Clear braces move your teeth gently into their best position.
Correctly spaced teeth make a difference because they:
- function properly
- are easier to keep clean
- look balanced and youthful
- boost confidence
- make you feel good
People often ask their dentists, “Is it too late for my teeth to be straightened?” Fortunately, the answer is usually, “We can still do it!”
Well-aligned teeth help balance the wear on our jaw, allow even chewing, and can even improve speech. Moreover, having straighter teeth can be a welcome confidence boost. Patients usually notice the difference even before the course of treatment is finished.
During an initial consultation, your dentist will:
- answer your questions about clear braces,
- assess your suitability and, if you decide to proceed,
- develop a personal treatment plan.
Meanwhile, here are some answers to questions our patients often ask.
Crooked teeth are usually the result of:
- missing teeth
Although we can’t influence how our teeth are naturally aligned, nowadays there are ways to fix them!
[/accordion-qa] [accordion-qa title=”What are clear braces?“]
Clear braces aren’t a craze, or a quick cosmetic fix. It’s a sophisticated, modern way to straighten teeth.
Removable orthodontic plates with metal attachments, have been used for many years to push teeth into place. However, advances in digital imaging and material moulding technology have taken tooth-straightening to a higher level of efficiency. A custom-made series of clear aligners gently push teeth into their best position.[/accordion-qa] [accordion-qa title=”How long does it take to get straight teeth?“]
Your dentist needs to examine your mouth first, to be able to say how long it will take.
What is important, is that the treatment is tailored to your individual needs. Therefore, the length of time for the whole treatment depends on the complexity of your requirements. The average time is a year.
Also, it’s important to remember the success of the treatment depends on the patient wearing the aligners. If a patient doesn’t use their aligners at the correct time, then progress will stop, relapse or even go off course. Correcting any setback caused by not following the prescribed plan may add additional time and expense to the original plan.[/accordion-qa] [accordion-qa title=”Can clear braces fix my teeth?“]
Invisible braces can help most people achieve straighter teeth.
Your dentist will assess your teeth, jaw and mouth to determine if you are a suitable candidate for clear braces. Sometimes a patient’s dental re-alignment may require a different treatment, or there are oral health issues to remedy first. Only a dentist will be able to confirm that you are a suitable candidate for invisible braces.
As the technology behind aligners continually develops, there are choices to meet a wider range of needs.[/accordion-qa] [accordion-qa title=”Do clear braces hurt?“]
No, it doesn’t really hurt, but you may feel it a bit.
When you start to use a new aligner, there’s a feeling of pressure, which may be uncomfortable. Because the aligners are created in a series to move your teeth gently and gradually, it does not really hurt. It is necessary, however, for the aligners to exert some pressure on the teeth to create movement. When you first put a new aligner in, the pressure will feel stronger, but it will decrease over the time you wear that aligner, until you begin with the next one.
If you feel very uncomfortable, or you’re in pain, then contact your dentist as soon as possible for advice.
[/accordion-qa] [accordion-qa title=”Are clear braces as good as wire braces?“]
The effectiveness of aligners depends on the user.
Clear aligners are a great modern alternative to traditional wire braces.
Apart from appearance, the most significant difference between clear braces and wire braces is probably the impact the patient has on the treatment. Wire braces are not removable. Once they’re attached, they’re working to move the patient’s teeth.
Clear aligners, however, are removable and must be worn for at least 22 hours out of every 24. This means they should only be removed for eating and maintaining good oral hygiene. If they are not worn for the prescribed times then, quite simply, the treatment will not work. So patient motivation is important.
Clear braces do have advantages over wire braces too.
- removable for eating, drinking and maintaining good oral hygiene.
- hardly visible, so long as you keep them clean and unscratched.
- comfortable, except for a feeling of pressure for a while with each new aligner.
Yes, invisible aligners are a great solution for teenagers too.
Many people think of clear aligners as a discreet tooth-straightening solution for adults.
More and more teens, however, are asking for Invisalign®, as they don’t want to have train-tracks on their teeth either. For teens who are involved in sport, performing on stage, or playing wind instruments, Invisalign® can be a great advantage.
Invisalign also helps because it means teens can eat and drink with their peers without feeling self-conscious. Moreover, they can take out the aligners to kiss, provided it’s not for too long?
So that dentists can check that the aligners are worn as much as they need to be, Invisalign® developed a marker that changes colour according to how much it is worn.[/accordion-qa] [accordion-qa title=”Why do I need aligners?“]
In some cases, invisible aligners can help prepare your teeth for other treatments.
Most people ask about clear braces because they want to have straighter teeth. But your dentist may suggest including re-alignment in a more complex treatment plan too.
For example, if you are planning to have veneers over your teeth, your dentist may suggest increasing the gaps between your teeth first.
The rationale is:
- there is more space to fit the veneer, so less removal of healthy tooth enamel.
- your teeth will be in their optimum position.
It’s always good to discuss and understand fully the treatment plan your dentist recommends, so ask questions freely.[/accordion-qa] [accordion-qa title=”Is it hard to wear my clear braces all day and night?“]
The advantages really do outweigh the disadvantages.
People soon get used to wearing their aligners, although it may feel a bit odd at first. Your dentist will give you advice on how to manage. For your consideration, here are the top three inconveniences:
- putting the aligners in and taking them out
- speaking in your usual voice with aligners in place
- carrying around toothpaste and a brush as teeth need to be clean before replacing aligners
Patients who are committed to achieving a successful outcome soon adapt to their new daily routines and learn to talk too!
[/accordion-qa] [accordion-qa title=”How much does a course of invisible braces cost?“]
All patients have different needs, so costs can vary.
After your initial assessment to check that you are a suitable candidate for invisible braces, your dentist will draw up a treatment plan, outlining the procedure and the costs.
- Contact your nearest practice to find out how to make an appointment for an initial consultation.
- Ask about any special offers too, such as a free consultation or the chance of a follow-up tooth-whitening deal.
For discreet straightening
Clear aligners are a discreet orthodontic method featuring clear, customised aligners. Gentle pressure moves teeth to an improved position. Clear braces are a particularly adult-friendly way to correct misalignment as they are virtually invisible when fitted over the teeth. Made using advanced 3D technology, impressions and images taken of your teeth form the starting point to create a series of custom-made aligners. Each aligner is very slightly different. After using one aligner for a few weeks you move on to the next one in the series. Of course, your dentist will be checking progress at agreed intervals.
As you can take out invisible aligners, you can eat whatever you choose and clean your teeth normally. You can also remove them for any occasion you want to attend ‘aligner-free’. Clear braces are a particularly popular choice for teens and adults involved in sports, music or performing because you can take them out. For best results, however, wear the aligners 22 hours a day. Some aligners for teens now have coloured indicators, so it’s easy to check for wear.
How clear braces help
- precise and predictable results
- almost invisible
- no restrictions on what you can eat and drink
Looking after your teeth after treatment
After treatment, you will need to wear a retainer at night to ensure your teeth stay in their new, improved position.