Clear aligners are an alternative to traditional braces and are designed to help guide teeth into their proper position. Similar to braces, clear aligners use a gradual force to control tooth movement, but without metal wires or brackets. The aligners are made of a strong plastic material and are fabricated to fit each individual’s mouth. If a series of aligners are needed, each aligner moves the teeth in incraments until the desired movement is achieved.
Aligners are worn for at least 20 hours a day to reach the desired maximum effectiveness. Each aligner is worn for three weeks before changing to the next one. The length of treatment with aligners depends upon the severity of each case. Typically, aligner treatment can be as short as three weeks or as long as six months. Overall, aligners offer a much shorter treatment than traditional braces.
Advantages of orthodontic treatment with clear aligners
Clear aligners are a great alternative for patients who want a straighter smile, but do not want to wear traditional metal braces. Also, aligners are beneficial for patients with previous orthodontic treatment that want to make minor corrections to their smile. There are several advantages to using clear aligners:
- Clear aligners are removable so it is easier for you to brush and floss after meals
- Clear aligners are easier to keep clean
- Clear aligners are comfortable and less likely to irritate your gums and cheeks
- Clear aligners can prevent tooth wear from grinding