Midline misalignments are often nothing to worry about — rarely interfering with your health and daily life. But if yours is causing you discomfort or self-doubt, it might be time for treatment, and you’ve got numerous effective options to choose from, including home aligners.
These remote services deliver clear aligners directly to your home, offering convenience and affordability. But they’re not a perfect fit for everyone. This guide will walk you through home aligner treatment for midline misalignment, plus supply a few alternatives if home aligners aren’t right for you.
Table of Contents
What Is Midline Misalignment?
Imagine a line down the exact center of your face. It should go between your eyes, over the tip of your nose, and between your two front teeth. But a midline misalignment — also called midline discrepancy or deviated midline — means your teeth are slightly off center.
The condition had its 15 minutes of fame in 2002 when Tom Cruise famously sported braces to correct his midline. You might not be a Hollywood superstar, but a midline discrepancy can still make you less than confident to flash your smile.
Midline issues are fairly common and mild cases are often harmless, just a cosmetic concern. However, more severe cases can alter your backbite or occur alongside a posterior crossbite, which can wear down your enamel unevenly, putting you at greater risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and jaw pain.
What Causes Midline Misalignment?
A few of the most common midline misalignment causes include missing teeth, oversized teeth (macrodontia), undersized teeth (microdontia), the early loss of baby teeth, crowding, and jaw misalignments.
Midline discrepancies can also stem from certain habits. For example, excessive childhood thumb-sucking can cause teeth shifts that alter the midline. Uneven chewing can also, over time, induce similar shifts. Or, they can occur after dental trauma like tooth loss or jaw injury.
How Do At-Home Clear Aligners Work?
Home teeth aligners are exactly what they sound like: aligners designed to treat dental concerns from home, without the added cost or hassle of making regular trips to the dentist. But what does the process of home teeth alignment actually entail?
To get the ball rolling, you’ll usually take impressions of your teeth using a kit from your provider (though some offer in-person scans as well). Then, you’ll mail the impressions back to them for their team of dentists to review. If the dentist in charge of your case determines that home aligners aren’t the right fit for you, the company will often refund you for the cost of the kit — usually around $49–$99.
After this step, your provider will use your impressions to design a series of custom aligners, and you should receive them in about one month. From there, it’s up to you to wear your aligners for 22+ hours each day — or ten hours if you choose a nighttime-only plan — keep up with your oral hygiene routine, and progress through the series of aligners as directed.
Can Home Aligners Fix Midline Misalignment?
This is slightly more complicated than a simple yes or no. Their effectiveness ultimately depends on your specific condition, but fairly mild cases of midline misalignment can be a good fit for home aligner treatment.
This is typically only the case if your misalignment only affects your front teeth, caused by minor crowding or a childhood habit like prolonged thumb-sucking. Cases of minor crowding and small anterior teeth shifts are home aligners’ specialty, so they should have no problem fixing them.
In some cases, however, a deviated midline is more significant or stems from a deeper bite issue, usually a posterior crossbite that affects your molars. This can shift all your teeth to one side, moving the midline. The teeth and jaw movements required for these corrections might be too complicated for home aligners.
The good news is that there’s still a strong chance that your midline discrepancy will respond well to home aligner treatment. If so, your next question is, “Which company should I choose?”
Best At-Home Aligner Brands For Midline
Compared to Invisalign and braces, home aligners are a relatively new orthodontic advancement that’s gained significant popularity over the past few years. Adults seeking straighter teeth have chosen them over traditional options because of their convenience and affordability.
If you think home aligners might be a good option for your midline misalignment, you have several options. Each one might be able to do the job, but each also has its own unique advantages and procedures. But we’ve done some of the legwork for you, researching each option extensively. Here are our top three choices:
Byte’s claim to fame is their ability to deliver impressive results faster than most of the competition — their average treatment plan length is just 4–5 months. Plus, they put a lifetime guarantee on your smile, and for those who’d prefer to straighten their teeth at night, they offer “At-Night” aligners designed with premium materials to withstand nighttime teeth grinding.
- Byte’s average treatment plan length is just 4–5 months.
- Byte includes their high-frequency vibration device, the HyperByte, in the cost of your aligner bundle. When used properly, the HyperByte can help provide a more comfortable aligner fit and faster dental shifts for some customers.
- The Byte-For-Life guarantee provides new aligners if your teeth ever shift, as long as you continue purchasing and wearing their retainers as directed.
- Their financing plans don’t require a credit check, so everyone qualifies.
- Byte-At-Night only requires ten hours of continuous wear per day instead of the usual 22.
- Byte includes one set of aftercare retainers for free.
- Byte doesn’t currently have any retail locations, so you’ll need to order an impression kit to get started.
- Byte’s $1,999 price tag is just average for the industry.
Byte excels at treating cases that only need minor shifts, but can’t always achieve comparable results with larger bite realignments. If your midline discrepancy comes from crowding or another issue in the front few teeth, Byte could be a solid option. But if it stems from crossbite or other backbite irregularities, you might not be a candidate. Submit your teeth impressions and Byte’s dental experts can determine whether their aligners can achieve the desired results.
Want to see what real Byte customers have to say? Check out these authentic reviews from customers who used Byte to correct midline misalignment.
Candid takes a unique approach to tooth alignment by blending elements of traditional and remote care. Their hybrid at-home and in-office treatment model starts with a dentist visit, where you get an examination and digital scan. After that, you’ll complete regular check-ins using the CandidApp and CandidMonitoring kit — no additional office visits required.
- Candid has a network of 300+ dentists, and they’re adding more all the time.
- The local dentist who examined you in-person will collaborate with Candid throughout the entire treatment process. Fully remote teeth alignment services like Byte and SmileDirectClub don’t offer this benefit.
- Since your dentist performs a 3D scan, you get to skip the impression kit.
- CandidMonitoring lets your dentist and Candid’s team evaluate your progress every step of the way, helping your treatment stay on track.
- Candid’s aligners are made from Zendura FLX plastic, so they’re flexible, durable, and powerful.
- Candid treatment costs $3,500+, which is a lot higher than other remote options.
- Financing varies between doctors, but isn’t always available.
Candid doesn’t address midline issues specifically on their website. However, their treatment is most effective for mild and moderate crowding or spacing, so some bite issues might be better off with fully in-office orthodontics. If your midline misalignment stems from a minor issue, you could be a good candidate. To find out for sure, visit a Candid provider.
SmileDirectClub is easily the best-known brand of at-home aligners on the market today. They’ve been straightening teeth since 2014 and served over 1.5 million customers to date. With over 300 SmileShops and a nighttime-only treatment option, they’re a highly convenient service. Plus, they have a lifetime smile warranty and extensive refund policies.
- SmileDirectClub has over 300 SmileShops across the U.S. where you can get a free teeth scan and skip the impression kit — plus 1,500+ partnering dentists who can also scan your teeth to get your treatment started.
- Through SmilePay, every customer can receive financing, no credit check required.
- SmileDirectClub’s Nighttime Aligners allow you to complete your treatment by wearing aligners for just ten hours per day.
- Their Lifetime Smile Guarantee will provide new aligners if your teeth shift out of place in the future, as long as you purchase two sets of retainers every year and wear them as directed.
- SmileDirectClub issues full refunds within the first 30 days of treatment and partial refunds after that.
- SmileDirectClub has a mixed track record of customer service quality.
- They charge an additional $99 fee for retainers after treatment.
SmileDirectClub treats midline misalignments the same as the previous two companies. Midline issues that stem from simple crowding or spacing in the front teeth are perfect cases for them. But a deviated midline that comes from crossbite or another jaw misalignment may or may not be ideal for SmileDirectClub’s aligners. You can easily find out by submitting impressions, getting a free teeth scan at one of their 300+ SmileShop locations, or visiting a dentist in their partner network.
Want to see what real SmileDirectClub customers have to say? Check out these authentic reviews from customers who used SmileDirectClub to correct midline misalignment.
What Are My Other Treatment Options?
As we mentioned before, home aligners aren’t a universal solution for everyone. Based on their conditions, some people aren’t candidates for treatment. And others might just prefer the personalized care of a traditional in-office option. There are a few viable alternatives, each with its own unique advantages and drawbacks. Be sure to research and evaluate them to see if which ones line up with your priorities, lifestyle, and goals.
Braces are the oldest orthodontic treatment out there, and they’re highly effective at treating a broad range of conditions, midline misalignment included. Braces are sturdy, durable, and you won’t have to worry about removing and replacing them like clear aligners. Plus, your orthodontist can achieve more complex tooth and jaw movements by supplementing them with elastics, expanders, and other appliances.
So, if your midline issue stems from a bite misalignment or severe spacing, braces can handle it. The two reasons adults hesitate to get braces is their visibility and price. Braces typically cost $3,000–$7,000 and they’re not nearly as discreet as clear aligners. Although clear braces and lingual braces provide lower-profile options, they’re often even more expensive than traditional braces.
Invisalign is the most experienced and accomplished clear aligner company. After bringing clear aligners to the mass market in 1997, they’ve spent the last two decades refining their products and procedures to cement their position atop the industry. Like the home aligner companies listed here, Invisalign’s trays are clear, removable, and customized for your teeth. But unlike home aligners, a dentist or orthodontist has to administer and monitor them in person.
The advantage here is that your dentist can use elastics or Invisalign’s Smartforce attachments to resolve more severe conditions. So, whether your deviated midline is caused by simple crowding or a posterior crossbite, Invisalign can take care of it. Plus, during regular office visits, your dentist will ensure that your treatment stays on track every step of the way. The trade-off is that Invisalign’s average price is considerably higher than home aligners and even slightly more than braces.
If you’re set on in-office clear aligner treatment, but aren’t sold on Invisalign, look into one of their biggest competitors: ClearCorrect. Their process is almost identical to Invisalign — your dentist or orthodontist will evaluate your condition, then administer the aligners and evaluate your progress during regular office visits.
These aligners can also incorporate attachments to treat severe cases and bite misalignments. ClearCorrect isn’t as experienced or prolific as Invisalign, but they charge dentists less for lab fees and have multiple plans — including one where you pay per aligner — so your treatment might be more affordable.
Another one of Invisalign’s oldest competitors, SureSmile launched its clear aligners in 2007. It can treat the same scope of misalignments as Invisalign, and the company says that their patients are less likely to need refinements after treatment. Despite this, they boast lower prices and, since they don’t have a specific mandatory scanner, providers can save money and pass those savings on to you.
3M Clarity Aligners
3M — the company behind Scotch Tape and Post-Its — creates clear aligners with incredible teeth-moving power thanks to their unique attachment placement. Clarity Aligners are only available to orthodontists, who can use two different proprietary materials to deliver a treatment highly customized to your condition. Since 3M also makes Clarity Clear Braces, orthodontists can also design a combination treatment that uses them simultaneously with aligners.
Veneers are small, durable porcelain tabs your dentist can affix to your teeth, giving the appearance of a perfectly aligned smile. If your midline issue is confined to your front teeth and doesn’t have any backbite complications, veneers could be a good option, but they’re not helpful for severe spacing or bite issues.
Veneers offer an instant solution, avoiding the time-consuming process of moving teeth. To craft an ideal porcelain smile, however, your dentist will need to shave down your tooth enamel, which is irreversible and might weaken your teeth in the future.
Plus, they don’t solve the underlying misalignment and you’ll need to replace them within 7–20 years. Veneers usually cost $500–$2,500 per tooth, which can add up fast, especially if you need them for multiple teeth.
If you like the idea of an instant smile transformation, but the permanence of traditional veneers worries you, snap-on veneers could be a great option. These removable appliances clip onto your teeth, hiding your misaligned midline, along with stains, cracks, chips, missing teeth, and other cosmetic issues.
Companies like Shiny Smile and Removable Veneers USA customize these veneers using molds of your teeth, so they’re a perfect match. They often come in different shades and models — some for everyday use and others for occasional wear.
Snap-on veneers are much more affordable than traditional veneers and many orthodontic treatments, but they won’t work for severe bite misalignments, and they can be slightly uncomfortable to wear. That said, they can work for people with very mild misalignments who want a quick and inexpensive solution. Check out our guide to the five best snap-on veneers to learn more.
As you review all of these treatment options, remember: every midline discrepancy is different, so it’s all about finding the route that best fits your condition, finances, and goals. Home aligners offer the convenience of at-home treatment without draining your bank account. Plus, if you’re not a candidate, they will refund your money and you can look into some alternatives.
Whether you go with home aligners, take an alternative route, or skip treatment altogether, do what’s best for you, and soon, you’ll be on your way to a confident smile that fits your priorities and lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes a midline misalignment?
Common causes include missing teeth, oversized teeth (macrodontia), undersized teeth (microdontia), the early loss of baby teeth, crowding, and jaw misalignments. Excessive childhood thumb-sucking, uneven chewing, or dental trauma like tooth loss or jaw injury can also contribute.
Is midline misalignment a problem?
Sometimes. Mild cases that don’t stem from a bite misalignment rarely present serious medical concerns. But severe midline discrepancies, specifically ones that affect the back bite or are accompanied by a crossbite, can wear down your enamel unevenly, potentially leading to tooth decay, gum disease, and jaw pain.
Is a midline deviation noticeable?
For many people, the discrepancy is so slight that it’s barely noticeable. But more serious misalignments are typically more visible when you speak or smile.
How long does it take to fix a midline misalignment?
It depends on the severity of your case. Orthodontic treatments like in-office or at-home clear aligners can sometimes correct mild misalignments in just a few months. More significant misalignments, however, often take 12–30 months.
How much do clear aligners cost?
It depends on which clear aligner treatment you choose. If you go with an in-office treatment like Invisalign, it will cost (on average) between $3,000 and $8,000. At-home aligner services like Byte and SmileDirectClub, on the other hand, are somewhat less expensive, costing $1,000–$2,500 on average.
For a detailed look at pricing, take a look at our guides to the true cost of Invisalign, Byte, and SmileDirectClub.
Who is a good candidate for at-home clear aligners?
Remote clear aligner services can typically only correct mild or moderate cases of crowding and spacing, so people with more severe misalignments might need a more robust treatment. Suitable candidates are also healthy and don’t have any active tooth decay or gum disease. They need to be disciplined enough to stick to a routine and remember to replace their aligners after eating and drinking.
How do you get started with at-home clear aligners?
Most remote clear aligner companies sell impression kits, which you can use to create molds of your teeth at home. You’ll send these molds to the company, whose dental team will use them to determine your candidacy and design your treatment plan. SmileDirectClub also has 300+ in-person locations around the country where you can get a free dental scan instead. Candid’s hybrid treatment doesn’t offer impression kits, so you’ll need to visit one of their dentist partners for an examination and scans.
What are the best at-home aligners?
In our opinion, it’s Byte. They deliver efficient treatment times for many customers, provide a nighttime-only option, and put a lifetime guarantee on their results (see our full Byte review for an in-depth look). There are some other good brands on the market, and the best one for you depends entirely on your preferences and circumstances. Check out our guide to the five best at-home aligner companies for a full comparison.
Join The Discussion: