How do clear braces work?

Like other braces, clear braces -- either brackets or aligners -- work by moving teeth. Clear ceramic or plastic brackets are glued to the surfaces of your teeth. They are connected to each other with wires, and the orthodontist periodically tightens the wires. This pressure causes the teeth to move. Clear plastic aligners work differently. An orthodontist or other dentist makes an impression of your teeth and sends it to a laboratory, which manufactures a clear plastic aligner shaped specifically to fit your teeth and nudge them slightly in the desired direction. Every few weeks, you put on a new aligner that pushes your teeth a little bit farther until they have reached the intended position.
Gregory J. Jorgensen, DMD
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
All braces work by creating pressure against the teeth that causes the bone to remodel (or reform) around the tooth in the new position. These forces can be created by wires, bends in the wires, elastics (rubber bands), springs, or other attachments. Once the teeth are in their new position, the braces no longer produce pressure and can be removed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.