• Teodora Todorova

What are Clear Braces?

When one comes to think about it, braces are a solution for people who do not want improper or misaligned teeth. But braces, the steel ones, in itself can be a sore sight to see, especially when the steel shines as bright as the sun.

Luckily, you don’t have to struggle or ponder over this because Clear Braces exist. Here we are going to discuss Clear Braces in detail, so that you can understand things better, from a simpler perspective.


Clear Braces, or Clear Aligners are an orthodontic solution that replaces traditional metal braces that have been used by dentists to align teeth and eradicate dental alignment issues for years. Even though clear aligners are still undergoing transformations thanks to modern science, they are still preferred over traditional braces due to being less visible.


These aligners are also known as “invisible braces”, so don’t become confused when these terms are used interchangeably.


There are many brands that offer invisible braces, like Invisalign or Six Month Smiles, but they all are trying to solve one or several of these problems: crooked teeth, spaced teeth, teeth that are out of position. You must have seen in old movies how people died with the same teeth, without having any control over them, but in the 21st century everything is different!


Clear Braces and Ceramic Braces are designed as short-term braces. They usually take less time compared to the conventional ones and this is because the person often has an issue in the front part of the teeth which is solvable in a shorter period of time.


Well, not everyone has a cosmetic issue. Some people suffer from bite issues that require traditional steel braces as a cure. The teeth are not aligned; therefore, the jaws don’t not close properly. This may cause two complications. Firstly, it doesn’t look attractive when a person’s mouth is closed, yet it still looks open because of the improper alignment of the jaws. Secondly, later in life, it can be a source of serious complications that require harsher treatments. Therefore, traditional braces duty is not only to repair the front teeth, but the teeth in your whole mouth, and this requires more time.


How Do Clear Braces Operate?


Right now, you may be fearful of braces because this concept is foreign to you. But once you’re familiarised with how they work and what goes in them, then your vision will become much clearer than before. This will enable you to withdraw from your shell of captivity which you were hiding in because of fear.


Jokes apart, I’ll mention an important stat here to cool down your fears once and for all. At this very moment more than four million people in the world are wearing braces, according to Blue Ridge Orthodontics. This may make you feel better knowing that you’re not alone out there who suffers from a dental problem which forces you to have braces.


Does this help in reducing the fear of being judged? If it doesn’t, then discussing how Clear Braces work will definitely help in shrinking your worries by a considerable margin.


To put it simply, all braces work by applying a gentle pressure over your teeth as a result of which the teeth will move in the desired direction. This is how the brackets with wires make your teeth move. The brackets are attached to your teeth and the arch wires attach to the brackets and act as tracks to guide the tooth movement. Your dentist will need to see you every month to make sure the braces are exerting correct pressure on your teeth.

Dentists use the same to their advantage when utilising aligners, like Invisalign, that exert small amounts of pressure on your teeth to shift them in a much more aesthetic and attractive direction than before. However, as your teeth move the previous aligner will become redundant and a new aligner will be required to move the teeth once again. So, the teeth straightening happens gradually. When your Clear Braces are set, you will be given a number of aligners to use. However, this does not mean that you’re free from dental appointments. You will have to come to your dentist to have your progress checked and to ensure that there’s no inconvenience at hand which can hamper your progress.


At the start of the treatment process, your doctor will require impressions or a scan of your entire mouth so that everything is estimated properly and accurately. Then, your doctor will explain to you how your teeth will be straightened. This brings us to the next step, where virtual models of your teeth are created on a 3D printer.


With the rapid development of science in the last decades, dentists now have specialised computer software that enables them to minimise human error to bring precision in their work. Now, a computer software will demonstrate a unique plan to you which shows how the teeth will move, how many aligners you will need and obviously, how much it will cost your wallet. This means that you’re safe from having your dental treatment stopped in the middle.


The Million Dollar Question: Am I a good candidate for Clear Braces (Invisalign)?


It is common for people with crooked or improper teeth to refer this question to their dentist or online sources like Google. While they will get an accurate answer from their dentist, this guide, by explaining a few pointers, may assist in understanding whether you’re a good candidate for clear braces or not.


1. Having had braces when teenager:


Teenagers, who had metal braces in the past, can face a few problems when their teeth begin to shift little by little due to not wearing retainers. But don’t worry, you won’t have to go through the exhaustive process of wearing metal braces once again because now we have better products in the market. This makes you a good candidate for Clear Aligners, like Invisalign.


2. Crossbite:

Your teeth can move in different directions. This mostly occurs due to pressure being exerted from teeth that are not aligned properly. This can lead to Crossbite, which sometimes could heavily affect the appearance and the function of your teeth.


3. Crooked, crowded or spaced teeth:


Crooked, crowded and spaced teeth are all silent disturbers that can create some major problems. Due to ineffective cleaning and brushing, you may have cavities in your mouth or a gum disease. But Clear Aligners, like Invisalign, can help prevent that by aligning your teeth so you can begin brushing properly without having to fear about those cavities or gum disease with time.


It’s important to mention here that your doctor may not immediately begin your treatment if you suffer from a dental issue that requires an immediate action. Let’s say you have gum disease or a few cavities that are creating hurdles in your mouth. So, before you can undergo Clear Aligners, like Invisalign, or any type of braces, you will have to correct all pre-existing issues.


Before jumping to any conclusions, it’s vital to point out the expected procedure that you will have to course through before receiving any diagnosis. First comes the initial consultation, where your dental history is thoroughly checked, and your dentist takes a good look inside your mouth. Your dentist will carefully examine the positions of your teeth, if there are any old cavities or if you have gum disease or not. If you had Root Canal treatment in the past, that will be checked too. When your doctor feels that you’re fit to go ahead, records of your teeth will be taken and forwarded to a laboratory where your custom-made braces are manufactured from scratch. You may feel like royal at this point and that’s only natural.


After your clear braces are produced, your dentist will fit them and inform you about the whole procedure. Aligners, like Invisalign, will have to be worn for more than 20 hours a day. Plus, you will need to switch them every week or two and have follow-up appointments as your doctor states.


Alternatives


People like to have choices, whether it’s shopping or treatments. Therefore, lets discuss some alternatives that a person should expect to find out there.


Invisalign


This is the most popular brand. Over 9 million people have been treated with it. Align Technology, the company behind Invisalign, was founded in 1997. Invisalign clear aligners are made of a flexible plastic that is a patented thermoplastic material, specifically created for Invisalign treatment. It is called SmartTrack.


ClearCorrect


ClearCorrect has been operating in the denting business since 2006. They have promised to deliver perfect smiles to their patients, backed by intensive research and valuable feedback from doctors across the world. ClearCorrect is a proud member of the Straumann Group.


Smilelign


Based in the UK, it was launched in 2012. Smilelign is the sister company of S4S Dental Laboratory and the braces are manufactured, in their entirety, at their laboratory in Sheffield.


ClearStep

Another UK based dental service provider that operates with their attractive clear braces that are popular with teenagers, especially.


Here we need to mention some alternatives that remind of the conventional metal brackets, but they are much more invisible.


Six Month Smiles


Amongst short-term orthodontic systems, Six Month Smiles are a funky way to straighten your teeth. Unlike normal braces you see, these come with transparent brackets and white coloured wires.


This method has its own obvious advantages that one can’t turn away from. First, instead of waiting for 2 years to have straight and perfect teeth, Six Month Smiles grants you the ability to have them in just six months! They use modern digital technology and experienced Orthodontics who are well-versed in their abilities. Like the other short-term systems, Six Month Smile will have as a priority the alignment of your front teeth.


Quick Straight Teeth


Quick Straight Teeth is generally looked upon as an affordable option compared to the rest of the alternatives and while they are less costly, it’s unreasonable to assume that their services are not up to par with the rest without knowing more about them. Quick Straight Teeth are based in the United Kingdom and they’ve been working in the industry for almost ten years. Their client list exceeds well beyond 5,000 clients which allows them some trust as a business.

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