Mail-order braces are a rising trend in the orthodontic world. They claim to let you straighten your teeth much faster than standard braces, and for a much lower price. Not to mention they’re transparent so that you can say bye to nicknames like ‘brace face’ and ‘metal mouth.’ But how do these mail order teeth aligners work? And are they effective and safe?
In this article, we do a deep dive into invisible brace by mail, talking about cost, safety, and efficacy so you can decide if they are the best option for you.
What Are Mail-Order Teeth Aligners?
Mail-order teeth aligners, invisible braces by mail, or at-home aligners have gotten extremely popular in recent years. In fact, the market is expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2026. Let’s take a look at exactly what these mail-order aligners are, how they work, and if this is the best treatment option for you.
How Do Braces by Mail Work?
Mail order teeth aligners work quite a bit differently than traditional metal braces. With traditional braces, you have to go for a consultation with your orthodontist; then, you have to go back to get scans or impressions made of your teeth. After that, your orthodontist creates your treatment plan, and once it’s finished, you go back to their office to get your braces applied.
You then wear your braces for an average of 24 months, with regular appointments every 2 to 6 weeks to get your wires tightened, or various other adjustments such as elastics, springs, and chains. When you finish with the treatment you need to go to your orthodontist again to get your braces taken off, at which point they will give you a retainer that you must wear for the rest of your life, but only at night.
Mail-order braces, on the other hand, involve treatment that can be completed 100% remotely. The general way that most braces by mail work can be summarized with the following steps:
Are Mail Order Braces Safe?
The answer to this question often depends on who you ask. Many orthodontists are vehemently against this kind of treatment because you don’t get the one-on-one, in-person monitoring as you do with in-office treatment. Others recognize the importance of making orthodontic care accessible to everyone who needs it, and concede that if you only need minor adjustments, mail-order braces can indeed be safe and effective.
Key Differences Between Traditional Braces and Mail-Order Teeth Aligners
There are many differences between traditional braces and mail-order teeth aligners, especially when it comes to treatment time, price, and eligibility requirements. Let’s take a closer look at some of these essential differences.
Invisalign vs Braces by Mail: Are they the same?
Let’s do a quick Invisalign review to see how similar they are to mail-order braces comparing Invisalign cost, monitoring and other factors. Invisalign looks and feels a lot like mail order braces, but they aren’t the same. While they are both types of invisible braces or removable plastic aligners that are difficult to see, there are some significant differences:
Can You Order Invisalign Online?
Many people wonder if you can mail order Invisalign. The answer is no, you can’t mail order Invisalign, because this type of treatment requires regular in-office visits. You can go to the Invisalign website and search for an Invisalign provider in your area to make an in-person appointment. If you really want to mail order Invisalign or other invisible braces, then you should consider an at-home option.
Pros and Cons of Mail Order Teeth Straightening
Benefits and Drawbacks of Mail Order Braces
As with anything, there are advantages and disadvantages of mail order braces. Some of the benefits and disadvantages of mail order teeth straightening include:
- They are more affordable than traditional braces
- They are less noticeable
- They are removable
- They are more comfortable
- They can’t treat severe or complex cases.
- You don’t have the security of in-person supervision by a dentist or orthodontist.
What Dentists Have to Say About Order Invisible Braces by Mail?
Many dentists are opposed to this kind of remote treatment, because treatment isn’t directly assessed and supervised by a dentist or orthodontist. That being said, there are plenty of dentists and orthodontists who do believe that this type of treatment can be effective, especially those that partner with these brands to monitor treatment.
When Can Mail Order Teeth Straightening Be a Good Choice?
Mail Order braces are an excellent choice for many patients, while for others, traditional braces would be better. Orthodontic treatment isn’t a one-size-fits-all option, so you need to find out which is the best for your smile. Have a look at the following reasons why you might want to choose one over the other:
Mail-order teeth straightening is the right choice for you if…
Traditional braces are the right choice for you if…
Mail order teeth aligners are an increasingly popular way to straighten teeth. They provide remote treatment options, with no in-person dentist or orthodontist visits necessary. However, many allow you to go to a physical location, so you don’t have to take your teeth impressions by yourself.
This type of teledentistry orthodontics is only intended for those with mild to moderate cases of malocclusion. Anything more complex or severe will require in-person supervision from a dentist or orthodontist.