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If you are interested in how Invisalign aligners work, you are probably the most curious about how long they will take to straighten your teeth. Your dentist will give you a set of aligners that are fitted specifically to your teeth. They will then alter that set a bit to create a series of increasingly straight aligners. You will swap out sets once every two weeks, in most cases. The number of sets aligner sets you will have will depend on the amount of movement that is needed to fix your teeth.

Braces work by pulling. A combination of wires, brackets, and rubber brands helps to pull teeth into place. Invisalign, on the other hand, works through push. Each aligner will push your teeth in the desired direction a little at a time. Once the process is over, the aligners will have pushed your teeth into place.

Whether braces or Invisalign will be more effective in straightening teeth depends on these forces. The pull force exerted by traditional braces is effective at erupting an impacted tooth, but there are also many instances wherein Invisalign is the obvious choice for reasons that have nothing to do with appearance. Invisalign’s technique is also unique in that it allows direct 360-degree contact with every single tooth in your mouth.

Traditional braces utilize the flex of a distorted wire. As the wire returns to its natural position, force is applied and the teeth move. Invisalign uses force that comes from the flex of resilient plastic. Just like wires are constantly being changed and tightened, aligner trays will have to be changed quite often. This is because the teeth are only able to move a certain amount at a certain speed. This speed and distance are decided based on the physiologic bone remodeling needed and also the nerve and blood vessel migration. This basically means that the farther your teeth have to travel, the more aligners you will have.

As long as the tray fits on your teeth, it is working. If the tray is not able to move your teeth, it will not fit in your mouth. You must not hurry the process. Your teeth can only move at a certain speed. The best thing you can do to quicken the process is to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours out of each day. Bite correction falls under the same rules for Invisalign as it does for traditional braces. The wires and brackets of braces straighten teeth just as the Invisalign aligners do, but neither of these alone is enough to correct your bite. In order to correct your bite, you will most likely need the assistance of rubber bands, expanders, or other devices. These can be used with Invisalign just as they are with traditional braces.

If you are thinking about the choice between Invisalign and traditional braces, we recommend that you contact us for more information on how Invisalign can help you have the smile you’ve always wanted without the pain and shame often caused by traditional braces.