Can You Straighten Teeth Without Traditional Braces?

Posted on: 24 April 2018

Traditional metal braces are often needed for severely misaligned teeth, as these braces get tightened over time, so that teeth are then nudged into a proper position. While this can mean a nicer smile and even a healthier mouth, metal braces can also be a bit unsightly and even downright painful. There are other options for straightening teeth, beyond braces, so note a few pros and cons of these other dental appliances, and then discuss your choices with an orthodontist as needed.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces are actually applied like metal braces, but the white ceramic material makes these pieces virtually invisible. This can be a preferred option for adults especially, who may be self-conscious about wearing metal braces. In some cases, the wire that goes across the ceramic pieces may be made of typical steel, so it can still be visible. Note, too, that ceramic braces are often more expensive than metal braces, and they may be prone to staining, so they may not be as invisible as you expect over time.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces are metal braces that are placed on the back of the teeth, making them nearly invisible. They can work to correct severely misaligned teeth, just like standard metal braces. The drawback to lingual braces is that they take some extra skill in installing and tightening them, so you may need to find an orthodontist who specializes in these braces, and they can be very expensive. They may also interfere with your speaking abilities, and with eating, since they sit so close to the tongue.


Veneers are artificial covers that are placed over teeth to simply make them look properly aligned. This can be a fast and affordable option if you just want to improve your smile, but veneers won't correct alignment problems that are interfering with your speech or which might be causing jaw pain and other such issues.


Trays are made to fit your mouth in particular and then slide over the teeth, gently pushing them into place. Trays are typically made of a clear acrylic, so they're nearly invisible. Trays are more comfortable against the tongue than lingual braces, and can even be removed if you need to eat something very tough or crunchy, or if you need to give a speech! They do require consistent visits with the orthodontist for a new tray to be fitted, but can be a good option for actually straightening the teeth without being self-conscious about your dental appliance. For more information, contact companies like Straightsmiles.