When it comes to clear aligners, it is not so clear how they actually move teeth.
With braces, the brackets and wire shift the teeth into position but it seems more difficult to
understand how clear aligners straighten teeth. Well allow us to clear that up for you!
How does clear aligner therapy work? What is the starting point?
The science behind clear aligner therapy has been around since 1946, but has been increasing in
popularity for years. Clear aligners are custom made for your teeth, and this brings us to the
starting point: getting a 3D scan!
Before the aligners can begin moving your teeth, the doctor needs to know what your teeth look like initially. Generally speaking, most clear aligner companies or even some orthodontic clinics will have 3D scanners that will show you your teeth in beautiful detail.
From there, the orthodontist will review your case and begin making your personalized clear
aligners. The clear aligners will be made from a thermoplastic and done in a sequential order. Each tray will be slightly different from the last one, the end goal will be a beautiful straighter
Now that you understand the beginning of the journey, how do clear aligners straighten teeth?
When it comes to moving teeth, in order to do this you need to apply force. Now forcing your
teeth to move isn’t as painful as it might sound. The process of breaking down a bone then
rebuilding it up is called osteoclastic activity.
When we apply consistent force to a tooth, osteoclastic activity breaks down the bone in the jaw
which then allows the tooth to be able to move. At the same time, osteoblastic activity builds up
new bone to fill in the space left behind by the shifting tooth.
It’s this process of back and forth between osteoclastic and osteoblastic activity that allows clear
aligners to move and shift teeth. Osteoclastic activity takes 48–72 hours to fully begin, but only takes about four hours to stop.
This is why it's essential for patients to wear their aligners at least 22 hours per day. When the
aligners go unworn for several hours, it can take several days for the activity to start up again.
At Pure Smiles Online, we want you to feel confident in all aspects of your life and if having a straighter smile will help you, we want that for you! Book your free 3D scan today at our West Edmonton mall location!