The human smile needs no translation. It’s instantly recognizable in any language. However, your teeth also say a lot of you. Your teeth are like the petty snitch on a TV crime drama. Teeth inform your oral hygienic practices, diet, health, and whether your teeth are crooked. A smile with metal braces doesn’t need translation either. Invisalign is a popular dental braces system. They are preferred by many over metal braces. Yet, Invisalign braces can cost as much as $7,400, or more. What is a cheaper alternative to Invisalign?
Firstly – what are Invisalign braces?
Imagine a boxer’s mouth guard, except scaled down and custom fit to your teeth.
Metal braces must be checked on, readjusted, and realigned to conform to crooked teeth’ straightening over years.
Invisalign braces are used for one-week intervals. You must get new Invisalign braces fitted every week to correspond with incrementally straightening teeth.
Metal braces are physically attached to teeth. They don’t come off until an orthodontist determines they are no longer need.
Metal braces require manual tightening and readjustment as teeth straightening.
It’s easy to see why Invisalign braces are the more preferable option.
Still, braces are a highly customized and specialized procedure. No two fitting for dental braces is alike.
You can easily pay anywhere between $4,000 to $7,400 for Invisalign braces.
You could pay even more than that.
There are always alternatives.
Depending on your patience, finances, and social status, you can find a cheaper alternative to Invisalign.
Some alternatives are even free.
But let’s first explore what causes crooked teeth.
The Causes of Crooked Teeth
It may be better to first understand what causes crooked and misaligned teeth to help prevent them.
This can be invaluable knowledge to have before the need for dental braces is required.
Or the need for a cheaper alternative to Invisalign braces.
Sometimes, crooked teeth are just a result of genetics. There is nothing you can really do in that situation.
In many instances, crooked teeth are the result of poor dental hygiene and subconscious or unwittingly bad habits.
There are too many causes of crooked teeth to list.
Do you sleep with your mouth open or rest your jaw in your hand or on a surface for long periods? That can cause pressure differences that can misalign teeth.
Failure to brush your teeth and floss regularly, or properly, can cause crooked teeth.
Severe facial injuries and impacts can also cause crooked teeth.
The only way to fix crooked teeth is through orthodontics.
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who develops highly customized and detailed procedures to straighten your teeth. After an orthodontist affixes your braces, you may have to wear them for 2 to 4 years.
Getting braces is basically akin to financial investment. The typical cost for braces is $3,000 to $6,000.
Remember, Invisalign braces can cost as much as $7,400 or more.
Want a cheaper alternative to Invisalign? Here are a few.
Metal braces are not aesthetically pleasing. But metal braces are a much cheaper alternative to Invisalign.
Metal braces are an interlocking dental system of brackets and wires directly attached to your teeth.
Your orthodontist readjusts or tightens metal braces during check-ups as teeth incrementally straighten out.
The baseline cost for metal braces is about $3,000.
Ceramic braces are the ceramic version of metal braces. Dental braces made out of ceramic can be enamel-colored or transparent.
Ceramic braces are the aesthetically pleasant version of metal braces. They are definitely less noticeable.
The cost for basic ceramic braces is $4,000.
Smiles Change Lives
Smiles Change Lives is orthodontics assistance and humanitarian organization that was founded in 1997.
This organization helps financially disadvantaged young people get affordable orthodontic work.
To qualify, you must be between the ages of 7 and 21 and live in a household with a financial status near the poverty line.
Additionally, you must not currently be wearing braces and practice good oral hygiene. You can’t have a multitude of serious dental issues besides crooked teeth.
For those that qualify, Smiles Change Lives will assist you in acquiring braces for only $700. This is a much cheaper alternative to Invisalign.
Visit a Dental College
Your local dental college will offer discounts and perhaps free dental work in exchange for giving students experience.
Call ahead and discuss your needs. Never assume what you will pay.
Dental students work under the guidance of professional dentists. If there is none nearby, you may have to travel far to reach one.
Ask For a Discount or Installment Payment Plan
Invisalign braces are expensive. If you are in the market for Invisalign, you should settle for metal braces for the sake of your finances.
This might be the simplest option.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount from your orthodontist for metal braces.
They can only say no.
You may qualify for a discount or even an installment payment plan. In this stalled economy, such options are not out of the question.
Having crooked teeth may not be your fault.
Still, unless you qualify for special assistance or humanitarian programs, you don’t have many cheaper alternatives to Invisalign.
Allen Francis was an academic advisor, librarian, and college adjunct for many years with no money, no financial literacy, and no responsibility when he had money. To him, the phrase “personal finance,” contains the power that anyone has to grow their own wealth. Allen is an advocate of best personal financial practices including focusing on your needs instead of your wants, asking for help when you need it, saving and investing in your own small business.