Teeth straightening is a big step for most and there are plenty of options to choose from. Searching for teeth straightening options online results in an overwhelming number of choices, ranging from traditional metal braces, to ceramic or clear braces, to newer invisible braces that are prescribed at the clinic but can be purchased online and shipped to your house.
But when it comes down to it, your options come in just two main types: conventional fixed appliances such as metal or ceramic braces, or removable invisible braces.
The upside: Can treat most orthodontic issues, is easily accessible and affordable
The downside: They are a fixed appliance; which means they cannot be removed until after the treatment is complete, can irritate gums and cheeks, extra oral care is needed to prevent cavities and other oral problems.
Treatment time: 6 months to 2 years
Cost: Between RM2,500 to RM12,000
Traditional braces work by using pressure to move your teeth into a desired position. There’s a reason they are commonly used: they work for everything from fixing teeth that are crooked, crowded or spaced out to correcting an overbite or underbite. But braces aren’t all metal mouth and elastic bands anymore as what they were back then. There are now a number of braces options available in the market such as:
- Metal braces. These are the traditional and most common braces — they consist of metal brackets with wires held by elastic ties.
- Damon/Self-litigating braces. Like traditional metal braces, but they use a sliding device to hold the wire instead of elastic ties. They usually have a ceramic bracket option that are less visibly obvious compared to metal braces
It is important to note that there are certain cases that can be best treated with traditional braces, and there are some cases that are actually treated best with invisible braces.
The upside: For mild to moderate cases, invisible braces can be more affordable than traditional braces, less noticeable than traditional braces, removable – thus allowing eating, drinking and maintaining oral hygiene easier.
The downside: Must be worn for a proper amount of time each day throughout the process to be effective at straightening teeth, may cost significantly more than traditional braces, as they are removable – may be easily misplaced.
Treatment time: Varies by person; 6 months to 2 years
Cost: Between RM5,700 to RM25,000
Invisalign introduced invisible braces to the market in 1997 and since then, over two dozen companies have followed. Invisible braces are plastic trays that are custom-made to be fitted to your teeth. Each pair of invisible braces put pressure on your teeth, gradually moving them into their desired position. Invisible braces are removable when eating, drinking or brushing teeth but they will need to be worn for at least 22 hours a day in order to be effectively straightening teeth.
Most people have been discouraged from straightening their teeth as braces might not be the most ideal method and invisible braces prescribed at orthodontic clinics are extremely costly and not easily accessible to most people. Today, direct-to-consumer brands are making it easier for everyone to straighten their teeth with customised invisible braces at affordable prices with almost no clinic visits.
How do I know what’s right for me?
The two options explained above work well for the cases they are intended to treat but for some, the direct-to-consumer invisible braces is every bit as effective as the ones prescribed in the clinic. Want to find out if you are fit for become invisible braces? Skip the clinic visit and take our free pre-assessment now!