A full set of top and bottom braces may not always be the answer. In fact, a full set may seem overwhelming, especially if your top teeth are already straight. Is there a way to wear bottom-only braces?

braces bottom teethThe quick answer is yes. However, there are other factors that determine the decision, mainly bite formation, or the relationship between the upper set of teeth and the lower set.

If the upper and lower teeth rest exactly on top of each other or if the lower set of teeth come out farther than the top, having only bottom braces may worsen the bite. Orthodontic care works to improve bite issues, so only having braces on half of your teeth can cause alignment problems. Braces naturally push the teeth forward, so the bite will most likely reposition.

In many cases, putting braces on only the top or bottom can lead to misalignment.

Some orthodontists offer options to modify teeth to allow for realignment, without braces. With some of these procedures, braces can be avoided on either the top or bottom teeth. These procedures can involve invisalign or a conventional spring retainer.

If a person wants to avoid the look of a full set of metal braces, there are other orthodontic options that are less visible. Invisalign is a system of clear plastic aligners that gradually shift the teeth into a correct position. The Invisalign system is virtually undetectable to a passerby. A conventional spring retainer/aligner can also be an option, however, it is visible and does have it’s limitations.

The best action to take is to talk to an orthodontist about a personal plan. The right answer depends on each individual case.