The Straight Truth — 5 Different Options For Straightening Your Teeth & Why Clear Aligners Are The Best

Audrey Barton
3 min readSep 14, 2021

If you read the headline, then you already know my opinion about the best way to straighten out your smile.

However, before you make a decision, it’s always a good idea to look at your options.

Dentistry has come a long way in recent years, and there are definitely more treatments available than just the traditional metal braces.

Depending on your situation, you may want to go with a different option, or even a combination.

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Let’s start with the good old fashioned traditional choice.

1.Metal Braces

There are certainly some good points about traditional braces.

The main point here is simple — they work.

They’re durable, effective, and you can pick the colour.

Unfortunately they’re often uncomfortable, and can cause irritation to your cheeks and gums.

They’re one of the most difficult options to clean, and will limit your ability to eat certain foods.

Also — they’re very noticeable.

That may not matter to you, but if it does, this isn’t the option for you.

2. Clear Aligners

Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

Did I mention that I think this is the best option?

They’re pretty invisible, which is nice — but they’re also much more comfortable than other options.

Some people experience a bit of discomfort when switching to a new aligner, but it’s temporary, and far less irritating than metal braces.

Perhaps my favorite benefit of clear aligners is that you can take them out to clean them — which makes me less nervous about missing food bits, and it’s just generally easier.

3. Ceramic Braces

An interesting option, these braces are also sometimes called “clear braces.”

You won’t find them to be as inconspicuous as clear aligners, but they are definitely less visible than metal braces.

Most people report that they cause less irritation than traditional braces as well.

Unfortunately the material they’re made with is easily stained, and this can lead to either limited food options, or stained looking teeth.

Cost-wise they’re more expensive than metal braces, but still relatively affordable.

4. Lingual Braces

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More discreet than traditional or metal braces, these braces are mounted on the backs of your teeth.

On the plus side — staining and appearance are not a problem.

However, they can cause irritation to your tongue and gums, and they can be incredibly difficult to clean — since you can’t see them either.

If cost is an issue, these braces are probably not for you.

5. Veneers

I hesitated a bit about adding veneers to this list, but why not.

The thing is, they don’t exactly straighten your teeth… It’s more like covering them with a layer of straight teeth.

The dentist has to shave down your existing teeth, so there is no going back to your natural smile.

The veneers are then cemented over top, giving you an instant beautiful smile.

They can last 10 or more years, but they will need replacing, probably several times.

As you can see, we have a range of options available to us.

Every mouth is unique and requires its own solution, but I can’t deny that I think there’s a clear winner.

Photo by lafayett zapata montero on Unsplash

Clear Aligners have a few downsides, but significantly less than most of the other options, and the cost is comparable to traditional braces in many cases.

Even though I think the winner is clear, the best treatment for you should be determined after a conversation with your dentist.

Just remember, you’ve got options.