How Do Clear Aligners Work and Are They Right for Me?

Dec 04, 2022
How Do Clear Aligners Work and Are They Right for Me?
No More Reluctance to Orthodontic Treatment with Clear Aligners! Misaligned teeth can not only be detrimental to your oral health, but they can also be damaging to your self-confidence.

No More Reluctance to Orthodontic Treatment with Clear Aligners!

Misaligned teeth can not only be detrimental to your oral health, but they can also be damaging to your self-confidence. An imperfect smile can make you feel self-conscious on a daily basis and prevent you from feeling comfortable in your own skin.

In spite of this, many adults are reluctant to receive the orthodontic treatment they need due to the unwanted attention that they believe traditional braces might draw. The tides have begun to turn in recent years, though, as more adults are receiving orthodontic care than ever before, and that is thanks in part to the advent of clear aligners.

What are clear aligners?

Clear aligners, also known as clear braces, are a solution to various orthodontic issues that can serve as an alternative to traditional braces. They’re simple, custom-made, clear plastic devices that are worn on the teeth for around 22 hours a day in order to address misalignment issues and straighten your smile.

Unlike braces, clear aligners are removable and discreet, and there’s a lot less discomfort associated with them. The discretion makes them an enticing option for adults in need of orthodontic treatment, as there tends to be a stigma around wearing braces.

What can clear aligners treat?

If the difference between the level of comfort and discretion is so large, do clear aligners work as well as traditional braces? In many cases, they absolutely do. Clear aligners can treat the following:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Gaps in teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Open bite
  • Tooth crowding

With all of those orthodontic issues, there is a limit to what clear aligners are able to address. If the issue is too severe, the only option may be traditional braces. Speak with your dentist today to learn more.

How do clear aligners work?

They sound pretty enticing, but how exactly do clear aligners work?

Initial Consultation

The process of receiving your clear braces is fairly simple, but before you get started, you’ll need to see your dentist to determine whether you’d be a good candidate or not. During your initial consultation, you’ll receive an oral exam and possibly some imaging to get a good look at your alignment issues. If your dentist determines that clear aligners would be useful for you, you can begin the process.

Receiving Your Aligners

To receive your clear aligners, a mold of your mouth will need to be taken, which will then be sent out to a lab so your aligners can be custom-made for you. After a few weeks, you’ll return to your dentist’s office to receive and be fitted with your first set of aligners.

During this time, your orthodontic dentist will fill you in on what to expect from your orthodontic treatment and make sure you understand how your clear aligners work. It’s crucial that you listen carefully and follow instructions if you want the treatment to be as effective as possible.

Wearing Your Aligners

You will wear each aligner in the set for around two to three weeks and then swap it out for the next. Aligners are generally worn for about 22 hours a day, and should only be removed to eat or drink and for your oral hygiene routine. If you follow your dentist’s instructions, the aligners will slowly work over the course of 12 to 18 months on average to shift your teeth into the ideal place.

If that sounds like too long to wait, keep in mind that your progress is continuous, meaning you will be able to see your smile slowly straightening over the course of your treatment.


Once your clear aligner treatment is complete, your dentist will provide you with a retainer to wear. The retainer is designed to ensure that all the hard work your aligners did straightening your smile does not go to waste and your teeth do not shift back to their original position.

Benefits of Straightening Your Teeth

There are plenty of reasons to consider straightening your teeth with clear aligners, including:

  • They’re easier to clean
  • They support good gum health
  • They help prevent dental injury
  • Chewing can be easier
  • They allow for clearer speech
  • They’re more comfortable
  • They can improve your self-esteem

Teeth straightening is more than just a cosmetic treatment. It can be incredibly advantageous to your oral health and your comfort. Talk to your dentist today to learn more.

Need orthodontic treatment in Reading?

If you suffer from misalignment issues, First Dental Associates has the knowledge, experience, and dedication necessary to help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. So contact us today to schedule your appointment.