Updated on February 12, 2024
6 min read

What Are the Different Teeth Straightening Options?

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Malocclusion is a common condition. This condition is also known as misaligned teeth or crooked teeth.

Misaligned teeth can affect your overall oral health, as well as your self-esteem. Most people have some level of malocclusion, and many turn to orthodontic treatment to get their teeth straightened.

9 Effective Teeth Straightening Options

The nine most common teeth straightening treatment options include:

1. Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most recognizable and effective orthodontic treatment for a straighter smile.

They are made of metal brackets and an archwire, held together by rubber bands. Metal braces have an archwire that applies pressure to the crooked teeth and gradually shifts them into place.

metal bracesNewMouth

Traditional braces are an effective and reliable treatment for mild to moderate crowding, overbites, and overjets. However, many adults and teens prefer the aesthetics of other treatments, such as invisible aligners. 

Treatment time for traditional metal braces will vary depending on your condition but typically ranges from 18 to 36 months. Metal braces cost between $2,500 and $7,000.

2. Clear Aligners

Clear aligners (invisible braces) are custom-fitted, invisible, and removable plastic aligners. Unlike traditional metal braces, invisible braces are barely visible.

You wear one aligner tray for one to two weeks and then switch to the next aligner set. This process safely and gradually shifts the teeth into place.

invisalign

Clear aligners can treat mild to moderate cases of misaligned teeth. These include:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites
  • Gap teeth
  • Open bites

Severe cases may require alternative methods like traditional metal braces.

Clear aligners are available in two different forms:

In-Office Aligners

This treatment takes place within a general dentist or orthodontist’s office. During your first visit, they will take an impression of your teeth and build a custom, 3D treatment plan.

Then you will schedule office visits every four to eight weeks for a face-to-face checkup and a new set of aligners.

Most dentistry practitioners use Invisalign’s technology and lab. Some have their equipment and can perform all operations in-house. Invisalign costs the same as braces ($3,500 to $8,000).

At-Home Aligners

At-home aligner treatment takes place remotely. Several companies work directly with consumers. They provide a cheaper, more accessible alternative to Invisalign.

These companies will send you an impression kit and use a 3D scanner and printing lab to create a treatment plan. Your home teeth straightening treatment is monitored virtually, and you receive your new aligner sets in the mail.

Prices vary but are cheaper than Invisalign or traditional braces ($1,200 to $2,300).

Treatment time for at-home clear aligners depends on the severity of your condition. In general, though, treatment takes between 3 and 18 months.

3. Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces use the same equipment and method as metal braces. They also fix the same issues as traditional metal braces.

The difference is that ceramic braces utilize clear brackets as opposed to metal. This makes them less obvious (though still visible).

clear bracesNewMouth

They use clear or white rubber bands attached to the archwire to create a minimal appearance.

Treatment time is the same as metal braces (typically 18 to 36 months). But they are usually slightly more expensive, ranging from $4,000 to $8,000.

4. Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are a less common alternative to metal and ceramic braces.

They may use custom brackets and wires to fit the shape of your teeth and the arch of your mouth. However, the brackets are positioned on the back of your teeth instead of the front.

lingual bracesNewMouth

Lingual braces can be more uncomfortable than traditional braces and clear aligners. However, they’re a discreet form of orthodontics suitable for various misalignments.

Treatment time is similar to traditional braces (6 months to 3 years). They cost more due to the intricacy of the treatment, ranging from $5,000 to $13,000.

5. Retainers

After treatment, your teeth will try to return to their original position. Retainers keep your teeth from moving and preserve your new smile after braces. They can be removable or permanent.

Retainers are typically worn for at least four to six months. However, some may be worn longer.

6. Headgear

Orthodontic headgear is used in combination with braces. Braces can only correct teeth positioning. However, headgear can influence your jaw’s growth and shape and your facial appearance.

Cervical Pull Headgear

Headgear may be used when a patient has an overbite, underbite, overjet, open bite, or crossbite. It’s typically worn for 12 hours a day, and treatment typically takes 1 to 2 years.

7. Palate Expanders

Palate expanders are used in early orthodontic treatment to widen the palate (roof of the mouth). They treat children with impacted teeth, crossbites, or crowded teeth.

They may also be used to improve breathing abilities. Some palate expanders are removable, while others are permanent.

Palate expanders are typically used on children. The treatment time lasts approximately 3 to 6 months.

Treatment typically costs between $2,000 and $3,000. However, many healthcare plans cover some or all of the treatment.

8. Orthognathic (Jaw) Surgery

Orthognathic surgery, also known as corrective jaw surgery, is used to correct severe jaw misalignment. Surgery is often recommended when a person is of skeletal maturity, beginning in their late teens.

Jaw surgery helps correct major issues contributing to eating and sleeping problems and TMJ disorder.

This surgery typically costs $20,000 to $40,000. However, some insurance companies may cover it.

9. Veneers

Veneers are a cosmetic treatment option, but don’t straighten your teeth. Rather, they are thin shells placed over the front of teeth to improve their size, shape, and color.

veneer NewMouth

Veneers are cosmetic because they are elective and placed only for aesthetic reasons. They typically cost between $925 and $2,500 per tooth.

Straighten your teeth at a fraction of the cost. Learn about clear aligners.

How Much Do Teeth Straightening Treatments Cost?

Teeth straightening costs depend on the severity of your condition and the type of treatment you undergo.

Traditional braces typically cost between $2,500 and $8,000. Invisalign treatment is priced similarly, ranging from $3,500 to $8,000.

At-home clear aligners are the cheapest option, varying from $1,800 to $2,300.

Does Insurance Cover Teeth Straightening?

Some dental insurance plans may cover teeth straightening, but this is not always true. Many dental insurance plans will cover traditional braces for kids and teenagers, especially if they medically need them.

Talk to your dentist or orthodontist to know more about your dental insurance coverage.

How Long Do Teeth Straightening Treatments Take?

The average treatment time for straightening teeth depends on the severity of your malocclusion and the type of treatment performed.

Clear aligners can straighten teeth in as little as 3 months. However, most clear aligner treatment programs have an average treatment time of 6 to 18 months. Traditional braces typically take 18 months to 3 years.

Find the best at-home clear aligners for mild misalignment. See our expert recommendations.

Benefits of Straight Teeth

Straight teeth have various benefits beyond aesthetic concerns. Some of these benefits include:

  • Better oral hygiene – Brushing and flossing between teeth is easier with straight teeth. This decreases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease,
  • Clearer speech – Misaligned teeth can sometimes affect your speech. Straightening your teeth can reduce these speech problems.
  • Improved digestion – Straight teeth can help you chew your food properly, improving digestion.
  • Reduced wear and tear – Misaligned teeth can cause uneven pressure on your teeth. Straight teeth reduce this pressure.

Summary

Getting your teeth straightened is a great way to improve your smile and dental health. Various teeth straightening treatments are available to provide you with a new smile.

Talk to a dental professional to know more about different teeth straighteners. They can provide options and recommendations based on your needs.

What’s Next?

Discover the best fit for your smile.

Explore top at-home clear aligner brands.

Last updated on February 12, 2024
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 12, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Lobb, W.K. “Outcome Assessment of Invisalign and Traditional Orthodontic Treatment Compared with the American Board of Orthodontics Objective Grading System.” American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, 2005.
  2. McCrostie H.S. “Lingual Orthodontics: The Future.” Seminars in Orthodontics, 2006.
  3. Stamm et al.  “A subjective comparison of two lingual bracket systems.” European Journal of Orthodontics, 2005.
  4. Chuang et al. The Million Dollar Smile: Changing Lives with Cosmetic Dentistry. Blue Ocean Publishing Group, 2018.
  5. Hollins, C. Basic Guide to Dental Procedures. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2015.
  6. Orthodontic Treatment Options.” American Association of Orthodontists.
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