Braces and aligners are the most popular ways to straighten permanent teeth. However, you may want to consider various factors before choosing a teeth straightening treatment.
Common teeth straightening options include the following:
|Teeth Straightening Option||Cost|
|Traditional Metal Braces||Between $3,000 and $7,000|
|Clear Braces||Between $4,000 and $8,000|
|Lingual Braces||Up to $10,000|
|Invisalign (Clear Aligners)||Between $3,000 and $8,000|
|At-Home Aligners||Between $1,145 and $2,300|
Pros and Cons of Braces
Braces are a great way to straighten permanent teeth in older children, teens, and adults.
The most common age to get braces is between 10 and 14. All permanent teeth have grown in by then, but the jaw is still not fully developed., so it's possible to fix complex issues
It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons to determine if braces are right for you.
Pros of Braces
- Decreased risk of cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and other oral health issues (straight teeth are easier to clean)
- Improved chewing and speaking
- Reduced risk of teeth grinding and chips
- Precise and accurate tooth movement
- Reduced risk of trauma from protruding teeth
- Improved self-esteem and confidence
Cons of Braces
- Not suitable for everyone
- Often invasive and lengthy treatment
- Challenging to clean (not removable)
- Wires and brackets are apparent (unless you choose ceramic or lingual braces)
- Uncomfortable at first
Braces can vary with age because some children in transitional dentition need early orthodontics. These devices enhance your smile, boost confidence, and improve oral health. But they are not suitable for everyone and can be expensive.
Clear aligners can save you thousands of dollars compared to braces. Learn about clear aligners.
4 Types of Braces & Average Costs
The four most common types of braces include:
1. Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces consist of small brackets and fixed wires to the front of your teeth. They gently apply pressure to each tooth, pulling them into the correct position. The brackets are metal and sometimes feature colored or clear elastic rubber bands.
Traditional braces cost between $3,000 and $7,000.
2. Clear Braces
Clear braces, also called ceramic braces, are the same as metal braces except for the design. These braces consist of tooth-colored brackets, which blend in with your natural teeth, making them less noticeable. The rubber bands and elastics are also see-through or white.
Clear braces cost between $4,000 and $8,000.
3. Lingual Braces
Lingual braces work the same as standard braces. However, the brackets and wires are fixed to the back of the teeth (tongue side).
Lingual braces cost up to $10,000.
Invisalign is a non-invasive and removable alternative to metal braces. Each aligner set is worn from one to two weeks (for 22+ hours a day) until your teeth are straight.
Invisalign costs between $3,000 and $8,000.
5. At-Home Clear Aligners
At-home clear aligners are a great alternative to Invisalign for mild to moderate cases. They allow you to go through the whole treatment process from home. They also cost less than Invisalign.
At-home aligners cost between $900 and $2,500.
There are five types of braces to choose from: traditional, clear, lingual, Invisalign, and at-home clear aligners. Traditional braces are the most visible, while clear and lingual braces are more discreet (but pricier). Invisalign is a brand of invisible aligners that costs about the same as metal braces.
How to Find Affordable Braces
You may be hesitant about getting braces because of the cost and inconvenience (especially adults). However, there are ways to pay for braces without going over budget. These include:
Braces Discount Programs
Smile for a Lifetime and Smiles Change Lives are nonprofit organizations that offer affordable braces to low-income families. The braces may be fully covered depending on where you live and your treatment case. In most cases, you’ll end up paying up to $500 out-of-pocket.
Medicaid/CHIP or State-Sponsored Insurance
Some low-income families and individuals qualify for Medicaid, state-sponsored insurance programs, or the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP).
Some states cover children up to 18, while others cover them up to 21. In addition, your child must have an orthodontic condition considered “medically necessary.”
Dental Savings Programs
Dental discount plans, also called dental savings plans, work like a club membership. You’ll pay an annual fee and save on oral care services (including braces) throughout the year.
After signing up, you’ll gain access to a nationwide network of dentists that offer 10 to 60 percent savings on preventive and restorative treatments.
Discount dental plans do not require time-consuming paperwork or claim filing. There are also no pre-existing condition restrictions.
DentalPlans offers cost-effective dental discount plans from more than 30 of the most trusted insurance companies in the U.S., including Aetna and Cigna. They are also accepted by more than 140,000 dentists and orthodontists across the country.
Braces can be expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to find low-cost braces and alternatives. Braces discount programs (nonprofits), Medicaid, CHIP, state-sponsored insurance programs, and dental savings plans (like DentalPlans) are a few options.
We recommend at-home clear aligners if you have mild teeth misalignment. View our top recommendations.
Cheapest Way to Straighten Teeth: At-Home Aligners
At-home aligners could be a good fit if you want a more discreet teeth-straightening option.
Aligners are a nearly invisible and removable alternative to braces designed around convenience and comfort. They can be removed anytime for cleaning, eating, and brushing.
Each custom-made aligner is worn for about two weeks at a time (22+ hours a day). The length of treatment depends on your plan and the severity of misalignment.
Byte is now our top recommendation for convenient, at-home teeth straightening. The aligners are affordable and don’t require any in-office visits. We recommend them if you have mild teeth misalignment.
Candid is our top recommendation for ‘hybrid’ aligner treatment. The aligners are pricier and you must visit a provider to begin treatment. We recommend them if you have mild to severe teeth misalignment. Treatment is more comprehensive.
4 Cheapest Teeth Aligners in 2023
Here are the four cheapest at-home aligner brands that cost thousands less than braces:
1. Byte - Editor's Choice
Byte is a popular brand that stands out in the at-home aligner industry for its strong customer support and fast treatment times (4 to 6 months).
Byte aligners can straighten teeth in under 6 months (in most cases) with consistent HyperByte use, according to Byte. This unique acceleration device safely moves teeth faster with HFV (high-frequency vibration). Read our article comparing the positives and negatives of the HyperByte and similar vibration-based aligner therapies.
Byte's All-Day Aligners can straighten teeth in 4 months, while the At-Night Aligners straighten teeth in about 6 months (while you sleep).
We do not recommend night aligners because there is no scientific proof that they are safe.
Byte's All-Day Aligners cost $1,999.
Our Byte Review
Sale: $100 off aligners + BrightByte pro
2. SmileDirectClub - Runner Up
SmileDirectClub is 6 years old. They offer remote teeth straightening for about 60% less than braces. They are the first and most well-known brand of at-home aligners.
SDC also works with registered doctors, dentists, and orthodontists to ensure each treatment case runs smoothly.
Treatment costs $2,050 if you make a one-time payment. They also offer a payment plan.
Our SDC Review
Sale:$15 impression kit - FREE after return, plus 6 months FREE teeth whitening. Code: NYNY23
3. NewSmile - Best Budget Option
NewSmile is a newer aligner brand that takes between 4 and 10 months to straighten teeth.
They are also the only brand that offers a video call service with an impression specialist.
NewSmile aligners do not touch your gums. The trays are trimmed to sit along your gum line in a ‘scalloped fashion.’ This design results in less irritation and makes the aligners even more invisible.
NewSmile aligners cost between $1,495 and $1,595.
Our NewSmile Review
Use code NewMouthDeal for $100 off Aligners and code NewMouthKit for $20 off impression kit.
4. ALIGNERCO - Cheapest Aligners
ALIGNERCO is one of the most affordable at-home aligners on the market. The aligners cost between $945 and $1,145, which is up to $1,000 cheaper than leading competitors.
ALIGNERCO is typically a great option if you are on a budget, only have minor teeth misalignment, and do not require hands-on care.
Our ALIGNERCO Review
President's Day Sale:Save $275 on clear aligners.
Interested in straightening your teeth at home? Here are the best clear aligner companies.
Traditional Braces vs. Cheap Teeth Aligners
To determine whether braces or at-home aligners are right for you, read the comparisons below:
1. Braces Can Fix Complex Issues, At-Home Teeth Aligners Cannot
Traditional braces can fix complex orthodontic issues like overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites. This is because braces can move teeth individually, while aligners move all of your teeth at once.
At-home aligners are only recommended for minor cases of teeth misalignment. In some cases, moderate misalignment issues may qualify.
Candid is the only at-home aligner brand that can treat more complex bite issues.
2. Aligners are Best for Adults, Braces are Best for Children
At-home aligners require consistency. They must be worn for 22+ hours a day and can be removed at any time. Because of this, remote aligners are only recommended for older teens and adults.
Braces are fixed to your teeth, so they cannot be removed. Many children also require add-on treatments like headgear and palate expanders. These treatments are not possible with at-home aligners or Invisalign.
3. Teeth Aligners are More Affordable Than Braces
At-home aligners cost between $1,145 and $2,300. Braces, including Invisalign, cost between $3,000 and $10,000. Braces may be the only option in many cases (especially if you have severe misalignment issues).
4. Braces are Monitored in Person, At-Home Aligners are Monitored Remotely
With braces, you have to visit your orthodontist for an initial consultation. After the braces are fixed to your teeth, you’ll see them every few weeks to check progress and adjust the brackets.
With at-home aligners, treatment is 100% remote. You’ll order a kit online, take the impressions yourself, and then send them back.
If you’re a candidate, the company will create your aligners and send them back to you all at once. You’ll send in-progress photos/videos via an app throughout treatment.
5. Aligners are More Comfortable & Easier to Clean Than Braces
Since at-home aligners are removable, they can be taken out anytime for eating, drinking, and brushing. However, you must brush and floss your teeth before putting the aligners back in. This ensures the aligners stay clean and plaque-free.
Braces are difficult to clean between and require special flossing tools. This can be inconvenient for many people.
Traditional braces are more expensive than at-home aligners (but treatment is more intensive and accurate). At-home aligners are cheaper and more convenient (but treatment is not monitored as closely).
Remote aligners can treat minor/moderate bite issues. Braces can fix complex orthodontic problems.Candid aligners are the only exception.
Why You Can Trust Our Recommendations
To determine the best clear aligners available, the NewMouth editorial team analyzed 26 different brands of clear aligners from around the world.
Our evaluation and recommendations are based on:
- Quality of treatment, including expert involvement throughout treatment - 35% of total score
- Feedback from real customers - 20%
- Doctor recommendations - 15%
- Cost, financing options, and guarentees/warranties - 10%
- Treatment duration - 10%
- Additional services offered - 5%
- Ease of use - 5%
1. Industry Experts
NewMouth is a trusted online resource for dental information, including orthodontics, at-home teeth straightening, primary dental care, procedure costs, and more. We have been researching and writing about clear aligners for over 3 years.
We have a dedicated team of medical writers, expert researchers, licensed dental professionals, and medical reviewers who create and oversee every piece of content published on our site.
2. Extensive Research and Testing
To determine the best teeth straightening kits on the market, our team:
- Spent hundreds of hours comparing at-home aligners and in-office aligners to ensure we recommend the proper treatment for different needs
- Three writers tested every teeth straightening kit recommended in this article
- Talked to dozens of industry experts, including CEOs of aligner companies, licensed orthodontists, and licensed dentists
- Read hundreds of research papers on the safety, effectiveness, and concerns of clear aligners
- One of our writers successfully went through the entire treatment process with Candid aligners (see the before and after)
- Spent months researching the most popular brands (and continue to analyze trends as they change)
- Sorted through thousands of customer reviews on multiple websites
3. Comprehensive Review Process
After extensive research and product testing, this article also underwent an intensive review process:
- The article was reviewed and fact-checked by two in-house editors
- One of our in-house dentists reviewed the article for accuracy
- The article is updated and reviewed again every month to ensure pricing, product details, and other specs are up-to-date
Affordable Braces: Common Questions & Answers
Why are braces so expensive?
Braces are expensive because treatment is monitored closely by an orthodontist. Treatment also takes longer than other orthodontic services. In addition, many patients require add-on treatments like spacers and headgear, which can significantly raise costs.
What is the minimum cost of braces?
The minimum cost of traditional braces is $3,000.
Can I pay for braces with a payment plan?
Yes. Many orthodontists allow patients to pay with a payment plan. Speak with your provider for more details.
Can I get braces for free?
Some patients are eligible for free braces through Medicaid or nonprofit programs.
How long will braces take?
Braces take between 12 and 24 months.Aligners take between 3 and 24 months, depending on the brand.
Who is eligible for at-home aligners?
Only minor to moderate teeth misalignment cases are eligible for at-home aligners. If you have severe bite issues, braces or Invisalign will be necessary.
Candid is the only brand of at-home aligners that can treat more complex bite issues. Invisalign can also treat complex issues with the use of 'buttons.'
What is the cheapest teeth aligner available?
ALIGNERCO is the cheapest teeth aligner available (under $1,300).However, treatment is not monitored closely, so you get what you pay for.
In this article
The most popular at-home clear aligner kits can be found right here:
Learn about the different brands and what they offer.
The cheapest way to straighten your teeth is generally with at-home aligners. These typically cost $2,000 to $5,000, but some options, like Byte, cost as little as $1,999.What is the cheapest method of straightening teeth? ›
The cheapest way to straighten your teeth is generally with at-home aligners. These typically cost $2,000 to $5,000, but some options, like Byte, cost as little as $1,999.What's the cheapest option for braces? ›
There are many types of braces on the market, including metal, ceramic, and lingual braces. Traditional metal braces are typically the cheapest option available, averaging $3,000 to $7,000.Are aligners or braces cheaper? ›
Traditional metal braces are slightly more affordable than Invisalign. While the cost of Invisalign is covered by more and more insurance companies, you're still more likely to have a little more coverage for metal braces. If cost is a concern, metal braces come out the winner here.What are cheapest Invisalign braces? ›
|Lowest price: AlignerCo||$995–$1,195||No|
|Best for convenience: SmileDirectClub||$2,050||Yes|
|Best for bad credit: Byte||$1,999–$2,399||Yes|
|Best financing option: NewSmile||$1,595–$1,695||No|
There is no safe way to straighten your teeth at home. Gnawing on sticks, applying rubber bands, or pushing on your teeth with your tongue or your fingers won't improve your smile. These methods can hurt your teeth instead, and sometimes, the damage is permanent.How can I straighten my teeth without surgery? ›
- Retainers. In most cases, you receive retainers after using braces. ...
- Veneers. Porcelain veneers can create the appearance of straighter teeth and give you a brighter smile. ...
- Invisalign® ...
- Dental Bonding. ...
- Dental Crowns. ...
- Palatal Expanders. ...
- Explore Your Options to Straighten Your Smile.
Low-income families who qualify for Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Plan (CHIP), or a state-sponsored low-income insurance program may receive free braces care for children. Eligibility requirements vary by state — some states cover children up to 21, while others only cover them up to 18.Why is getting braces so expensive? ›
The hardware of the braces are not the only materials used during treatment. Various supplies are used at each visit to the orthodontist and equipment must be sterilized after each use. The materials and supplies needed to properly assist patients at each appointment also add up and add to the cost of braces.Are braces cheaper if you only get top? ›
A single-arch or partial braces treatment will usually cost less than full-mouth braces, but it won't be half the price. You can still expect it to be cheaper than a complex orthodontic process involving all of your teeth. For a specific price on upper or lower-only braces, you'll need to have Dr.
A lot of people may not realize it, but clear aligners typically work much faster than that of braces. A clear aligner works to apply pressure to all of the teeth together, as opposed to each individual tooth, as braces do.Which is more painful aligners or braces? ›
Invisalign is significantly less painful than metal braces. Most people report discomfort for the first few days of wearing the trays and some tenderness, but when compared to the agony of metal braces, Invisalign wins by being less painful.Can aligners push teeth back? ›
Can clear aligners push teeth back? Absolutely! Depending on the severity of your teeth misalignment or crookedness, clear aligners will most likely be able to help push those pesky out-of-place teeth right to where they're meant to be.What is the cheapest monthly payment for Invisalign? ›
Invisalign® payment plan starts between $99 and $125 per month with no down payment. Simple patient finances to move to improve your smile.Is $5000 a lot for Invisalign? ›
The cost of Invisalign Full will depend on the severity of your case and how many aligners are needed, but it is typically around $5,000.Why is Invisalign so expensive? ›
Invisalign is typically more expensive than getting braces because of the lab fees involved in creating the aligners. Due to the use of the highest quality materials and technology, the treatment is more expensive than traditional orthodontic procedures.What is the fastest way to fix crooked teeth? ›
If you're searching for the fastest way to straighten teeth, aligners are the clear winners. Treatment plans typically last for just a few months. Aligners are so fast due to their design. The trays enclose your teeth completely, and the force comes from all sides.Can teeth be straightened in one day? ›
Is there any way to straighten teeth in one day? Yes, teeth can be straightened in a single day in some circumstances, dental bonding can be used over the surface of the teeth to give the illusion of straightness. Some practices also have digital technology allowing them to manufacture a series of dental veneers.How do you straighten badly crooked teeth? ›
- Braces. For otherwise healthy teeth that are simply crooked or crowded, orthodontic treatment offers the best long-term solution. ...
- Veneers. A quicker alternative to braces are veneers. ...
- Crowns. ...
- Teeth contouring. ...
- Teeth bonding. ...
- Teeth whitening.
Most orthodontists will offer payment plans, and may offer discounts for payment upfront. Your medical aid will also likely cover a proportion of the costs of your treatment should you have benefits for this.
Pay for the whole treatment up front to get a discount.
If you can afford the whole cost of braces up front, this may be an attractive option. Discounts for paying the whole cost at once vary from office to office, but they're normally around 3% to 7%.
Paying for dental braces with one of these financing options can sometimes build credit, which could prove helpful for patients with an adverse history on their consumer report – and for those hoping to establish a record. Two factors determine whether your experience will build your credit profile.
Talk with your orthodontist about setting up a payment plan to help spread the cost out over a longer period of time. Other options are the use of an FSA (Flexible Spending Account) or an HSA (Health Savings Account) to help afford orthodontic procedures, such as metal braces or Invisalign.Is it better to pay in full for braces? ›
Payment in full at the beginning of treatment may provide a way to save some money. Many orthodontists will give a discount if the entire treatment fee is paid when the braces are placed. Discounts vary from office to office, but are usually in the 3%-7% range.Are 6 month braces cheaper? ›
Six Month Smiles is generally less expensive than traditional braces or aligners due to shorter treatment time. Most providers have payment plans suitable for every budget.What is Fastbraces? ›
FASTBRACES are an American-made dental technology that has straightened teeth for a quarter of a century. This dental technology is used in nearly 50 countries. Thanks to FASTBRACES, there is no longer any need to rely on traditional braces to straighten crooked teeth.How long do top braces stay on for? ›
The average amount of time for braces is between 1 and 3 years. But you may need them for a shorter or longer amount of time depending on your circumstances.Do dentists prefer Invisalign or braces? ›
For adults, Invisalign® is often preferred because it's practically invisible, results in fewer emergency appointments, requires fewer visits, and adults often present with compromised teeth and/or gum tissues.Which is less painful braces or Invisalign? ›
Invisalign is often known as being pain-free, but, it is less painful than the metal braces. The pain mainly occurs when moving teeth and straightening a bite.What straightens teeth better braces or Invisalign? ›
Braces can achieve a better result than Invisalign. Braces have more force to move teeth into the desired position. Invisalign is limited in terms of how much teeth can be moved at a time.
In the course of orthodontic treatment, one question that patients often ask is whether they can wear their Invisalign aligners while they sleep, and the answer is yes! You can continue to wear your aligners while you sleep.Will Invisalign change my face shape? ›
No, orthodontic treatment, including Invisalign and braces, does not directly impact your nose or lengthen your face. The reason people occasionally think their nose looks different after braces or their face seems to have lengthened is about the angles.How do I survive the first week of Invisalign? ›
- Track Your “Tray Time” Each Day. Since you'll be taking out your trays 4-6 times each day, it's easy to lose track of how long you're wearing them. ...
- Maintain Your Aligners. ...
- Sing To Help You Speak Clearly. ...
- Protect Your Tongue. ...
- Start Great Oral Hygiene Habits.
If you have an anterior open bite, your upper and lower front teeth have a gap between them even when your mouth is closed. If you have a posterior open bite, your back teeth don't touch when your mouth is closed. This could be causing various issues for you, like: A lisp or another type of speech impediment.Should back teeth touch when mouth is closed? ›
You may not have realized this, but teeth are not meant to touch. It sounds odd, but think about it. They don't touch while you speak, smile or rest. Even when you chew, your teeth only have to be close enough to mash food, not necessarily touch.Can teeth come out from aligners? ›
Don't Rush Treatment
However, if the process is rushed, tooth resorption can occur, where your teeth essentially shrink and become less stable. This can eventually lead to tooth loss, which is why it's important to trust the process and follow your treatment instructions.
Invisalign aligners are an easy, quick and painless way to treat crooked teeth. They usually take less time to fix the problem in comparison with metal braces. Invisalign is a non-invasive procedure. The trays are removable.What is the most discreet way to straighten teeth? ›
Lingual braces are a good option for anyone looking for a discreet way to straighten the teeth. One main difference between lingual braces and traditional metal braces is that lingual braces are placed on the back of the teeth rather than the front. This helps to make them less noticeable.How much do the at home teeth straighteners cost? ›
Payment and financing options: One of the most attractive features of at-home teeth alignment systems is their affordability, with prices ranging from about $900 to $2,000 for a full treatment. Some programs offer a monthly payment option, but may require a down payment and additional charge if you choose to finance.Can old teeth be straightened? ›
The good news is that you can get your teeth straightened no matter your age. Braces aren't just for kids. Even adults aged 50 and over can benefit from treatment by an orthodontist.
So, how do the vast majority of celebs, from Matt Damon to Emma Watson, achieve such perfect teeth? One word: veneers. Cosmetic dentistry (veneers and no-prep veneers in particular) is the only sure-fire way to get a Hollywood-level smile.What straightens your teeth the fastest? ›
In mild to moderate cases, Invisalign is typically the fastest method to straighten teeth. Some malocclusions (teeth misalignments), like front-to-back bite issues, may require you to wear rubber bands to fix the issue. Rubber bands attach to your braces or Invisalign trays to help align your jaw.Is there a way to straighten teeth without braces or Invisalign? ›
Thanks to cosmetic dentistry, mild tooth crowding, spacing, or misalignment problems can be fixed with bonding or veneers. Bonding is a procedure in which your dentist will reshape your teeth by applying a tooth-coloured resin covering the aesthetic flaw.Which braces work the fastest? ›
Now ceramic braces, lingual braces, self ligating braces and functional braces are considered as fastest braces to straighten teeth.What device makes your teeth straight? ›
Braces are dental devices that use pressure and control to gradually shift and straighten your teeth. Teeth that are misaligned or crowded, teeth that have large gaps between them, and jawlines that don't neatly close over each other are often treated with braces.Do DIY teeth straighteners work? ›
Homemade braces can damage your teeth, gum and jaw bone irreparably. DIY braces came about in a time where teeth straightening was getting so expensive there was a call for cheaper alternatives. With the trend moving on, it is now more than clear that the cost of having to repair the damage far outweighs the gains.Are clear braces cheaper than Invisalign? ›
Pricing for both ceramic braces and Invisalign usually depends on how long realignment takes, which will depend on how much straightening the patient's teeth require. The cost for clear braces runs on average from $2,000 to $6,000. By comparison, the cost for Invisalign runs from around $2,500 to $7,000.Is it too late to fix my teeth? ›
As the years roll on, we continue to get older as do our bodies. However, just because we have grown out of our youth, it does not mean that our teeth do not matter anymore. In fact, our smiles are just as important now than ever! Let's get one thing straight, it is never too late to correct those pearly whites!Is it worth it to get braces at 40? ›
Straightening your teeth with braces at 40 can greatly improve your smile, impacting how you present yourself to others and how they interact with you as well. You may have lived your whole life so far with perfectly straight teeth. But the truth is, there's no guarantee they'll remain this way.Is it too late to get braces at 30? ›
So long as you have healthy teeth and gums, you can enjoy straighter teeth even if you're already in your 30s or 40s! In fact, there's no age limit to having your teeth straightened.