Clear aligners are a popular alternative to metal braces, and are a great, discrete way to correct minor misalignment of the teeth.
Just like traditional braces, clear aligners put a small amount of pressure on the teeth to move them into place. Unlike traditional braces, they are made of a clear and completely removable plastic that you can take out during eating, brushing and flossing, or important events.
Clear aligners are made from digital molds of your teeth. A tray is made from the digital mold of your current teeth, with changes that target misalignment. Typically, you wear one aligner for one to two weeks until you advance to the next one. Each week, your aligner moves your teeth incrementally until you reach your perfect smile.
Clear aligners are best for minor misalignment of the teeth, while traditional braces might be better if you have severe misalignment, gaps, or bite issues.
Benefits of Clear Aligners
- Improved oral hygiene: Because they are removable, it’s much easier to maintain excellent oral hygiene than with traditional braces.
- A discreet look: Clear aligners won’t take away from your current smile while you perfect it.
- More dietary choices: You can remove them while eating, so you are free to eat as you please.
- Teeth grinding protection: Clear aligners function as night guards, so they can help with clenching or grinding.
It’s important to wear your aligner for the majority of the day and night. Taking your aligners out too much or for too long will stall treatment. It’s important to clean your aligners, and can do so with a brush and toothpaste, or with a denture cleaner solution. It’s also important to maintain your oral hygiene, as aligners will push any food further into teeth and gum line.