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How Clear Aligners Straighten Teeth

The teeth straightening processes have been evolving since the 1970s with a number of options becoming available over the years. Your orthodontist will advise you on the best option to fix your unique dental problem. While the traditional metal braces are treated with apprehension by most people, the clear aligners or invisible aligners provide a better option. Metal braces are perceived to be uncomfortable and a challenge to maintain; they also require frequent visits to the orthodontist for adjustments and emergencies.

Clear aligners on the other hand are almost invisible to the naked eye and comfortable to wear, making them an instant hit with patients.

What are clear aligners?

Clear aligners are discrete braces made from clear plastic polymers in the shape of your dentition. Through molds, x-rays and 3D digital scanning, the orthodontist creates aligner trays that fit snugly over your teeth. A series of clear aligners are created from the virtual model of your teeth, with a treatment series including anything from 10 to 50 aligners. The number of aligners needed depends on the complexity of the misalignment and the resistance your jaw bone presents towards movement. It also depends upon your consistency in wearing the aligners as prescribed.

With a number of clear aligner brands being available, choosing the right one can become challenging. The OrthoFX clear aligners are a great option, offering better and faster results by virtue of their use of unique triple-layered and dual-shelled design. Their guarantee terms are even better and designed to make you smile!

How do they work?

Active phase - Aligners work by creating a carefully-calibrated, gentle pressure on your tooth’s root which is then transferred to the jaw. The jawbone responds by moving the tooth’s socket, with the resulting force shifting the tooth from its position. The actual process results in stretching the surrounding periodontal ligament on one side of the tooth while compressing it on the other side. The resulting inflammation leads to the production of two types of bone cells – the osteoblasts and the osteoclasts. The osteoblasts work by building new bone structure on the stretched side of the periodontal ligament while the osteoclasts work by breaking down the existing bone structure on the compressed side. These bio-mechanical processes are employed to gradually complete the process of straightening your teeth.  The entire process takes some time as each aligner from the series is only designed to move the teeth by small conservative movements of up to 0.3mm per aligner.

Since the changes from one aligner to another are very small, the process is gentle and comfortable. In this way, clear aligners gradually shift your misaligned teeth to an ideal position, while straightening them in the process to create a beautiful smile! However, do note that for clear aligners to be effective, you will need to be disciplined and wear them for the prescribed 22 hours daily.

Passive Phase – This second phase of treatment is crucial as continuous force isn’t being applied to the teeth any longer. Changes made over the last few months will need to be maintained with the prescribed retainers to prevent the teeth from sliding back to their earlier position.

Quick Facts about Clear Aligners

  • For effective treatment, they need to be worn in a disciplined manner for 22 hours daily.
  • Follow the recommended aligner changes as scheduled by the orthodontist
  • It’s impossible to ascertain the exact number of aligners needed beforehand.
  • Clear aligners work best for mild to moderate misalignment issues.
  • Contact your orthodontist if the aligners don’t fit snugly over your teeth.