If you only have misaligned teeth in your top or bottom arch, you might be wondering if you can get bottom braces only. The answer is that in most cases, orthodontists will not recommend treatment for only one arch.
In this article we'll talk about:
- Risks of bottom-only braces
- Eligible cases for only bottom braces
- Cost of braces on bottom teeth only
Keep reading to find out why you probably shouldn't get braces on only your bottom teeth, and when an exception can be made. Alternatively, if you're interested in straightening just your top teeth, you can read our article on top braces only.
If you do have teeth that are eligible for single-arch treatment, you can save money with Smileie clear aligners.
They offer single-arch treatment and nighttime and daytime options — and the convenience of at-home treatment.
Table of contents
What are single-arch braces?
A dental arch is the arrangement of teeth along each of your jaws. So when you get single-arch treatment, it means you are getting braces or aligners on only one set of your teeth, the top or the bottom.
Cost of braces on bottom teeth only
Braces on your bottom teeth only will cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000. Braces for both arches cost $2,500 to $7,500. You'll notice that braces for your bottom teeth doesn't necessarily cost half the price of full treatment.
That's because there is still a lot of detailed treatment planning that goes into the process. You may be cutting down on the cost of actual materials but your dentist still needs to assess your teeth, create a personalized plan, provide the necessary hardware for installation, and supervise the movement of your braces throughout treatment.
Problems with bottom-only braces
As we mentioned above, orthodontists don't typically recommend braces for your bottom teeth only. That's because they can actually cause more problems than they solve.
The main concern is that single arch treatment will cause bite problems. Bite alignment is a complex relationship between your two jaws, and any movement you make in one jaw, will have an effect on the alignment with the other jaw.
Some typical issues that can arise are:
- If you have an overbite with crowded top teeth, braces on the top teeth only will increase your overbite
- If you have an underbite and you get bottom-only braces, the braces might rub against your top teeth, damaging them
In the video below, Dr. O explains why harmony and balance are key when planning braces treatment for both bottom and top arches:
When bottom-only braces are an option
There may be some cases where bottom-only braces (or top-only) braces is a viable option. Orthodontists stress that these situations are rare. That being said, in the following instances, you may be eligible for bottom-only braces:
- You have straight top teeth, and crowded bottom teeth, with a moderate overbite
- You have straight bottom teeth, and an overbite, and you want to fix mild diastema in your top teeth
- Mild crowding
- Mild overlapping of teeth
- Mild cases of relapsing after previous orthodontic treatment
Children may also be eligible for bottom-only braces when they are undergoing interceptive orthodontic treatment, laying a foundation for later treatment when they are older.
If you want to save money on treatment and your orthodontist says you are a candidate for single-arch treatment, then you might want to consider an option like Smileie. This at-home aligner option was one of the first to offer single-arch treatment assessments. They also offer daytime or nighttime treatment. You can read our full Smileie review to find out more.
Alternatives to getting braces on your bottom teeth only
If you want bottom-only braces because you want to save money, or you are concerned about aesthetics, then a good alternative might be invisible braces or clear aligners — specifically at-home clear aligners.
These aligners are transparent, and thus barely visible when you wear them, and they cost much less than traditional braces. Check out our top picks for clear aligners:
- Complete treatment 100% remotely
- Amazing customer service
- Nighttime-only option
- $1,495 or $55/month
NewSmile aligners are made from the clearest Essix plastic and come with a daytime or nighttime-only option to suit you. For just $1,495 you'll receive everything you need to straighten and whiten your teeth – and maintain your new smile:
- Home impression kit
- Full aligner treatment
- Free whitening
- First set of retainers
- A full refund if you're not a good fit
NewSmile goes above and beyond to provide a great experience to all their customers, beginning with a live video call to help you with your teeth impressions. Mail these back, and they'll send a 3D Treatment Preview for you to approve before going ahead.
- Complete treatment 100% remotely
- 4-6 month average treatment time
- Nighttime-only option
- $949 or $77/month
If you're looking for the best value aligner package, here it is! For just $895 you'll get:
- Impression kit
- Full aligner treatment course
- Free teeth whitening kit
- Your first set of retainers
In short, everything needed to straighten your teeth remotely and keep them looking great, with a full money-back guarantee if you're not a suitable candidate.
This low price doesn't mean you're compromising on quality of care, though. ALIGNERCO just choose not to put so much into marketing, and they pass on the savings to their customers. They are also known for their responsive and helpful customer care, which is important when you're doing things from home.
Plus, if you're in New York, you can visit their SmileStudio for a free consultation and help taking your impressions.
Nighttime-only aligners are also available for anyone who doesn't want to wear aligners during the day.
- 3-4 month average treatment time
- Assessed and planned by orthodontists
- Includes whitening and first retainers
- $1,999 or $70/month
Byte's HyperByte technology uses High Frequency Vibration to help your teeth move faster and with minimal discomfort. Their average treatment time is just 3-4 months, compared to 6 months for most others.
Treatment includes your first set of retainers. You'll also get their BrightByte 3-in-1 foam to whiten your teeth, clean your aligners and freshen your breath. And their Byte-for-life guarantee means you'll get free adjustments if your teeth start to move again.
Begin by ordering an impression kit so their orthodontists can assess whether you're a good match.
- Single-arch treatment option
- Nighttime aligners available
- Free refinements & 2 sets of retainers
- $699 (single-arch) or $999 (dual-arch)
Smileie's aligner treatment is not only affordable, but flexible too. You have the option of single-arch treatment for just your top or bottom teeth, as well as nighttime-only treatment. And whichever package you choose, monthly payments are available.
On top of this, Smileie offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee which includes free refinements if needed. Their aligners are made in the US and treatment takes 4-6 months on average.
Get the best discount when you purchase your aligner package up-front, including:
- Home impression kit
- Teeth whitening kit
- Two sets of retainers
- A full refund if you're not a good candidate
Packages start at $699 for single-arch treatment. Click below to check for current discounts!
If you do decide to do at-home aligners, the American Association of Orthodontics recommends consulting with an orthodontist in-person before pursuing single-arch treatment.
Getting braces only on the bottom row of teeth is typically not recommended by dentists and orthodontists. That's because of the complexity of the bite, and the fact that any movement you make in one arch could throw off how both arches come together.
There are some cases when single-arch treatment is possible, but only an orthodontist can tell you for sure.
If you are looking for a cheaper, and more aesthetic option than traditional braces on your top and bottom teeth, you may want to consider clear aligners. At-home options are an affordable option for making slight adjustments to teeth.
Can I get braces for bottom teeth only?
You can get braces for bottom teeth only in specific cases, typically where only very slight adjustments are needed. In most cases, braces for bottom teeth only are not recommended.
Are lower braces painful?
Lower braces can be more painful since your lower jaw is the jaw that moves when you are talking or chewing. Additionally, the position of your tongue may apply more pressure on your bottom teeth.
How long do bottom braces stay on?
Bottom braces will typically stay on the same amount of time as your top braces, and the average treatment time for traditional braces is anywhere from 6 to 24 months.
Cephx.com: Is single arch treatment good for your patients? Consulted 28th March 2023.
AAOinfo.org: Braces. Consulted 28th March 2023.