Clear Aligners: How Do They Work And Are They Right For You?

Praised for their many benefits, clear aligners are now the preferred dental correction system by people of all ages. This popularity is well deserved because, apart from being virtually invisible, clear aligners do their job without the  usual drawbacks of braces while still fulfilling the same objective.

But just like traditional braces, there are a few things you need to know regarding their maintenance and usage. To know more about clear aligners and their requirements, read on below.

What are Clear Aligners For?

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign braces in Singapore, are made out of clear and flexible medical grade plastic that has been customised to meet your dental needs. Typically, they work best on dental issues that only require minor corrections. These issues include small gaps, mild crookedness, and slight protrusions of one’s teeth. And while aligners can be used for more complex cases, it’s usually best to rely on traditional braces for such issues.

Things To Know About

For clear aligners to be effective, you need to follow a few rules to get the most from them.

  • Keep your aligners on for 22 hours minimum every day for two weeks 

After a couple of weeks has passed, your orthodontist will provide you with a new set of aligners. You need to keep following this rule until the treatment is completed..

  • Remove the aligners before consuming anything

Since most aligners are transparent, they’re prone to staining if you forget to take them off before eating, affecting their concealment effectiveness.

  • Avoid hot drinks temporarily

Clear aligners are made from medical-grade plastic and are thus prone to warping and will misshapen when exposed to hot liquids. If such beverages are indispensable, like a hot cup of good coffee in the morning, you should remove the aligners first and then drink your beverage quickly. Before putting them back on, take care to brush your teeth afterwards or, at the very least, drink some cold water beforehand.

  • Brush more frequently than usual

Although brushing after every meal is a universally-known advice, most people can’t do so and only brush every morning after breakfast and before going to bed. But when you undergo treatment with clear aligners, you need to change your habits and start brushing your teeth after every meal you eat. This is to remove any food or drink residue that can be trapped in between your teeth and the aligners, resulting in bad breath and unwanted cavities.

Compatibility with clear aligners

Apart from requiring strict compliance with the rules listed above, being compatible with clear aligners will mainly depend on your dental issues. On top of that, the extent of your teeth movements is also a significant factor to consider. If your case is too complex or you are incapable of abiding by the rules, your orthodontist may opt to give you something more permanent, such as traditional braces.

Duration of the treatment

Although the duration will vary for each case, the average treatment period for clear aligners till completion is usually about 12-18 months. If the retainers aren’t worn for as long as required daily, this will compromise your treatment and result in it being extended. Since each case is quite different from the rest, it’s best to consult your orthodontist specifically if you want to get an accurate estimate.

Benefits of the system

If your orthodontist deems you a good candidate for aligners and you’re able to follow the rules, then you’ll be rewarded with their excellent benefits. Whilst you need to deal with the hassle of removing them for every meal, this gives you the freedom to eat to your heart’s desire. You’re not expected to limit your eating habits or diet whatsoever.

The second benefit that most people are after is their exceptional concealment features. Thanks to the plastic’s transparency, aligners will make it look like you’re not undergoing any dental treatment at all.

And last but not least is their overall comfort for the wearer. Unlike metal braces in Singapore, aligners aren’t overly complex and don’t contain many sharp parts. These parts found in braces are liable to break or come apart if not properly taken care of, resulting in irritation to your cheeks or, worse, cause cuts and ulcers inside the mouth. With its smooth edges, you don’t need to worry about such issues when opting for Invisalign.


Clear aligners are undoubtedly the best solution for people who want to fix their teeth without committing to braces. But in order to gain its benefits and achieve the desired results, a bit of discipline and effort is required to make them work as intended. To know if you’re fit to use clear aligners, have your teeth checked and consult with your orthodontist.

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