment. However, it can be helpful to get to the heart of the problem to figure out the best teeth straightening options for you.
If you dislike visible braces, invisible braces or inconspicuous ceramic teeth braces can be a suitable solution. They can straighten your smile without attracting attention.
Can you compromise with a teeth braces treatment that you don’t need to wear all the time? In principle, prolonged wear is what is going to straighten your teeth. There is no way to speed up the treatment. But you can use clear aligners as part of a night treatment only, which means you only wear them when you go to bed. NightOnly clear aligners are not suitable for all kinds of teeth straightening needs. Therefore, it is ideal for patients with mild to moderate teeth alignment issues. That’s precisely what your at-home kit impression will help to determine. If you are a good candidate for night wear, you need to prepare for a long treatment period, as you’ll get to wear your clear aligners only 8 to 10 hours every day.
For best results, experts recommend combining NightOnly clear aligners with regular daytime aligners. The combination of both could speed up the treatment.
How do I get updated teeth braces?
You need to adjust your teeth braces for best results continuously. Non-removable teeth braces need regular check-ups and adjustments to make sure that you can achieve your dream straight teeth smile. Bracket-based teeth braces will require frequent orthodontist appointments for the duration of the treatment. You can expect to plan an appointment once a month or once every two months, during which the braces will be tightened.
Damon braces are in a league of their own, as they are built with a self-adjusting mechanism. However, you will still need to visit your dentist to make sure that your teeth braces are still comfortable and in place.
How do check-ups work with clear aligners? Because you get a kit to straighten your teeth at home, you can save precious time on face-to-face dentist appointments. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t receive any follow-up or adjustments during your treatment. Your clear aligners are fully bespoke to your needs, using your dental impression kit. You also receive a fully customized treatment plan for your clear aligners. The plan will include when to arrange for an updated dental impression and when you will receive new, and adjusted clear braces as the treatment progresses. In a home-based teeth straightening treatment, you can avoid a lot of the time loss hassle that is typically associated with planning appointments at a dental clinic.
It is necessary to regularly update your teeth braces to make sure that they fit your current teeth alignment. You have to adjust the braces to support the alignment and achieve the best possible results, regardless of the braces you are using.
What about teeth braces cost?
There is a reason why most people are familiar with metal teeth braces. They are one of the most cost-effective teeth braces options available. Depending on your health insurance cover, you may not have to spend anything to receive metal braces. However, more often than not, dental improvements are not fully covered by health insurers. In other words, you may need to pay for your treatment fees at a dentist clinic, either partially or fully.
As a rule of thumb, without insurance financing, you can expect to pay between $4,500 and $8,000 for traditional metal teeth braces in Australia.
Ceramic teeth braces are in a similar price bracket; also they can be a little more expensive depending on your needs.
Lingual teeth braces start from $7,500 for a single arch treatment. You are likely to face a braces cost up to $12,500 for the full treatment.
Damon braces sit typically between traditional metal braces and Lingual teeth alignment treatment from a cost perspective.
Clear aligners, on the other hand, provide a cost-effective treatment to redress misaligned teeth. You can get the full treatment for as little as $1,899 if you choose to pay your treatment in a one-time payment. Alternatively, you can opt for monthly instalments of $150 per month for 12 months, with a down payment.
What’s best for my self-esteem?
There is no secret about it: Straight teeth can do wonders for your self-esteem. They can make you more attractive both in a dating and in a professional environment.
Understandably not everyone is comfortable with wearing visible teeth braces. From metal teeth braces to Damon braces, it can be tricky for adults to wear braces for an extended period of time. With the average treatment lasting between 6 months and 2 years, it’s fair to say that it is a long time to be wearing visible, non-removable teeth braces. While there’s no denying that more and more adults are finding geeky charm to wearing metal braces, the majority of adults who struggle with misaligned teeth do not want to have noticeable teeth braces.
If you feel embarrassed about visible teeth alignment treatments, invisible braces are the best course of action. Clear aligners are impossible to spot. SO you can smile confidently, even when you are still in the process of receiving teeth straightening treatment.
How to overcome my fear of dentists
We appreciate that for a lot of adults, going to the dentist remains a source of stress. First of all, it is important to understand that dentists and orthodontists are specially trained to make you feel comfortable. Nobody will laugh at you when you reach out to an expert to straighten your teeth. Consequently, there is no reason to feel ashamed or uncomfortable to discuss teeth straightening options.
However, being afraid of the dentist is something that can be difficult to control. More often than not, your fear is precisely what keeps you from seeking teeth straightening treatments. Our clear aligners can help you make peace with your crooked teeth. You are only one click away from getting your dream smile. While we work with your dental impression, you can stay in the comfort of your home throughout the duration of your treatment. As a result, you don’t have to worry about being afraid of the dentist anymore!
Straight teeth can significantly improve your everyday life. They play a crucial role in your communication, self-confidence, and eating habits. So don’t let your fear get the best of you. You can fill out our free teeth straightening assignment online to figure out if clear aligners are the right thing for you.