Clear braces are an excellent choice for patients who would like a straighter, more attractive smile but have avoided braces because of the cosmetic issues associated with traditional metal braces. Clear braces, often called invisible braces or clear aligners, are one of several alternatives for adults who want straighter teeth and a more attractive smile but don’t want to endure years of a mouth full of unattractive metal braces.
Clear aligners are clear plastic orthodontic devices that are computer designed and molded to fit over the patient’s teeth. There are several brands of clear aligners on the market including Invisalign and ClearCorrect. They are virtually unnoticeable and worn for about 22 hours a day. They can be removed for eating, drinking, and for brushing and flossing.
Clear aligners work based on the same principles as conventional braces. They gently move the patient’s teeth by applying pressure to the teeth. The alignment pressure and tooth movement is controlled by replacing the aligner every two weeks with a new aligner. Because the adjustments are more frequent and smaller than with conventional braces, clear aligners typically result in less discomfort than conventional braces.
Clear aligners are not as strong as traditional metal braces so they are better suited for moderate misalignment cases. While relatively comfortable, they take a little while for most patients to get used to wearing them. In addition, since they are removable they require commitment and dedication from the patient. Removing the aligner too frequently and for extended periods, forgetting to wear the aligner, or losing the aligner will significantly reduce the effectiveness of the treatment.
When you are ready for a beautiful new smile without unattractive metal braces, talk to your dentist or orthodontist about whether clear braces are right for you.
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