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Braces, Invisalign Or Something Else? The Best Way To Straighten Your Teeth In 2022

Having teeth that are crooked, crowded, protruding, or that create a notable overbite or underbite can significantly affect a person’s confidence, make it more difficult to keep teeth clean and healthy, create speech disturbances, and can contribute to gum problems and other dental issues over time.

While braces used to be the only option to achieve straighter teeth and were financially unattainable for many, today there are more options than ever for straight teeth through a dentist or orthodontist that suit your lifestyle needs, financial situation and cosmetic preferences. This may look like traditional braces, braces hidden behind your teeth, invisible aligners, and even treatments that can be completed within six months or less.

So, which is the best way for you to straighten your teeth while staying in your budget? Here’s a look into your treatment options, how having straighter teeth can improve your dental health, and how you can access the tooth-straightening treatment that best suits you, regardless of your budget.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Having Straighter Teeth?

While many people choose to straighten their teeth because of the cosmetic benefits, there are several long-term health benefits that you stand to gain, including:

1. Gum Disease Prevention: When teeth are crooked, it can be difficult to clean them thoroughly and effectively which means food and bacteria can become trapped between the gaps. This can lead to gum disease such as gingivitis – which affects your gums and can cause pain, bad breath, and poor tooth health. Having straighter teeth which are evenly spaced helps you to clean them more easily with your regular toothbrush and floss, meaning less food can become trapped, and bacteria can be removed before gum problems arise.

2. Tooth Decay Prevention: In a similar way to preventing gum disease, having straighter teeth also reduces your chance of developing tooth decay. When you’re unable to remove the harmful bacteria from your teeth, they can develop plaque: a sticky yellow film that becomes hard and very difficult to remove over time. This plaque can eat away at the surface enamel of your teeth, making them more likely to develop decay – or holes that need expensive fillings and dental treatments. If you have straighter teeth, you are able to keep them much cleaner and healthier through your own dental hygiene.

3. Reduced Risk of Damaged Teeth: When eating and chewing food, we put huge forces on our tooth enamel and our jawbone. If you have an overbite or underbite, or overlapping teeth, this pressure is not evenly distributed, so it means that too much force can be applied to a single tooth, making it much more likely to crack or break. This is also the case with protruding teeth, which are much more likely to break from a fall or being hit during sport. Straight teeth help the forces on your teeth to be spread evenly, helping to keep them protected from trauma.

4. Lower Dental Costs Long-Term: Dental bills can quickly add up over time when you need treatment for fillings due to tooth decay, gum disease treatments, and urgent repairs for broken teeth. Straightening your teeth now means that they are more protected and easier to keep clean and healthy, meaning fewer dentist visits and lower dental costs long-term.

What Are The Best Treatment Methods For Straightening Your Teeth?

There is no one-size-fits all approach when it comes to straightening your teeth. Ultimately, the best option for you will be the one that fits your financial situation and suits how long you’d like to wear them for, and how noticeable you’d like them to be. Here are today’s most effective straightening options:

Braces – The Gold Standard Of Teeth Straightening

Conventional braces are an excellent choice if you’d like to receive care from a qualified orthodontist, who can straighten your teeth while correcting any overbites or underbites in the most comprehensive and personalised way possible, to give you the best smile all-round. Traditional braces have come a long way since they were first invented, and the brackets — the parts that stick to your teeth — are now smaller and more comfortable. The most cost-effective option is made from stainless steel, but they can be made from titanium or ceramic, which can be clear or tooth-coloured which are a great option for teenagers or adults who wish to have less-noticeable braces. Once the braces are off, you’ll need to wear a retainer to maintain your smile, helping your teeth to stay straight long-term.

  • How long does treatment last? Most comprehensive orthodontic treatments last for at least 20 months
  • How much does it cost? The cost for braces depends on how complicated your treatment is, but the price can begin from only a few thousand dollars. Orthodontists will give you a set price before beginning, and most will accept a small deposit when your braces are fitted, with smaller monthly or fortnightly interest-free payments while you wear your braces.

Lingual Braces – The Ultimate In Secret Braces That Are Hidden On The Inside Of Your Teeth

If you want the benefits of braces but aren’t so keen on how they look, lingual braces may be the perfect option for you. Chosen by many celebrities, they are completely invisible at first glance, as they are attached to the inside of your teeth, rather than the outside. They may be uncomfortable for your tongue and affect your speech at first, but this is often temporary as you become used to them.

  • How long does treatment last? Lingual braces often need to stay on longer than traditional braces, as due to their location, your teeth will move more slowly
  • How much does it cost? They will cost slightly more than traditional braces, as they are a more time-consuming process for orthodontists to work with


Invisible And Removable Invisalign Aligners

Clear aligners like Invisalign use the latest in cutting-edge technology to straighten your teeth within clear, near-invisible plastic mould that can be removed, similar to a mouthguard – and the best part is, that many people won’t even notice that you’re wearing them.

Your dentist or orthodontist can use 3D imaging of your teeth to create a number of different moulds that you wear at different stages of your treatment to gradually move your teeth towards your desired result The number of moulds you need depends on how much movement is required, and you normally wear a set for about two weeks, then move to the next set, making them a very hygienic option. You’ll need to take them out for eating and drinking, and brush and floss your teeth, and the aligner trays before putting them back in. The aligners are made from medical-grade BPA-free plastic, and no metal means that they are much more comfortable than regular braces, and because they’re removable, you can even take them out for that special occasion.

  • How long does treatment last? Invisalign aligners must be worn at least 22 hours a day over about a six to 18-month period
  • How much does it cost? Invisalign treatments will vary depending on the results you want and need, but they can start from as little as $1800.


Treatments For Fast Results In Six Months Or Less

If you want to straighten your teeth in a hurry, there are braces that can give you improvements in six months or less with your dentist, using short-term orthodontic treatments such as Six Month Smiles and Rapid Smiles Express. These treatments are usually used to only straighten the “social six”, which are your six front teeth, and cannot target more complex problems, such as overbites or underbites. These are ideal options for people who want to reduce the amount of time they need to wear traditional braces. Six Month Smiles is even able to use clear braces with plastic brackets, and tooth-coloured wires to match the colour of your teeth. Fastbraces is another system used by dentists to straighten teeth quickly. It’s described as a “comprehensive orthodontic treatment” that can also be used to correct bites, unequal tooth lengths and rotated teeth.

  • How long does treatment last? Depending on the complexity of your treatment and your desired results, these programmes can show results in as little as two months
  • How much does it cost? This will vary depending on your specific treatment goals, but Six Month Smiles treatment range begins at $3,500

Ready For Straighter Teeth With Your Orthodontist Or Dentist But Can’t Manage The Full Cost?

While teeth straightening is an effective way to improve your confidence and appearance, as well as your overall dental health, many people don’t have the funds available to pay for these straightening treatments up front. This is where New Zealand’s first Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) platform, HealthNow, is dedicated to bridging the gap between a person’s health and the money they have in their bank account – at absolutely no cost to New Zealand health consumers. This is a big change from traditional BNPL services that charge users interest on their purchases, hiking up the cost of their purchases and leaving them with less money to put towards their health each month.

HealthNow is accessed as a free app, splitting the total cost of your healthcare services, including deposits to begin dentistry and orthodontist treatments over up to six weeks, so the amount you have to pay on the day is a fraction of the total price. With your dentist or orthodontist getting paid in full on the day by HealthNow, it’s a win-win for all.

Starting with HealthNow is free and easy – just sign up on the app and start using it to pay for your health products and services. You can also check out HealthNow’s full benefits and features, including a health wallet to store funds set aside for health services that can be contributed to by others including your employer.


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