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The Best Alternatives to Braces in 2021

Looking for the best alternative to braces but not sure where to start? There’s more than one way to get a straight smile, let’s take a look at some of the most popular braces alternatives in Australia in 2021.

We get it – no one wants to rock a bulky set of metal braces well into their adult years, not to mention how expensive they can be!  The great news is that there’s a large number of braces alternatives on the market right now that are designed with a complete list of individual needs in mind and fit within every budget.

In this article we aim to provide you with the best alternative to braces that will fit in with you and your lifestyle – so you’ll never be caught with a sticky piece of spinach in your braces again!

comparison of five different braces alternatives

Braces Alternative Options Explained

Like we said, there’s a huge amount of alternatives to braces on the market and it can be quite daunting to choose the option that’s best for you. Below we breakdown 5 different options according to price, average treatment length as well as the pros and cons of each.

1. Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are an alternative to traditional braces and are designed to help guide teeth gently into their desired position. Similar to braces, clear aligners apply small amounts of pressure to your teeth to move them into their final position. Multiple sets of aligners are required and each set moves the teeth in increments until the desired movement is achieved and you’ll be ready for your next set. In Australia, clear aligner treatments cost an average of $6,500 – $9,500 with an average treatment time of 18-24 months1.

Clear aligners also reduce the number of dentist visits required throughout the process – while you’ll still be under dentist supervision, some treatments are even able to cut out the dentist visits completely! EZ SMILE is one of those companies that are delivering high quality, BPA free clear aligners that are so discreet no one will even know you’re wearing them. Through at-home teeth straightening model, EZ SMILE has cut out the middle man and as a result, EZ SMILE offer a full treatment for $2,499 – that’s up 70%^ cheaper than traditional orthodontic methods! The whole process can be done from the comfort of your own home and your clear aligners are delivered directly to you – say goodbye to those pesky dentist visits!

2. Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are essentially the same as traditional metal braces, however, they are either tooth-coloured or clear brackets designed to blend into your teeth. Many people opt for ceramic braces because they’re less noticeable than metal braces and you are able to choose your colour for the most seamless blend possible. In Australia, the cost of ceramic braces can range from $5,000 – $8,500 for an average of 18 month treatment2. Unfortunately, ceramic braces can cause gum sensitivity as the brackets are larger than traditional metal braces which can lead to swollen gums or receding gums if your toothbrush doesn’t reach the enamel and gumline.

3. Lingual Braces

Lingual braces have the same components as traditional braces, but they’re fixed to the back of your teeth (the lingual side) – meaning that they’re nearly invisible. Overall, lingual braces can correct the same types of alignment issues that traditional braces can, although they aren’t suitable for everybody. For example, patients with deep overbites may experience issues with the brackets popping off more frequently. In Australia, lingual braces range from $7,500 for a single arch and from $12,500 for a full treatment3. Lingual braces can cause a lisp and be more uncomfortable than other teeth alignment methods because they are placed on the inner side of the teeth placing them closer to your tongue and soft tissue inside your mouth.

4. Retainers

Retainers are used by patients once they have completed any kind of teeth alignment treatment and help to maintain the teeth’s final position.  Retainers can either be a fixed wire bonded to the back of the lower teeth or it can be a removable plastic device with a single wire on the front, depending on the individual requirements. Other people usually won’t be able to tell that you’re wearing a retainer as it is glued to the back of your teeth and you probably won’t even notice them there either. However, permanent retainers can make oral hygiene a little tricky so you’ll have to be more thorough when you brush!

5. Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry covers a range of different procedures, however in this case we are referring to the use of veneers. If your teeth are only slightly crooked, and if there are no problems with your bite, then it’s very possible that you will be able to get porcelain veneers. Veneers are shaped to your teeth and for this reason, they are able to cover any gaps or misalignments. Veneers, unfortunately, won’t fix your alignment issues. A single veneer for one tooth can cost up to $1,983 in Australia and can last for 10 years or longer depending on how well you look after them.

What’s The Best Alternative to Braces in Australia?

Unfortunately, the best alternative to braces is subject to the requirements of the individual. The truth is, there is no ‘one size fits all’ model when it comes to finding the best alternative to braces so it’s important to find the option that’s best for you! The great news is that there are plenty of options for dental treatments in Australia depending on your desired result and the time in which you would like to achieve it.

factors to consider when selecting the most suitable alternative to braces

Your choice of dental options will depend on the treatment time, cost and overall issue that you are trying to correct. For example, for someone with severe crowding ceramic braces would be a great option. However, someone with less prominent alignment issues and who is looking for a more discreet option, clear aligners may be suitable. It’s also important to consider your lifestyle when selecting the right dental treatment.

Removable dental treatments such as clear aligners are a great option for those with an active lifestyle where metal braces may carry risk to the inside of the mouth and gums. Your age will also have an impact on your chosen treatment where children and teens are still recommended to be treated with traditional braces but adults have a far larger pool of options to choose from. With so many options in Australia, finding the perfect alternative to braces for you will ultimately depend on the result you are trying to achieve and the cost that fits in with your budget.

Why are Clear Aligners the Best Alternative to Braces for Adults?

Conventional metal braces still remain the best option for adolescents and teens – but what’s the best alternative to braces for adults? For many, maintaining a professional, adult appearance in the workplace and among your peers is important, and sadly the stigma of braces as an adult orthodontic treatment still exists. Luckily, clear aligners are a great – and often cost-effective – option for adults hoping to straighten their teeth discreetly.

The technology used to create clear aligners is advanced enough to make sure that they’re practically invisible and have no obtrusive metal wires or brackets on show, so only you and your dentist will even know you’re receiving treatment! Even better, clear aligners are removable which means you’ll be able to take them out for any sport or important events and also to eat, drink and brush your teeth. This takes away the oral hygiene issue associated with traditional metal braces as you are still able to brush and clean your teeth with no obstructions. So long as you are wearing your aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day your treatment will still stay on track! Moreover, clear aligners are also the best alternative to braces for adults as opposed to teens and adolescents as they can be easy to misplace and may impact speech slightly when you first begin to wear your aligners. Overall, clear aligners are the best alternative to braces for adults looking for discreet, cost-effective, and comfortable teeth straightening treatment in Australia.

What Is the Most Cost-Effective Braces Alternative?

While clear aligners are a great braces alternative, they can still be quite expensive when receiving treatments such as Invisalign through an orthodontist. A number of companies have introduced teeth straightening treatment in Australia that cuts out the middle man and also cuts down on cost! These companies are a great braces alternative based on an “at-home” teeth straightening program and they have thousands of happy customers to back them up.

At-home teeth straightening kits can be ordered online and all you’ll need to do is make an impression of your teeth and send it back. Alternatively, most companies also have locations where you can book to have your smile scanned instead. Next, either the impressions that you have created or the scan of your smile will be reviewed by a dental professional within the company who will create a custom treatment plan for you. This part is great as you’re able to see how your teeth will move with each set of aligners – they’ll also let you know how long your treatment will take! As another reason that clear aligners are a great braces alternative, EZ SMILE Clear Aligners start from as little as $2,499 in Australia as opposed to the average treatment cost of $5,000 to $8,500 for metal braces.

Wrapping Up

With so many great alternatives to braces available, it may seem overwhelming to decide which is best for you! It’s always important to consider the level of treatment that you require, as long as your budget and the time in which you would like to see results. It may be best to consult a dentist before seeking any dental treatment.

Source: Orthodontics Australia