When many adults think of braces, they envision a little girl or boy with a silver smile. While traditional orthodontics are sometimes necessary, adults prefer, whenever possible, to keep their braces under wraps, avoiding a mouth full of metal.

Luckily, dentistry has come a long way, creating alternatives to traditional metal braces that allow many adults to straighten their teeth discreetly and fast. In fact, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in five patients that undergone through orthodontic treatments are adults.

So, what are the options for saying goodbye to crooked teeth?

Best Ways To Fix Crooked Teeth

orthodontic treatments

1. Traditional Braces. Traditional metal braces are more expensive and take a long time to work, but the results cannot be denied. They frequently need to be worn for two years and can cause some pain. They also may require that one or more teeth be removed. Metal braces are especially good for teeth that are exceptionally crooked or when the bite needs to be realigned. Correcting the bite can make a big difference in dental health and can even sometimes alleviate headaches.

2. Invisalign Braces. Also known as “aligners”, Invisalign is a popular modern day alternative to traditional braces. They straighten the teeth without the need for metal wires by using clear trays and are barely visible. The trays or aligners are removable, which means that they can be lost, and different sets of aligners are created to move the teeth into the proper placement gradually.

3. Six Month Smiles. A 21st century alternative to both traditional orthodontics and Invisalign, Six Month Smiles is the name for a type of braces that utilize clear brackets and special nickel titanium wires in the same color as teeth. They straighten the teeth using the same principles as traditional braces, but they concentrate on the teeth that can be seen while smiling. They are also usually less expensive than Invisalign and the other options for correcting crooked teeth.

4. Crowns. Crowns are also referred to as “caps” because they are, in essence, a “cap” that is placed over the tooth to change its shape or make it appear straighter. Crowns can be particularly helpful in strengthening a tooth that has been weakened by decay or some other issue.

5. Porcelain Veneers. Often called “instant orthodontics,” porcelain veneers are bonded to the surface of the teeth to alter the position, shape, and size of each tooth. They can be used on all teeth or only on those that are crooked. While the color of the veneers can be matched very well to the natural teeth, the best way to get a uniform color is to have them placed on all teeth. They can be made in very light shades if desired to whiten a smile permanently. This is a pricier choice, of course.