Sullivan Bastian Orthodontics

What Are Clear Aligners?

People who have problems with tooth spacing, crooked teeth, or mild bite issues are flocking to try clear aligners, such as Invisalign. Before you dive into the clear aligner trend, you’ll want some information about what clear aligners are and if this type of orthodontic treatment is right for your issues.

History of Clear Aligners

It might surprise you to know that the concept of clear aligners to treat teeth has been around since the mid-20th century. Several orthodontists experimented with the use of plastic as an alternative to metal braces. For some patients, wearing metal braces was not an option. Metal braces were heavy and difficult to clean, they were expensive, and people faced a couple of years of treatment time. However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that two dental students figured out how to make clear aligners to correct orthodontic issues. Clear aligners can solve a lot of issues that make people shy away from braces.

What Are They?

Clear aligners are made of clear, medical-grade, heavy plastic. They fit right over your teeth, and because they are clear, it is hard for other people to notice you are wearing them. Orthodontists take measurements of your teeth and craft clear aligners for your particular tooth or bite issues. You wear clear aligners all day and night, but you remove them to eat, drink, brush, and floss your teeth.

Usually, your orthodontist will want to see you every few weeks, and you will get a set of new aligners to wear. Your teeth will gradually move into their new positions. Instead of braces, which move all of your teeth at once, clear aligners move one or two teeth at a time.

Advantages of Clear Aligners

If you choose clear aligners, you will have some advantages over people who wear braces. Aligners are cheaper than braces, and they reduce your treatment time over wearing braces. Also, it is easier to keep your teeth and gums clean while you are wearing clear aligners. If you need to have your teeth respaced or realigned, clear aligners may be a good choice for you.


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