Understanding Orthodontic Treatment Options

When it comes to your teeth, misalignment, crowding, and bite problems can all cause a great deal of pain or discomfort. A variety of teeth straightening options can help you to achieve a straight, even smile, which only boosts your confidence but improves the health and functionality of your teeth as well.

Which option is right for you and your teeth? Read on to learn more about the most popular teeth straightening solutions available.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are an alternative to traditional braces that gradually move your teeth into place over time through gentle, dynamic pressure. They are custom made for your smile, appear generally invisible when worn, and fit flush over your teeth. 

This orthodontics method is popular for its ease of use and removability. Though the aligners must be worn around the clock in order to be effective, they can be removed in order to brush your teeth, drink, eat, use mouthwash, or upgrade aligner sets, which occurs every few weeks. 

Traditional Braces

Typically made from metal, traditional braces use wires, brackets, and bands to encourage teeth into alignment. In order for metal braces to properly align your teeth, they are adjusted by an orthodontist every few weeks.

Traditional braces may also be made from alternative materials, including ceramic. Braces with light-colored ceramic components blend better with the natural color of your teeth than metal systems. 

Though braces, whether metal or ceramic, cannot be removed throughout the day in the same way that clear aligners can, they are a popular orthodontic treatment due to their efficacy, availability, and lower price tag.

Lingual Braces

While traditional braces attach to the front of teeth, lingual braces are attached to the backsides of each tooth to make them virtually undetectable. However, there is some discomfort associated with lingual braces, and some people experience issues with certain foods, increased pain, or speech changes as a result. 

Lingual braces are not offered by all providers, and are often more expensive. Still, many patients prefer this orthodontic treatment for its relative invisibility and increased straightening speed.


Surgical treatment is sometimes needed to correct significant jaw or dental problems caused by severe teeth misalignment. Most of the problems that are corrected through surgery are not cosmetic. Instead, surgery addresses functional problems with the jaw and teeth that cannot be resolved with other orthodontic treatments. 

After surgery, other teeth-straightening methods such as braces or aligners may be necessary to ensure teeth settle into an even place while healing. 

These orthodontic treatment methods may not be available for all patients, and require a consultation before treatment. An orthodontist is trained to consider all options, including how old you are, possible jaw imbalances, the size of your teeth, and many more factors. Their expert knowledge will help you make the best decision for your smile.