What Are the Alternatives to Braces?

Metal braces have long been the go-to option for those looking to improve the alignment of their smile. Developed centuries ago in the 1800s, the effectiveness of these relatively ‘modern’ braces means little has evolved since. Despite how well they work, the field of dentistry is always innovating – and there are now more contemporary options to consider when looking to straighten up your teeth.

200,000 children and adults within the UK have braces fitted each year. While previously more recommended to children and teenagers, the British Orthodontic Society reported that 80% of its orthodontists were fitting more adults with braces in June 2020. Resorting to metal braces as an adult is a tricky decision to make. Traditional braces noticeably alter your appearance, can be uncomfortable, and mean you’ll have to give up on certain foods.

Here’s our guide to some of the alternatives to braces now available. These options are more discreet, convenient, and considerably more comfortable than traditional braces.

Alternative Treatments to Braces

Before any treatment, you’ll need a consultation.Your dentist will examine your teeth, checking for any dental health issues to correct first.

You should ask any questions about your treatment at this appointment. Be aware that some alternatives to braces are not suitable for everyone – particularly those with more pronounced misalignments or structural issues. You might be advised that another orthodontic treatment to the one you’re interested in would suit your needs better.

If your teeth are healthy and your dentist agrees to go ahead with your treatment, they will create a bespoke treatment plan designed to meet your expectations. This plan maps the movements of your teeth over time as your treatment works to gradually push and pull them into place. This helps check your progress is going as planned during follow-up appointments.

While your alternatives to braces are fitted – and after tightening appointments – it’s natural to feel some discomfort. After this, you’ll have a comfortable fit and be able to go about life as usual. Be sure to attend any follow up appointments with your dentist to ensure your treatment is going as planned. Follow any guidelines regarding aftercare and dental hygiene for the best results. Once your treatment is eventually finished and your teeth are straight, you’re free to enjoy your new smile!


As a virtually invisible option, Invisalign braces are fully removable – so you can eat, drink, and floss as you like. They’re made from a clear, flexible, thermoplastic material created specifically for Invisalign treatments. Here’s how they work.

Invisalign Aligners: Treatment Process

Your dentist will photograph your teeth using 3D imaging technology called an iTero scanner. At your fitting appointment, the Invisalign aligners will be fitted and trimmed. They should sit snugly alongside the gum to enhance comfort, while also reducing the visibility of the aligners. You’ll be given a guide on how to manage your Invisalign treatment and what to expect, as well as follow-up appointments to check progress.

You should only remove your trays when you eat and brush your teeth – sticking to wearing your aligners for at least 22 hours per day. The more you wear your Invisalign trays, the faster they will work. Individual treatment lengths vary, depending on how misaligned your teeth were.

Invisalign Treatment: How Much Does It Cost?

Manchester Invisalign treatments start at £1,700, with interest-free financing options available. This works out at around just £2.50 per day! With Ringway Dental, you’ll get freebies worth over £1,000 throughout your Invisalign treatment. These include teeth whitening, high-tech 3D image scanning, and removable retainers, as well as your free initial consultation. Contact us today to get started.

Ceramic Fixed Braces

Ceramic fixed braces work like traditional metal braces. They are still fitted to the front of the teeth using brackets and arch wires, but use clear ceramic materials rather than metal. This means they’re more convenient and subtle than metal braces.

Ceramic Fixed Braces: Treatment Process

Ceramic braces straighten teeth faster than alternative options such as Invisalign – taking around 6 – 18 months, depending on your desired results. The downside is that ceramic braces can break more than metal braces, as they’re made from more fragile material. They’re therefore best for those with fully developed adult teeth – and those that aren’t involved in activities that increase the chance of them chipping, such as contact sports.

Ceramic Fixed Braces: How Much do They Cost?

The cost of your ceramic braces will depend on your teeth but start from £2200. Exact pricing will be discussed during your consultation. At Ringway Dental, our zero-interest financing options mean you can achieve your ideal smile without worrying about the costs involved. Get in touch with our team to explore your options.

Hidden Braces

Hidden braces are often referred to as ‘lingual braces’. They’re a much more discreet version of normal braces, and they’re made of the same metal brackets and wires for optimal effect. Hidden braces sit behind the teeth instead of in front of the teeth, so they’re essentially invisible to others.

Hidden Braces: Treatment Options

There are two types of hidden braces:

  • Social lingual brace

These offer cosmetic adjustments for those with minor concerns like small gaps. Since the original misalignments are minor, social lingual braces work faster than standard lingual braces. They can straighten the teeth within months, rather than years. These braces are usually applied to smaller areas, straightening teeth at the front of the mouth. This means they can be cheaper than a standard hidden brace.

  • Standard lingual brace

These work for teeth that require more straightening. Standard lingual braces are best for misaligned teeth, larger gaps, and overcrowded smiles. They’re usually applied to the whole mouth or entire row of teeth. Because the severity of misalignment is higher, they will take longer to work – up to two years.

Hidden Braces: The Treatment Process

Hidden braces involve follow-up appointments to have your wires tightened, in line with your individual treatment plan. Just like with traditional braces, this can cause some discomfort – though it will subside within a couple of days.

Lingual braces take anywhere from a few months to 24 months to work, depending on how misaligned your teeth are. They are highly durable due to the materials used, so they’re less likely to snap than ceramic fixed braces.

Hidden Braces: How Much do They Cost?

Lingual braces are the most expensive alternative brace treatment. This is due to their effectiveness, along with the fact hidden braces are entirely bespoke made. They’re painstakingly designed to perfectly fit the arch of the mouth, while keeping the braces virtually invisible. You can discuss how much your hidden brace treatment would cost at your initial appointment with your dentist.

With Ringway Dental, the cost can be split up over the course of 36 months with our 0% financing option. You can find out more about our hidden brace treatments by contacting us.

Find Your Smile with Ringway Dental

At Ringway Dental, our passionate team thrive in helping our patients achieve the smiles they’ve been looking for. With over 70 years’ experience in the cosmetic dentistry field, we’ve provided an impressive number of patients with life-changing results.

To enhance your experience with us, we offer free online consultations. This gives you the chance to discuss Invisalign, hidden braces, or ceramic fixed brace treatments with our experienced Smile Advisor. They’ll discuss your expectations surrounding treatment and advise you whether these are realistic or not, before you go on to book an in-person consultation with our dentist.

If you’re interested in any of our alternatives to braces, book a free online consultation with our Smile Advisor today. These consultations are high in demand, so book now to avoid disappointment.

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Visit us

  • 187 Finney Lane
  • Heald Green
  • Cheadle
  • Greater
  • Manchester
  • SK8 3PX

Visit us

  • 187 Finney Lane
  • |
  • Heald Green
  • |
  • Cheadle
  • |
  • Greater Manchester
  • |
  • SK8 3PX
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