What are Clear Braces?
Also known as “clear aligners”, “aligner trays”, “bracer trays” etc., these are plastic trays used to form (or reform) teeth. They are becoming an increasingly popular option due to their aesthetic appeal. The plastic is always BPA-free, so no need to worry about any toxic leakage in your mouth. If you would like to get some more insight into that concern, check out this article on the topic.
These aligners are made based on a 3D image of your teeth configuration. Instead of adjusting them every increment like some other solutions, you would replace them in intervals recommended by your dentist. These usually amount to a week or two, though it can vary. Use and maintenance are both easy as pie!
How Do They Work?
Maybe the quickest way to understand this mechanism is to imagine a set of shape-up clothes – but, you know, for your teeth. Sounds weird, we know, but the basic idea is really the same. You “dress” your teeth in these trays, and they will apply gentle but steady and constant pressure over a period of time in order to make your chompers conform to that shape.
This brings the teeth int a healthy, correct position without the dreaded discomfort that many people hate in classic metal braces. No awkward wires, no ugly brackets. Just a formative tray to help your smile remember what it means to be in shape.
You can also always double-check everything with expert dentists, like those at https://www.thedentalroom.com.au/ who will be more than happy to clear up any confusion. Many dentists nowadays offer online consultations, so you can do half the work from the safety and comfort of your own home. For this guide, we’ll just give you a basic rundown of what the procedure looks like. You make an appointment with your dental care provider, and they do an examination and scan.
The scan information is fed to a program that determines how your teeth go along the gums. Then the software figures out how they need to move to realign correctly, and determines the custom shape of your clear braces from that. You can even get a preview of your future perfect smile! Then the trays are made in a laboratory, and your dentist applies them to your next appointment. That’s it! Quick and efficient.
What Problems Do They Help With?
These types of teeth correcting appliances can actually help with more than just aesthetic. Although their primary use is in cosmetic dentistry, they have also been proven to be helpful with a range of other issues. Here are some of the problem that clear braces can help you with:
Misaligning of the teeth, where one side is more prominent than the other. In other words, if you have ended up with underbite, crossbte, open bite, or overbite in your life, you may want to consider this option for fixing it. It certainly beats surgery and other such relatively drastic measures. The umbrella term for these problems is malocclusion, and you can learn more about it here: https://www.verywellhealth.com/malocclusion-overview-4682609
Similarly, misaligned teeth in one or both jaws can be mended this way relatively easily, if your teeth feature a gap between them, or they grew out crooked, or they all happen to be crowding way too close to one another, ask your dentist if a clear tray set might be enough to get them to take their proper positions.
And finally, although it doesn’t happen all that often, sometimes the baby teeth and adult teeth will decide to both stick around. If you are in this situation, and you ended up with a “double set” of early and permanent teeth, they are likely arranged in an unhealthy way. Consult your chosen dental care professional on whether you can use aligners like these to make them behave until the issue can be otherwise resolved.
What Are Their Other Benefits?
We mentioned already that clear braces have some advantages over more “traditional” ones (i.e. the metal teeth cages that gave us all nightmares in high school). Let’s take a look at some of those perks as a final note of this little guide.
First off, they produce quick results, which is very important, if you opt for the metal variant (or even the ceramic one), you would likely be wearing them for a year and a half, maybe even a whole two years. That would most certainly feel like forever, right? By contrast, the plastic option takes only half a year to a year to achieve the same results. The specific time will, of course, vary for everyone, depending on your particular condition that you are addressing and exactly how severe it is. But still, that is a drastic reduction in waiting time!
Secondly, they are much more comfortable. It’s common sense, right: imagine a mouth full of custom fitted thin-ish plastic as opposed to a mouth full of metal or medical pottery. You don’t need to be afraid of having painful scrapes on the inside of your cheeks or the inner span of your lips. There is also far less of a chance of your gums getting irritated. And finally, because the pressure is applied differently, you don’t need to feel like your teeth are being compressed by and evil vacuum 24/7.
On a related note, these things are removable. Since they require twenty to twenty-two hours of active wearing, you may safely remove them when you eat, brush, and floss. No need to suddenly change your dietary habits and adopt special hygiene acrobatics. There is minimal impact on your daily routine, and no guilt pangs if you succumb to your food cravings.
And finally, they simply look nice. They are practically invisible when you smile, are made of transparent plastic, thin, and custom shaped for your mouth. This makes things easier when it comes to social interactions – no worries that anybody will start to awkwardly stare.