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Everyone wants to have the perfect dazzling smile. It is not easy to acquire what can be considered perfect teeth. Braces were invented to get us closer to having just that. The problem with braces is that they are conspicuous and especially for grown adults it may be difficult to wear them everywhere for the whole day. Luckily there are some conditions that do not rigidly warrant use of braces and alternatives that can be used instead of braces.

Problems that Do Not Require Use of Braces

  • Malocclusion – It is also known as bite misalignment. This usually requires the use of appliances to correct the jaw.
  • Limited overcrowding – Crooked teeth caused by minor overcrowding can be straightened using Invisalign without the use of braces then held in place by retainers.
  • Narrow upper jaw or underdeveloped palate – Using expanders the palate can be widened to create space for the teeth to properly position themselves.

Before undertaking any treatment and devices it is important to consult an orthodontist first and seek their professional medical advice. The options available without the use of braces will depend on the problems experienced. Some of them are mentioned below.


There are three types of retainers that can be used. The first is the fixed retainer e.g. the bonded lingual retainers, they provide the long-term solution to correct malocclusion and straighten teeth. The second, Hawley Retainer is widely known and removable. This is mainly for people trying to improve their smile, it can be removed for relief or to attend an event.


These use retainers on custom-made aligners to straighten teeth covertly and improve a person’s smile.

Palatal Expanders

palatal expander
Palatal expanders are used to create space for future adult teeth in children who have small mouths. They are not visible but cause discomfort to patients.


These are used to straighten teeth and correct malocclusion by rectifying imperfections in the jaw. The Herbst appliance, for example, causes the jaw to grow forward correcting bite misalignment.

Orthodontic Headgear

Headgear can also be used in children who have an excessive overbite (protruding front teeth).

The advancement of dental and medical knowledge has demonstrated that it is not always necessary to wear braces to correct crooked teeth and straighten teeth safely. Consult with an orthodontist to find out more and choose the option that works best for you.