When comparing the different forms of orthodontic treatment, clear aligners have recently risen in popularity due to their subtle appearance, gentle treatment, and easy removal — but all of these benefits may have you wondering if they’re too good to be true.
Spoiler alert: they’re not! Clear aligners provide incredible teeth-straightening results for many people, and they could be a great option for you, too.
If you’re not convinced yet, we’ll use this article to give you more details regarding what clear aligners are, and how they work to straighten your teeth.
What Are Clear Aligners?
Clear aligners are an alternative to traditional braces. They’re removable trays made of thin, transparent plastic shells that, when worn consistently, move your upper and lower teeth in small increments.
Aligners trays are made according to digital models of your teeth, and they come in various sets, or series. The trays are intended to be swapped every 7-14 days for the next one in the series. Each consecutive tray has gradual changes that help move your teeth to the right positions over time.
The number of aligner trays per series can vary, but it’s usually between 10 and 50 — and it can take between 1-3 series to give you the results you want. The length of treatment all depends on the following factors:
- The complexity of your bite
- The consistency at which you wear your aligners
- The amount of resistance your jaw bone has to movement
How Do Clear Aligners Straighten Your Teeth?
The clear aligner technology and methodology is meant to make small changes and movements at a time. They straighten your teeth by putting consistent, gentle pressure on your teeth. The pressure transfers from the roots of your teeth to your jaws, and your jaw bone responds to it by moving your teeth sockets where you want them to go.
Clear Aligner Attachments
Since they’re not actually attached to your teeth in any way, the aligners don’t work by themselves. They only work when paired with aligner attachments.
Aligner attachments are tooth-colored bumps that are bonded to some, or all, of your teeth to create pressure points. They apply the necessary pressure to your teeth and move them to their correct position in your mouth.
Things to Consider Before Getting Clear Aligners
Before you jump into getting clear aligners, there are a few considerations you should take into account about the process. The following things will help you make the decision on whether or not clear aligners are the right orthodontic treatment option for you:
- Consistent wear – Clear aligners rely on consistently applied force in order to provide good results. This means that you must be disciplined in wearing your aligners for 22 hours per day — otherwise treatment may need to be extended.
- Eating and drinking limitations – To prevent staining and damage, you cannot eat or drink anything besides water while wearing clear aligners. The 22-hour recommended wear time allows for two hours to eat, drink, brush, and floss without them in.
- Cost – Clear aligners are usually more expensive than traditional braces. However, their subtlety and gentleness make them worth it for many people.
- Complexity of work – Clear aligners solve minor to complex dental cases effectively. However, severe cases that require difficult movements may be better suited for traditional braces.
- A dentist’s opinion – If you’re thinking of getting clear aligners for teeth straightening, it’s best to talk to your dentist first. They’ll help you figure out which treatment is best for you based on the amount of work you need, your lifestyle, and your budget.
Looking to straighten your smile? Schedule an appointment at Mogren Dental! We’ll make sure your teeth are healthy enough to begin alignment and help you find the best solution and investment for your teeth.