You may have heard people refer to clear aligners  as “invisible braces” but while braces and aligners do move teeth back to correct alignment, they’re not the same thing. We give you a quick overview of aligners vs. braces right here.


How braces work

Braces are traditional dental devices that orthodontists use to treat misaligned teeth in an average of 18 months. They’re usually composed of different parts:

Brackets – i.e., little squares attached to your teeth that hold all components of braces together. They include a handle and sometimes curved hooks to attach rubber bands.

Composite resin i.e., a strong adhesive that glues the brackets to your teeth.

Archwire – i.e., a metallic wire that attaches to all your brackets on both your top and bottom arches. These wires create pressure on your teeth to get them to move back to correct alignment. Not all braces require an archwire, though.

Ligature – i.e., elastic ties wrapped around each bracket to anchor the metallic wire. Orthodontists usually replace ligatures at every visit.

Rubber bands – To provide extra force and move certain teeth, an orthodontist will attach rubber bands to the curved hooks found on different brackets.

Traditional braces are typically made of stainless steel but there are other options that patients can opt for like ceramic braces – commonly called clear braces – and self-ligating braces that hold the wire in place with a built-in device.


How aligners work

Unlike braces, BASMA invisible aligners do not include different components; they’re made up of clear 3D-printed plastic trays that fit the shape of your teeth perfectly. This custom-fitted design allows the trays to apply gentle and gradual force on your teeth until they move back to their correct position. Aligners also have smooth edges, keeping you safe from mouth blisters and gum irritation. As the name suggests, they truly are invisible – allowing you to discreetly get a new smile without a worry.

Based on your dental impressions, an orthodontist will design a series of aligners that you’ll have to wear in the course treatment. Each aligner should be worn for 2 weeks before moving to the next one.

Conveniently, clear aligners are also removable. You can take them off to eat, drink, and brush your teeth, therefore giving room to better oral hygiene. But make sure to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours/day to get the desired results!

While treatment with braces can take up to 18 months, invisible aligners can straighten your teeth in 6 months on average. Why is that? Aligners are custom-printed to the shape of your teeth at every step of your treatment –offering more precise adjustments and ultimately guaranteeing faster results.

It’s important to note the differences between BASMA’s at-home aligners and in-clinic options like Invisalign. Our aligners treat mild to moderate cases of teeth crowding and spacing, while most in-clinic aligners take on severe cases. These severe cases usually require orthodontists to add attachments to aligners. Attachments act as anchors to create more pressure on teeth.


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