If you’ve been considering having orthodontic work, you may have heard of the new kid on the block ‘clear braces.’ In fact, certain brands like Invisalign have become so popular it’s hard to not hear about them! Something we get asked a lot is ‘what are clear aligners and how do they work?’ If you’re reading this and wondering the same thing, we don’t blame you! It was only until relatively recently that the word ‘braces’ conjured up the image of traditional metal train-track style appliances, but it’s 2020 and thanks to huge developments in the orthodontic world we are now spoilt for choice!

What are clear aligners?

Clear aligners are a series of clear, removable aligners custom-fit to your teeth with minimal adjustment and discomfort. Clear aligners are nearly invisible, minimally invasive and resistant to clouding from wear. With clear aligners, there are no brackets to come off or wires to break and poke.

One big benefit of these braces is they can be removed, although only for two hours per day. This allows the wearer to eat what they like and clean their teeth as normal. They are also far less noticeable than any kind of fixed braces—even those with clear brackets—so they are the perfect solution for people who want to straighten their teeth discreetly.

How are they made?

They are made after your orthodontist takes 3D impressions of your teeth and sends them to a laboratory that creates your custom-fit clear aligners using customised technology. These aligners are then sent back to your orthodontist so you can try them on for size.

How do they work?

Clear aligners are provided in sets. The number of aligners will depend on your specific orthodontic problem. You will wear each new aligner set for a specified amount of time, removing them only to eat, drink, brush and floss. With each new aligner set, your teeth slowly adjust and gradually realign to your desired smile. Your orthodontist will provide the next aligner set and evaluate your progress throughout treatment.

Length of Treatment

The length of treatment depends on each individual situation and the type of invisible braces you are wearing. Typically, braces are worn from 18 to 24 months, though they are sometimes worn longer.

For example, Invisalign treatment, typically requiring 20 to 30 aligners for the upper and lower teeth, usually averages nine to 15 months to complete. Other brands of clear braces time frames vary too, and can be anything from 12 to 24 months, depending on the specific alignment problem.

If you’ve been looking for a discreet alternative to traditional braces, book your free consultation here!