What Are The Most Discreet Orthodontic Options for Adults?

In an ideal world, all orthodontic treatment would be subtle. Luckily, there are some options to bring this dream to fruition. Today, Bowen Family Orthodontics can answer this perfectly normal question: What are the most discreet orthodontic options for adults?

Your Main Options

In orthodontics, in general, there are three primary alignment methods (and a bonus one that we offer). 

  • Metal braces are the most traditional and least noticeable option that you’ll find in most offices. You can take it a step further with designer WildSmiles braces, which feature some funky shapes. 
  • Ceramic braces are an excellent compromise for a lot of patients; they have a similar approach to metal braces, but the brackets can match your tooth color.
  • Invisalign is generally considered the winner when it comes to natural options. These aligners fit your teeth to the point of being barely visible, slowly shifting them over time as you change sets. 

How Clear Braces Work

Here are some of the main features of ceramic braces and what makes them work:

  • Material: Ceramic, porcelain, or a combination of materials can be used for these braces.
  • Translucency: These are designed to be slightly transparent, allowing some light to pass through them. This property helps them take on the natural color of the teeth.
  • Bracket Design: The brackets themselves are also often smaller and more low-profile than their traditional metal counterparts. This helps reduce their visibility overall.
  • Color-Matching: Our team is able to customize the color to match the patient’s teeth.
  • Coated Wires: In some cases, tooth-colored wires help to enhance this subtle effect.

It should be noted that ceramic braces are slightly more prone to staining or discoloration, which means it’s especially important to maintain proper oral hygiene practices and dental check-ups, as well as to watch which beverages you consume. Coffee and tea can often cause staining over time.


What Are The Most Discreet Orthodontic Options for Adults?

How Invisalign Works

Let’s dig deeper into how our most subtle option actually works. This will help explain how they manage to be such a discreet form of treatment due to their bespoke nature.

  • Consultation and Treatment Plan: We begin with a meeting with Dr. Bowen that will establish the state of the patient’s teeth, their goals, and finally, whether or not Invisalign is a credible treatment option.
  • Digital Impressions and Treatment Simulation: Instead of traditional molds, we create 3D digital impressions of the teeth. These are scans used to make a virtual model of the patient’s teeth using specialized software. We can then stimulate the process of movement throughout treatment.
  • Custom Aligner Fabrication: Custom-made, clear plastic aligners are made in a lab. They are each progressively different to gradually move the teeth into their desired positions. 
  • Wearing the Aligners: Each set is worn for 1-2 weeks, depending on our planning. They should be kept on for 20-22 hours per day removed only for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing. 
  • Regular Check-Ups: Patients will have periodic check-ups with us to monitor progress and receive the subsequent set of aligners, usually every 6-8 weeks. It’s absolutely essential to attend these visits. 
  • Progressive Tooth Movement: Once the patient completes the entire series of aligners, the active phase of treatment is considered done. However, retainers are then used to maintain the long-term results of these aligners.

Other Options

More specialized options exist in the orthodontic field for a more natural appearance. 

  • Lingual braces are placed on the backside of the teeth, hidden from view.
  • Ceramic or tooth-colored wires can be especially effective when combined with ceramic brackets.
  • Eventually, clear retainers can be used. They’re transparent and help to maintain the corrected alignment of teeth.

FAQs About Adult Braces

Adult braces are uncharted territory for a lot of patients, so we wanted to offer a few additional answers to questions you might have.


Q: Can braces only be for cosmetic reasons?
A lot of times, they cover multiple bases for people—but cosmetic reasons are a common motivation for adult patients.


Q: Will braces or clear aligners hurt?

It’s common to experience some discomfort, especially at first—but this tends to be temporary. For example, if you opt for metal or clear braces, periodical tightening in-office can take some adjusting to.


Q: Are there any age-related challenges to braces?
The duration of treatment can be a bit longer due to higher bone density. But there are a lot of advantages to waiting, too—especially in terms of the discipline that comes with age.

What Are The Most Discreet Orthodontic Options for Adults?

Taking the Leap

At Bowen Family Orthodontics, we want to make it clear that braces are available to all ages—don’t believe preconceived notions that say otherwise! Moreover, it can be done subtly, thanks to advances in orthodontic appliances over the years. If you’re looking to take this step towards a beautiful smile, call our Mullica Hill office at (856) 619-7756 for a free consultation!