How Clear Aligners Straighten Teeth?

teeth straightening aligners

Straightening teeth with clear aligners is considered by many doctors a safe method for orthodontic treatment. Thanks to technological advancement, the aligners are effective, fuss-free, and comfortable. It can treat most kinds of malocclusions — from mild to most comprehensive issues — by realigning teeth and jaws to help you get a healthy and beautiful smile. Clear aligners use gentle force from either side of the tooth moving them a little at a time to the new position. The procedure is gentle and gradual, and the impact may be visible from the start of the treatment as your teeth move week by week.  

Clear aligners are unique 3D-printed models of your teeth. They are made from clear plastic, which makes them nearly invisible, and are removable. Once the orthodontist diagnoses the type of malocclusion and develops a treatment plan with OrthoFX, they prepare a series of aligners based on the scan and x-rays of your teeth and jawline. Each set of aligners are meant to be worn for one week at a time. 

The aligners work in a calculated and planned process. For example, when they apply pressure to a single crooked or misaligned tooth – it can rotate, moving toward the ideal new position. Depending on the movements approved by the doctor, clear aligners may begin tooth movement within the first 24 hours.  Each set of aligners are prescribed to be worn for a week at a time, 22 hours a day to move the teeth to the new position and continue treatment.

The force applied by clear aligners is gentle. Unlike metal braces, clear aligners are not made of wires and brackets. However, orthodontics with clear aligners requires discipline. The aligners have to be worn for at least 20-22 hours a day for best results and. It’s recommended that patients plan their meal times accordingly and ensure to reinsert the aligners soon after finishing a meal, brushing, or flossing. 

On average, a smile journey with clear aligners usually takes six months to two years. To avoid teeth shifting back to their original position your orthodontist will prescribe wearing retainers, sometimes for a lifetime wear, to hold the realigned teeth. This stage can be termed as the passive healing phase. To know more on whether clear aligners are ideal for treating your dental alignment issues, book an appointment with OrthoFX orthodontists for an in-person or virtual consultation.