5 Things to Know About Invisible Aligners

Photo: PlusDent

According to ELLE Magazine, orthodontic treatments are very easy to find behind a “Hollywood smile”: their recent compilation of celebrities who had braces or retainers included huge household names like Emma Watson, Ryan Seacrest, and Prince Harry.

Most of them had braces while they were still kids. So what happens if you missed your chance at braces during primary school? Orthodontic treatments in adults tend to be longer and more expensive — so that could be a few years of dealing with metal peeking through your winning smile.

Fortunately, there are now popular alternatives that can offer similar results with less hassle, such as Invisible braces. Learn more about them below.

What are Invisible Aligners?

Invisible aligners are also sometimes known as invisible braces, clear aligners, or after the original brand name Invisalign©. Invisible aligners are clear trays made from medical-grade plastic that are attached directly on top of your teeth.

These will slowly push your teeth into the desired position. Unlike regular braces, invisible aligners don’t need any screws, metal, or frequent adjustments.

Does this sound like the right system for you? Here, we have gathered the most important information about them. You can also talk to your dentist to get a free consultation and a 3D scan.

5 Things to Know About Invisible Aligners

Here, we have compiled the basic information about invisible aligners and how they work.

1. Aligners work best if you’re young and need to push teeth around

Invisible aligners can’t correct the all same range of orthodontic cases as traditional braces. However, they work remarkably well for people with mild to moderate teeth alignment cases, in less time than standard fixed braces would.

Most of the time, they are used to correct cases that require pushing your teeth around your tooth line. This includes:

  • Minor or moderate teeth crowding.

  • Tooth gaps, or extra spaces between your teeth.

  • Mild to moderate underbite and overbites, which is when one of your rows of teeth falls behind the other one.

Overall, invisible aligners have no age limit. Biologically, teeth can be moved or aligned at any age, from childhood into adulthood.

That being said, there are some limits to what aligners can achieve: if you've already had major restoration work, such as crowns, bridges, implants, or active cavities, invisible aligners may not be your best bet. Your dentist will be the best person to consult on how to go about it.

2. They work at home while you do other things

Invisible aligners are custom-made based on an impression from your teeth. You will get a set of numbered trays, and you will have to wear them in the exact order they are numbered.

Start with the aligner tray labelled 1, and wear it every day for 1 to 2 weeks. Then, move onto the one labelled 2, and so on. The full treatment can include anywhere between 6 to 50 aligner trays. On average, the full treatment takes 20 to 30 trays and about a year, but it may take anywhere between three months to a year and a half.

You will have to wear these trays for 22 hours per day, and remove them only at mealtimes or when brushing your teeth. You can read more about how it works here.