Invisible braces are also called aligners. They’re a way to shift teeth gradually into a more appealing arrangement, usually for aesthetic reasons. This video takes a look at how one brand of these aligners works.
Traditional orthodontic braces utilize wires or physical braces to adjust the position of teeth in the mouth. Dental patients might have a brace like this to improve the appearance of their smile, to stop teeth grinding together, or to fix an overbite or similar issue.
Invisible braces replace wires and metal attachments with clear, plastic aligners designed for the individual’s unique mouth.
The aligners are elasticated, which allows them to put gentle pressure on the teeth that need to move. This shifts those teeth, over time and repeated use, to a more beneficial position. Over the course of a week, the teeth should move approximately 0.25 of a millimeter.
After a week, a new aligner is given to the patient that matches the new position of the teeth. The new aligner will be designed to apply pressure in a slightly different way, constantly moving the teeth toward the goal decided at the initial dental appointment. Unlike traditional wire braces, an invisible aligner can be removed at any time by the patient. This allows individuals to clean their teeth and gums as normal and maintain good dental hygiene.