Metal braces have been around for years. Because they’re used to correct many dental problems, it’s likely you know someone who’s had them, or you’ve had to wear them yourself.

While braces get the job done, they aren’t always the most comfortable. The good news is dentistry has come a long way since then. If you are looking for straight teeth solutions, there are alternative orthodontic options now at your disposal.

There are a variety of alternative orthodontic options available that work just as well as braces, but look and feel better. You no longer have to be self-conscious when you smile or speak. Alternative orthodontic solutions include Invisalign, Clear Correct, and 6 Month Smiles.  These options provide you with clear braces to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.

6 Month Smiles Basics   

Six Month Smiles is exactly what the name suggests—a great smile in as little as six months. While the other options guesstimate a year, this treatment cuts that time in half. If you’re not willing to wait a year for a brand new smile, this clear braces solution is for you. Six Month Smiles uses low force to gently realign your teeth. Many individuals may believe that accelerated braces treatment means tightening regular braces to get teeth moving, but that’s not true. This treatment focuses more on the cosmetic appearance of your smile rather than the position of your bite. The average cost for this alternative orthodontic option runs between $3,000 – $4,5000.

Like Clear Correct, the 6 Month Smiles treatment requires you to wear a retainer once you are finished wearing your clear braces. If you don’t want a removable retainer, a bonded one can be placed inside your mouth to prevent your teeth from moving back. A retainer is the only drawback to this treatment option.

Related: What are Clear Orthodontic Braces for Adults?

Invisalign Basics

Invisalign is a great alternative orthodontic option. This treatment is fully customized to you and straightens your teeth using aligners molded from your mouth. Invisalign is known for treating crooked, protruding teeth, as well as overbites and underbites. These aligners are smooth, comfortable, and virtually invisible. They’re the total opposite of metal braces, right? With them in you can run your tongue over your teeth, have no pinching pain in your mouth, and be confident when you flash someone your smile. They’re also easily removable and can be taken out quickly when you eat, brush, and floss. Invisalign gradually and gently realign your teeth without the use of tightening wires or metal brackets. Patients who use this treatment reinsert new aligners every two weeks until their treatment plan is done. While the length of treatment varies with each patient, the average Invisalign user will have a fixed smile in roughly a year’s time, while the length of treatment time with teens is comparable to braces.

Although Invisalign sounds great, it’s not immune to drawbacks. This alternative orthodontic solution can come with a high price tag, ranging from $3,000 – $8,000 USD. The cost of Invisalign is comparable to the cost of having metal braces. Another drawback to this treatment is that the aligners can be easy to lose, especially if the patient is a teenager. Because of this, Invisalign Teen provides up to six replacement aligners.

Clear Correct Basics

Clear Correct is quite similar to Invisalign, offering invisible, removable, and customized clear aligners. These aligners apply pressure to the teeth that are causing the problems. Periodically, you’ll have to visit your dentist to see how your treatment is progressing. At these visits, you’ll get new aligners to wear. To get the desired results, the patient must wear the Clear Correct aligners for at least 22 hours every day.

Clear Correct also has some disadvantages. While this option isn’t quite as expensive as Invisalign, it’ll still make your eyebrows raise. Depending on the complexity of the treatment, your location, and some other factors, Clear Correct can cost you between $1,000 – $7,000 USD. Also, once your treatment is completed, you’ll have to wear a retainer to prevent your teeth from shifting back; you’re not out of the woods completely after your treatment is finished.

As you can see, metal braces are a thing of the past. Why endure the discomfort when you can get more comfortable options? Invisalign is comfortable and invisible, Clear Correct is less expensive, and 6 Month Smiles is a relatively short term treatment. When these options are paired with OrthoPulse, a device that increases the movement of your teeth, the time spent wearing aligners is significantly reduced. All these options can give you the smile you deserve; you just have to decide which one is best for you.