Teeth Straightening Without Braces: What Are My Options?

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Teeth Straightening Without Braces: What Are My Options
Teeth straightening has traditionally been an unpleasant process because of bulky, ugly, and uncomfortable headgear. Not only is traditional headgear an eyesore, but it can be pretty pricey too! Teeth straightening for adults tend to get even more expensive. Luckily, you're not stuck between a rock and an expensive place. Thanks to advancing dental technology, there are both comfortable and affordable alternatives on the market. Some methods even allow you to do teeth straightening at home! You may be wondering what these options are and if any are available in Canada. Read on to learn about the options available for teeth straightening at home.

The Traditional Way - Metal Braces

Before looking at alternatives, let's look at traditional metal braces. After all, you'll need something to compare the other options against! This breakdown will also help you understand how braces function. In general, braces straighten your teeth with pressure. This pressure is constant but gentle to avoid malformed teeth. Metal braces use brackets placed over teeth. These brackets are pulled by elastic bands called "O-rings." In some cases, braces might require springs or tubes.

The Pros

Traditional metal braces are a tried and true method of straightening teeth. Often, it only takes an hour or two to fit them.

The Cons

Unfortunately, many tradeoffs come with standard braces. Soreness after a fitting is common, and often braces will sit uncomfortably in your mouth. Additionally, having many different components requires a degree of maintenance. You'll have to avoid certain foods and brush more rigorously to clear your braces of debris. Often, braces trap food particles that can cause tooth decay. You will also be required to visit your orthodontist regularly for O-ring replacements and fitting adjustments. You may need to make multiple visits to adjust the fit of your braces after first getting them. As this post opened with, braces are also expensive! In Canada, the average cost is about $7,000. Many insurance providers will only cover half of the cost, meaning that you could still be stuck with a hefty bill.

Teeth Straightening Alternatives

As proven and reliable as they are, metal braces require money and maintenance that make them inconvenient. Knowing how they work, however, we can take a closer look at the alternatives.

Are There DIY Methods?

You may have found this article by Googling "cheapest way to straighten teeth at home." You may have seen it while comparing different guides and methods. You'll probably be disappointed to know that there isn't a safe way to do this yourself. To put it bluntly, don't try to straighten your teeth on your own. Do not push teeth back with fingers at any cost. It is also inadvisable to use gap bands, as these can cause your jaw bone to become malformed. Trendy "treatments" on social media are just that: trends. Be careful where you get dental advice!

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are an evolved form of metal braces. In place of metal brackets, ceramic braces use transparent or enamel-coloured pieces. Otherwise, their function is identical. Components between ceramic and metal braces can be interchangeable. It is pretty common to find ceramic headgear with the odd metal component.

The Pros

The most apparent benefit to ceramic braces is that they're less visible than metal ones. The brackets can often be paired with a coloured wire as well. Additionally, ceramic braces tend to be hypoallergenic as they lack Nickle. Nickle is a common metal used in dental alloys. At the same time, Nickle can cause contact dermatitis! Ceramic braces are also more "medical friendly." A fully ceramic set of headgear is safe for an MRI, for example. Traditional metal headgear, meanwhile, would require components to be removed.

The Cons

While less visible, ceramic braces can be more uncomfortable. Ceramic components tend to be a bit bigger, leaving less room in your mouth. There is also research that suggests that ceramic pieces stain much more easily! Being made of a much more rigid material, it is easier for ceramic braces to break. They are also much harder to remove by an orthodontist. Metal braces can flex to deal with motion and pressure in a way that ceramics cannot. Chipping and full breakages aren't uncommon. Ceramic braces are also more expensive than metal braces. In Canada, they tend to range $1,000 higher on average.

"Incognito" Lingual Braces

Lingual or "incognito" braces are, as the name implies, specialized around not being visible. Rather than wrapping around your teeth from the outside, lingual braces hang on the back side. In terms of function, lingual braces function similarly to ceramic and metal braces. Incognito braces still rely on brackets and bands to apply pressure.

The Pros

Unlike ceramic braces, lingual braces are genuinely invisible to passers-by. If you're looking for a visibly subtle option, lingual braces are worth considering. Like others, lingual braces can fit them to be more comfortable.

The Cons

Visibility is the main selling point of lingual braces. However, the tradeoff is an unavoidable lisp. Because lingual braces sit on the back of your teeth, they can interfere with your tongue. Touching the back of your teeth is necessary for specific sounds. Lingual braces get in the way of this. Many patients have experienced more significant post-fitting pain with lingual braces as well. Tongue pain is the most common due to the location. Lingual braces are also more costly than the previous two options. On average, they cost roughly $3,000 more than metal braces for Canadian patients.


If your teeth aren't too crooked, a retainer might be a feasible option. Retainers are custom-fitted orthodontics that lack brackets. Because of this, you can remove them at will. The Hawley retainer is the most common type. These are made of acrylic and use a wire to straighten your teeth.

The Pros

A Hawley retainer addresses many of the setbacks of mounted braces. They are much more affordable, for one. The average Hawley retainer costs around $300-$500. Being removable makes cleaning more straightforward and makes Hawley retainers completely scanner-friendly. Hawley retainers can also be customized! Often, you'll be able to pick the colour of the acrylic base.

The Cons

A Hawley is cheaper per retainer but still requires orthodontic maintenance. Because you'll still have to make the periodic visit, you'll still be paying maintenance costs. If a retainer doesn't fit properly or breaks, you may need to pay for an entirely new one. Not only will the replacement cost money, so will the visit! Ultimately, you may end up paying much more than the base price. Traditional retainers are portable and more comfortable but can still cause discomfort. You'll likely salivate more as well. You may find speech a little tricky at first, too. Hawley retainers are also reasonably visible. The traditional retainer features a wire across the front of the teeth.

Clear Aligners

A clear aligner is a unique form of retainer to straighten teeth. Coming as an evolution of a traditional retainer, clear aligners are removable. Unlike traditional retainers, clear aligners are much more compact. They are moulded to the shape of your teeth and sit right atop them.

The Pros

Unlike a traditional retainer, clear aligners are completely invisible! Clear aligners come in translucent plastic. Clear aligners are made of BPA-free plastic, making them safe to use as well. While a bit of discomfort is unavoidable, clear aligners are relatively painless. Because they sit directly atop your teeth, there is less pressure on other parts of your mouth. Like traditional retainers, clear aligners are also removable. This, of course, makes cleaning and avoiding food-related messes easier. Because they're made of flexible and durable plastic, clear aligners require little to no maintenance. For those trying to find out how to straighten teeth without braces at home, clear aligners allow an entirely at-home experience. While some "invisible aligners" require an orthodontic visit, other brands can be mail-ordered. One of the best features of clear aligners is their rapid results. Most patients see results in just a few months!

The Cons

Unfortunately, some clear aligners can cost quite a bit. Many popular brands you see on TV or internet ads cost almost as much as regular braces. Severely crooked teeth aren't able to be resolved by clear aligners. Talk to your orthodontist if you aren't sure if you're eligible.

Looking For a Recommendation?

When it comes to teeth straightening at home, the clear aligner comes as the clear leader. The unintrusive design and lack of required maintenance make them the best way to straighten teeth for adults. While a lack of discomfort is certainly a strong selling point, the cost can be off-putting. Luckily, however, there are brands that lower this barrier to entry considerably. For an affordable at-home teeth-straightening solution for Canadians, we highly recommend Alignerco.

The Benefits of Alignerco

Alignerco works to bring patients the most affordable-yet-effective solution. On average, Alignerco runs 60% cheaper than most major brands. Braces can run as little as $7,000 to as high as $13,000, depending on your needs. Alignerco can cost as little as $1,185 but never exceeds $1,635. This price includes consultation, moulding, and your new Health Canada-approved aligners. The price you see is the price you get; Alignerco doesn't tack on hidden fees. If you can't make the initial payment, don't worry! Alignerco has payment plans with as low as 0% interest. While the initial cost of a Hawley retainer is low, the upkeep doesn't make them a cheaper option in the long run. You'll still be paying for each appointment, including a referral to an orthodontist. Talk about hidden fees! Unlike other popular brands, Alignerco doesn't require an orthodontist at any stage of the process. The entire process can be done from the comfort of your own home, using your computer. Alignerco provides a complete dental care plan to guide you through the use of your new aligners. You'll also be protected by the Smile Protection Plan, which provides you with a six-year supply of clean retainers. If you're pondering how long each day you'll have to wear your aligners, you can rest easy knowing you have options. Alignerco offers both daily and nightly aligners.

The Cheapest Way to Straighten Teeth at Home in 3 Easy Steps

Alignerco balances affordability and quality to make straighter teeth available to any Canadian. Getting a set of Alignerco clear aligners is straightforward and doesn't require any appointments. The process begins with a free assessment to address how Alignerco can help you best. If you're eligible for a clear aligner based on your dental needs, the process proceeds like this:

Step 1 - Order Your Impression Kit and Send In Your Mould

Order your impression kit from Alignerco and wait for it to arrive in the post. Once arrived, follow the instructions in your kit to create a mould of your teeth. The process shouldn't take more than 15 minutes. Once your mould is finished, please send it back to Alignerco.

Step 2 - Alignerco Makes Your Aligners and Creates Your Plan

As soon as your mould returns, Alignerco gets to work creating your clear retainer. At the same time, a specialized dental plan is created. This plan is based on your individual dental needs and serves to guide you through using your aligners. Make sure to follow it closely when it arrives.

Step 3 - Your New Smile Arrives in the Post!

With enough time, your new teeth straightening kit will arrive in the post. With careful attention to your dental plan, you'll begin to notice results in just a few months.

Start Today With a Free Assessment!

With countless satisfied customers, you can be assured that Alignerco will get you smiling brightly again! Don't let teeth straightening be a tedious and costly procedure. Alignerco makes a straightened, beautiful smile easy to obtain. If you think clear aligners are the right choice for you, start with our free assessment to determine your eligibility.
Bayba, M. (2021, November 17). 5 Best Options for Safely Straightening Your Teeth At Home. NewMouth. https://www.newmouth.com/blog/straighten-teeth-at-home/ Watson, K. (2020, March 31). Is There a Way to Straighten Teeth Without Braces? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/straighten-teeth-without-braces Volz, D. (2021, August 7). Can You Straighten Teeth Naturally At Home? The National Wellness and Public Health Network | Public Health Information & Intelligence Function. https://www.nwph.net/straightening-teeth-naturally Jewell, T. (2019, May 17). Ceramic Braces: How Do They Compare? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/ceramic-braces

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