Teeth straightening is in constant demand. Many adults, kids, and teens prefer them to traditional braces. There are good reasons for this. This treatment is an effective alternative to traditional metal braces. While braces are common among patients both old and young, your orthodontist may take a different approach to teeth straightening with aligners.Clear aligners…
How Do Clear Aligners Work?
When deciding on a course of orthodontic treatment, clear aligners should be included in the conversation. While this option may not be as popular as traditional braces, the profile of this less-invasive, less-visible smile corrector is on the rise. It may be hard to believe that a system of clear trays can work as well as brackets and wires to get teeth in line. However, as more people give the alignment system a try, the more success it experiences. Find out how aligners work and decide if your smile will benefit from them.
The mechanics behind the clear aligners system
Correcting a smile to make it straight takes time. Traditional braces gradually bring the teeth into proper alignment using wires and rubber bands. Each month, a patient visits the orthodontist to get checked. At these appointments, the practitioner decides what needs adjusting to reach the final goal.
When a patient opts for the transparent aligner system over braces, the monthly checkups function a bit differently. Instead of brackets and wires, the system uses a variety of clear plastic trays that are molded for the individual and meant to put pressure on the teeth, shifting them gradually. The trays are removable, and once the practitioner decides the teeth have shifted adequately using one size, it is replaced with another.
The kind of issues this system may help
According to the Mayo Clinic, the aligner system works best for teens and adults because of mouth growth and development. In younger children needing pre-orthodontic correction, the trays may not adequately address the issues, and as the mouth grows, the clear aligners may not fit properly. Aligners work to correct a variety of bite and spacing issues; however, many orthodontists may not recommend them for complex cases.
Spacing between teeth
As permanent teeth grow in, there can be issues with excess gaps between them. This may be due to genetic factors, jaw structure or bite alignment. Regardless, the extra spacing between teeth is unsightly and should be tightened. Tray aligners work well for this type of orthodontic problem.
While some contend with too many gaps, other patients must deal with too little space for teeth. Overcrowding can cause teeth to overlap each other and may even prevent some permanent teeth from growing in at all. Clear aligners aim to fix the alignment of the bite and open up space for teeth to grow in properly.
Minor bite issues
For many patients, orthodontic care is more than just about getting a straighter smile. It may also be about correcting a problem with the way the jaw opens and closes. If a person has an overbite, for example, the top teeth jut out and over the bottom ones. Bite correction can improve the following things:
- Proper chewing
- Jaw pain
The tray system can fix some minor bite issues, but more complex cases may require additional means of correcting.
Adults and teens who want a healthy and straight smile may opt for clear aligners over traditional braces. Check with an orthodontist to find out if this is a possible route for you.
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