How do Aligners work?

Just as the topic says, how do aligners work?
I am not sure what the mechanism of aligners so I haven’t decided to have this treatment yet. Unlike braces I know it doesn’t have a wire that would help to push, pull, or rotate teeth that needed to be moved so how does this plastic move my teeth?

Aligners use a custom-molded, clear, plastic aligners that exert gentle, controlled pressure or force on your teeth to move them into place.

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With braces, the wire and elastics are the ones exerting force for the teeth to move. So in aligners, the plastic itself exerts the force?

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To put it simply, they have a machine they use for scanning the mold of your teeth. With that scan, they will design your new smile. They will be setting up a series of aligners that you have to change every two weeks.

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Aligner aligns the teeth by using a series of molds that force your teeth into their new and improved position that would make your smile better.

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Compared to traditional braces which uses fixed wires to pull teeth into alignment, clear aligners straighten the teeth using a series of molds that, across a series of months (or years), force your teeth into their new position.

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Your teeth will get straightened by using your molds. Your teeth will follow the molds and that’s how they will move into their new position.

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Aligners work by using continuous gentle force to move your teeth into a new position. Those aligners will force your jaw to adapt by remodeling the bone. Each set of aligners is a unique model that is printed using 3D technology. It is designed to move them into different positions along your treatment time to your desired end result. Your dental professional will discuss your dream smile and design your aligners through that.


Aligners are quite similar to how Invisalign works. A professional will get a scan of your teeth and they use their software to design your aligners or Invisalign. Each set that they give is designed to move your teeth little by little. The main advantage of Invisalign over aligners is registered orthodontists or dentists are the ones doing the consultation, designing of your new smile, until the end of your treatment.

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What are the other difference between aligners and Invisalign?

There are lots of differences between Invisalign and other brands of aligners. Invisalign is shaped around the gum, while some aligners aren’t. Another difference is Invisalign uses one type of plastic only to move your teeth, while others use multiple types of plastic. The most important difference is having dentists check your teeth when you choose Invisalign. I’m not so sure that other aligners require complete x-rays and clinical check-up on your teeth.

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Thank you for the explanation :slightly_smiling_face:

I thought aligners and Invisalign use the same type of plastic or material?

I thought so too. Don’t they use the same material?

What’s the difference between the plastic used?

So the molds are forcing your teeth to move into the position that was designed? Now I get why it would be painful.

Even though each set is designed to move the teeth little by little, I can see why other people I’ve asked still said that it is also painful like braces.

A little movement can be really painful. I’ve watched on youtube that braces and aligners work by dissolving the bone. The greater the bone that needs to be dissolved to move your teeth, the more painful it will be.

Not all aligners use the same type of plastic. Invisalign aligners use the brand SmartTrack. This plastic is only available for Invisalign. Other cheaper aligners use basic generic plastic.

I had to search for this since it’s new info for me. I found this explanation:
" Braces shift teeth by applying pressure, which constricts blood flow to the surrounding tissue that holds those teeth in place. That in turn causes special immune cells called osteoclasts to rush in and dissolve part of the jawbone , creating a space for the tooth to slide over and relieve the pressure."

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