How Do Clear Dental Braces Work? The Science Behind Straighter Smiles

As a teeth-whitening specialist located in London, we are no stranger to clients coming in seeking the perfect Hollywood smile. Recognising that whiter and brighter teeth lead to enhanced confidence and a wider smile, we work with clients of all ages to break down surface stains and refresh the look and feel of their teeth. 

But even the most potent of whitening treatments can’t fix a wonky smile – which is where our clear dental braces come in.

Offering a way for adult patients to align and straighten their teeth, clear braces use the same overarching process as traditional train-track braces – only, instead of metal boxes fixed to the teeth, they use a clear bracket. The idea is that this clear bracket is much less obvious than a standard metal brace, and so is a more attractive offer for adults who want to blend orthodontic treatment with their regular routine. 

So, how do clear braces work, how do they differ from invisible aligners, and why are clear braces the recommended treatment option for our patients at Harley Teeth Whitening? Keep reading to find out. 

What are clear braces and how do they work?

Clear braces follow the same design and process as traditional braces that are prescribed to teenagers and young adults whose teeth need straightening. The main difference is that clear braces are made with brackets and wires that blend into rather than stand out from your teeth, making them less noticeable.

The process of wearing a clear brace is a gradual one. Your dentist will fit the brackets onto each tooth and connect them with a wire. This wire is tightened every couple of weeks, gently and gradually pulling the teeth into their desired position. Once the desired position has been reached, the brace can be removed – with your dentist then providing you with a retainer, which should be worn at night to prevent any movement of the teeth back to their original position. 

Of course, there are things to take into account before having a clear brace fitted. The first is that the brackets may not be highly visible, but they can impede on everyday tasks, including brushing, flossing, and even eating and drinking. Many patients find that they need to change their approach to dental hygiene when living with a clear brace, and that eating certain foods is off limits throughout the process.

The other thing that’s important to note for all adult patients is that braces are only free for those under the age of 18. If you need a clear brace as an adult, whether you visit us at Harley Teeth Whitening or visit an NHS dentist, you will need to pay for the treatment. 

Clear braces vs. invisible aligners – what’s the difference?

Now that you know a little more about clear braces and how they work, let’s compare them to invisible aligners. Aligners have become one of the most popular methods of teeth straightening on the market, particularly for adults who are seeking a non-invasive, convenient, and efficient means of perfecting their smile. 

Invisible aligners are created specifically for your teeth, first fitting your teeth in their original position and then gradually manipulating the teeth as you change aligner every week or two. The idea is that, by the time your teeth have adjusted to the new position, you change aligner again to continue adjusting and straightening the teeth. The final aligner is fixed in the position of your desired smile and can be worn for longer than the previous retainers to ensure that your teeth do not revert to their original position.

The main difference between this process and that of clear braces is that aligners can be removed, and so it is up to the patient to be disciplined and ensure that they wear them often enough and regularly enough to have a positive impact on their teeth. Aligners might allow for eating and brushing on normal, uninterrupted teeth, but the results are not guaranteed unless you commit to wearing them for at least 22 hours per day, every day. 

Similarly, aligners are expensive but are not always strong enough to adjust and move teeth with more serious misalignment issues, with only a sturdy brace fitting able to straighten teeth that have been left in place for years. 

And that’s where the benefits of clear braces really come in.

The benefits of a clear brace and why we offer this treatment as standard

For us, clear braces are the obvious solution, because they combine the low visibility with optimum results. Patients are fitted with brackets on their teeth, which cannot be removed without dentist intervention – meaning that there is no way a patient can interrupt their own treatment. 

The wires are tightened regularly to ensure that the teeth never settle into position but keep moving until the desired finish is reached. This means that your braces will do all the work once fitted – all with careful consideration around aesthetics, using clear brackets and a tooth-coloured wire, to minimise the appearance of your braces and to help you achieve a picture-perfect smile with ease. 

Finally, it’s worth noting that clear braces are able to straighten and align even the wonkiest of teeth – making this the ideal treatment option for those with more severe cases, where invisible aligners are unlikely to work. And, with the help and support of your dentist, you can access advice on how to keep your teeth pearly white and sparkling, even while fitted with a clear brace. 

Are you a good candidate for clear braces?

Clear braces are recommended for adults who want to straighten their teeth and achieve a perfect Hollywood smile, with the convenience of the brace combined with its clear design and minimal visibility. 

If you have good oral health but are living with misaligned teeth, an overbite, an underbite, or an uneven smile, and want to fix or align it, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local team and discuss the benefits of clear braces.