How Do Clear Aligners Move Teeth?

Clear Aligners St George, UT

Now might be the right time to start thinking about getting clear aligners. If you missed the opportunity to repair your crooked teeth earlier in life, your dentist can help you achieve the smile you have been looking for. Aligners offer some advantages that other methods cannot. As you learn more about how this appliance works, you will feel good about this treatment.

A description of clear aligners

Most people are probably familiar with traditional metal braces. These consist of brackets, wires and elastics. Aligners accomplish the same purpose but do so without standing out in the person’s mouth. An aligner is a plastic mouthpiece that the patient replaces every few weeks as the teeth move into the right place.

Getting ready

A dentist who uses clear aligners for treatment will explain the process to a prospective patient. First, the dentist will review the patient’s dental and health history. Then, X-rays will be taken and impressions of the person’s teeth and mouth will be made. With 3-D imaging, the dentist can accurately make the first appliance to fit the patient. The dentist makes a treatment plan and shares the timeline with the patient.

How the aligners work

Like metal braces, clear aligners apply pressure and force to the mouth, causing the teeth to gradually move into the right positions in the mouth. With these actions, the ligaments on either side of the tooth stretch and compress, breaking down and creating new bone. The teeth movement is slow but consistent. Every patient has different needs and will have a plan customized for them.

Frequent visits

Depending on the severity of the patient’s misalignment issues, the dentist may give the person new clear aligners as often as every two weeks. During regular visits, the dentist will review the patient’s progress and make sure everything is progressing properly. Further adjustments may be required at these appointments. These visits are critical to the treatment’s success. Failure to wear the aligners properly or get new ones as directed can stall the patient’s progress.

Care and maintenance

Patients do not have to wear clear aligners 24 hours a day. While braces are cemented in place during the duration of the treatment, aligners are removable. Still, patients should have the aligners in for at least 20 hours a day. Removal is fine for eating and cleaning. Patients should rinse the aligners a few times a day and should brush them with non-abrasive toothpaste twice daily. Some people prefer to remove the aligners during heavy physical activities, such as contact sports.

See the difference

There are similarities between clear aligners and braces. Each uses pressure to move teeth by changing the bone structure of the mouth. A key difference is that the dentist will replace the aligners once or twice a month. These removable mouthpieces offer convenience and are not nearly as noticeable as metal braces. If you are ready to straighten your teeth or correct other oral dysfunctions, you should speak with a dentist near you. Make an appointment so you can start on the road to a brand-new smile.

Request an appointment here: or call St. George Dental Care at (435) 628-9099 for an appointment in our St George office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Clear Aligners in St George, UT.

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