How Do Clear Aligner Braces Work?

Dentist Blog

If some of your friends have used clear aligners to transform their smiles, then you might be wondering if you should use these braces to fix your teeth. However, you might not know much about how they work yet.

Read on to find out more about the three stages of clear aligner treatments.

1. Planning and Preparation

The first stage of your aligner treatment involves planning and preparation work. Your dentist will use special computer modeling technology to scan your teeth. They then create a visual prediction of the position of your teeth after you have worn your braces.

They then create a series of clear aligner trays. Each tray is slightly different. It will progress your treatment incrementally when you wear it. So, your first tray starts to move your teeth toward their new positions. Every tray after that progresses these movements until you reach your predicted outcome.

Your dentist will also tell you how to wear your aligners. Typically, you wear them all the time and only take them out to eat. They will tell you how to care for your trays and when to change them. Once your trays are ready, they will also show you how to put them in and take them out.

2. Alignment

Clear aligners start to work as soon as you start wearing them. If you need to create room for your teeth to move, then your initial sets of trays focus on expansion. They move your teeth slightly to create space for the work they do later.

Once expansion work is complete, trays start to align your teeth into their new positions. Each aligner makes tiny progressive movements.

During your treatment, you'll notice that a new set of aligners feels tight when you first start wearing them. This is perfectly normal and won't last long. Each aligner is set to move teeth into a new position so it won't feel as comfortable initially as it does when it has started to work.

3. Retention

Once you have used up all your aligners, then your teeth should be in their new positions. Your teeth will be straight and perfectly aligned — and your smile will be transformed.

However, you might still have some work to do at this stage. Your dentist might recommend that you wear a clear aligner retainer to keep your teeth in their new positions until they settle into them permanently. While you might start wearing this retainer full-time, you usually reduce its use over the next few months.

To find out more about how clear aligners can transform your teeth and smile, talk to your dentist.


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