Straightening teeth with modern orthodontics has gained popularity in recent years. Today invisible aligners or Invisalign are used widely and you don’t have to just stick to traditional braces to rotate and reshape your protruded and misaligned teeth. You will read about the most common questions around aligners in orthodontics. Questions like “How do aligners straighten teeth?” or “Why do people choose Invisalign for their smile enhancement?”
What are aligners?
Aligners work by applying pressure on teeth gradually. You wear aligners and snap them in position and you can remove them in your mouth. They are custom-made specifically for your teeth. You should remove your them when you eat, drink, or brush your teeth.
As you see aligners are different from braces, which are fixed in your mouth. Metal braces use brackets that are attached to the surface of your teeth and wires to pull those rotated and irregular teeth into the desired position. But for aligners, you wear them and they are not attached to your teeth. They use pressure little by little to shift your teeth into the desired position.
Your orthodontists or dentists visualize all the changes of teeth with a computer for perfect straightened teeth. They make a series of trays for you to wear in each stage of alignment to move the teeth. They are made from transparent plastic material, so nobody sees them, unlike braces.
Clear plastic aligners are also known as Invisalign. Actually, Invisalign is one of the first and major brands of aligners. They use align technology to straighten crooked, rotated, and irregular teeth.
Clear aligners move your teeth by putting gradual pressure on teeth so try to wear them as much as you can. Don’t skip or ignore wearing aligners because you will delay your orthodontics. You should be responsible and stay patient with the first discomfort feeling and pressure on your teeth. They are much more comfortable than traditional braces and you will get used to them in your mouth
How are my aligners made?
Impression and scans are taken by the dentist to get the shape of your teeth. Then the dentist uses align technology to visualize how the pressures and movements can correct your crooked teeth. Then 3-D printing of the clear plastic trays are fabricated with the best custom-made tray to fit over your teeth. To sum up, the steps for making aligners are:
- Scanning your teeth and taking an impression or bite registration of the teeth
- Sending the scan and impression to the lab
- Visualizing the bit-by-bit straightening process in the computer by orthodontists or dentists
- Making the series of aligners on the casts with 3-D printing
How long should I wear aligners?
It is recommended to wear aligners for 22 hours per day, especially in the beginning of your treatment. Aligners are removable orthodontic appliances. Therefore, you remove them for brushing your teeth, eating, and drinking. For the remaining time, you should have your it on.
The more you wear aligners, the shorter your orthodontics time and the faster to get the straightened teeth.
How many series of aligners do I need and for how long?
You should follow the aligner schedule time for each aligner your orthodontist has designed. Orthodontists recommend that your wear each aligner or Invisalign for 2 weeks and then change to the next aligner in the series.
Depending on the severity and difficulty of your orthodontics, you may need different series of aligners to correct your teeth. But don’t worry about that. Everything will be made clear and you will know about the schedule precisely at the beginning of your orthodontics.
Can aligners correct all types of teeth problems?
New technology and Invisalign production have treated even difficult irregularities in teeth. You should know that for a combination of orthodontic treatments, your dentist or orthodontist can prescribe adjunct tools that can straighten even bite problems.
For example, for closing your open bite and at the same time correcting other malocclusions in your teeth, bite blocks can be prescribed along with your Invisalign.
Braces or aligners
To wear braces or aligners which is better for you? You know that braces can show that you are having a treatment, but aligners or let’s say Invisalign is invisible, or at least they don’t get much attention as braces. Invisibility and tooth-colored are their great advantage.
Another important factor for you should be the results of a perfect smile. Invisalign uses the most advanced technologies in virtual modeling and visualizing the results. Doctors, dentists, orthodontists, and lab technicians have all worked on the necessary modifications in each series of aligners for each stage of your treatment. They know what to prescribe to correct and rotate even complex tooth movements and problems.
Even when there is a necessity for braces in severe bite problems and malocclusion, it doesn’t interfere with your aligner therapy. You can wear braces for a period of time for correcting difficult tooth problems and switch back to your Invisalign. But these are possible with a good dentist or orthodontist’s plan.
You can continue your orthodontics with your aligners and at the same time go to work and be in public without worrying about the results.
Are aligners suitable for children?
When aligners first came, adults were the first who really felt that these are what they had been waiting for to wear and to straighten their teeth. Because they are invisible and functional, most people didn’t wait a second and looked for an orthodontist to start ordering one.
But today children and teenagers can benefit from Invisalign. They can decrease those fears of braces at school. One thing to know about children using aligners is that children are at an age that pass growing stages year by year and very quickly especially when they reach puberty.
So growth modification and hormonal changes make challenges for a predictable design. Orthodontists should predict those changes and plan for a suitable series of aligners during those growing stages of the child. They need to do modifications on the computer and fabricate custom-sized aligners that work well during the growth stages of the child.
Orthodontists can also resort to braces for a time and prescribe adjunct appliances so that you don’t have to worry about the results of treatment for your child.