Invisible Aligner Treatments Keep The Smile Clear

Posted on: 21 July 2023

Invisible aligners provide a convenient way for some adults and teens to correct tooth alignment problems without using more obtrusive mounted metal braces. While invisible options can cost more than traditional teeth alignment options, they offer many benefits to compensate for the cost, including easy removal for dental care and a discreet appearance. However, the clear method isn't for everyone. Certain alignment issues that are more complex still require the intervention of metal braces and other orthodontic procedures.

How do invisible braces work?

Unlike traditional braces that are mounted directly on the teeth and wired together for treatment, clear aligners are custom-fitted appliances that slide over your teeth. At the orthodontist's office, sophisticated imaging technology is used to map your teeth without the use of molds. After the current bite and mouth structure is captured, a series of clear aligners are crafted from acrylic or plastic. Each set features minute adjustments designed to gradually move teeth and correct other alignment issues. The length of time each tray set is used is dictated by the treatment plan, but most are worn for one to two weeks before being traded for the next pair. 

Who is a good candidate for clear aligners? 

While traditional braces are not always the preferred cosmetic option, they can still treat more severe alignment issues. Larger overbites or underbites or combination issues are complex to treat and often require permanent retainers along with braces or even jaw surgery. Clear aligners are for mild or moderate crowding and shifting one or two teeth to minimize spacing or correct alignment. Additional corrections either need alternate care or adjustments to core clear aligner offerings. 

Clear aligners are also not recommended for children or younger teens. As a child grows, teeth can continue to shift, making it more difficult to accurately project several months of treatment using preformed aligners. 

What is the clear aligner care routine? 

Clear aligners can technically be worn when eating or drinking, but the best practice is to remove them for meals and brush and floss before sliding them back onto the teeth. The goal is to wear the aligners for 22 hours a day throughout the treatment period unless otherwise advised by the orthodontist. The aligners need to be rinsed and brushed lightly daily and can be cleaned with specialty products to prevent a film from forming and prevent wear from altering the translucent appearance. After obtaining invisible aligners, maintaining a diligent care and use routine is the best way to achieve optimal results.

For more information, contact a dentist near you that specializes in Invisalign.