All About Orthodontics: The History of Braces and Clear Aligners

The invention of clear aligners was ground-breaking. In fact, it caused a total change in the world of dentistry. The use of clear aligners allowed patients to have a more comfortable, aesthetic alternative to conventional braces. Before clear aligners were invented, patients who desired straighter teeth or a more beautiful smile had to deal with braces as they were the only option available. Clear braces were then introduced into the orthodontics landscape resulting in a rapid transformation of the industry. In this article, we will consider the history of clear aligners and where they are today.

What happened before Invisalign?

Before everyone started asking about the costs of clear aligners in Australia, they were window-shopping for braces. Don’t get me wrong – braces were a unique invention, time-tested, and transformed so many smiles. They’ve been in use for many centuries all thanks to their effectiveness in teeth alignment. Braces were introduced since the 18th century and have been modified several times throughout history. 

There are many different types of braces. And so, despite the classic metal bracket and wire structure, patients still have lots of options. The major downside to braces were its high visibility with regards to tooth alignment. 

Other less favourable aspects of braces included discomfort when worn. The highly visible metal was not aesthetically appealing. Cleaning them was also very difficult at times. Many adults who required orthodontic treatment were discouraged from getting braces due to their unsightly appearance. A certain patient who used braces felt motivated and decided to transform the landscape of orthodontics for all eternity.

Here comes Invisalign 

What we refer to as ‘Invisalign clear aligners’ was invented in 1997 by Zia Chishti. Zia was an MBA student as Stanford when he took off his braces. After being fitted for a custom retainer, to prevent his teeth from reverting to its old position, Zia wondered if a device like a retainer would be able to perform the same functions as braces.

With a knack for invention and business, Zia, who was also tech-savvy shared his idea with his colleagues. They decided to bring Zia’s clear aligners to life. Zia had a degree in Computer Science, and so could create a 3D rendering of the alignment device.

He also rendered the different stages at which the aligners would be changed to slowly fit tighter and move the teeth into the desired position. Zia and his friends created the company ‘Align Technology’ that remains the sole owner and operator of the Invisalign line and brand.

Clear aligners

Clear aligners are an extremely effective alternative to conventional braces. They straighten the teeth using a system of clear, removable trays. Every set of aligners is custom-made to fit over your teeth. They are designed to move your teeth gradually into their proper position. Not everyone is meant to use clear aligners for orthodontic treatment. To find out if you are eligible, schedule a consultation with your dentist.

How do clear aligners work?

Clear aligners were designed as an alternative to braces. They guide your teeth gradually into their proper position. Clear aligners, like braces, control tooth movement using gradual force. However, they do not use any metal brackets or wires. The aligners are made with plastic material, and custom-made to fit your mouth. No two aligners are created the same. They are made a little different. The implication is that every time you switch aligners, your teeth will move slightly.

To enjoy their full benefits, you have to wear your aligners for at least 20 hours every day. Each set of aligners must be worn for two weeks, before replacing with a new set. The duration of your treatment depends on the severity of your condition, and may take between six months to two years.

What makes clear aligners so special?

Here’s the thing: 

Clear aligners are an effective alternative for patients desirous of a straighter smile but do not fancy wear braces. They are also good for patients who have been treated in the past and want to correct their smile slightly. There are many advantages to orthodontic treatment with clear aligners.

  • First, they are easy to clean, and so you can maintain your dental health with ease. 
  • Clear aligners are comfortable and will not irritate your cheeks and gums. 
  • They prevent teeth wear due to tooth grinding. 
  • Clear aligners are removable so you can brush and floss with ease after meals.

If you are in Australia, Beam Clear Aligners are a cost effective solution to straighten your teeth. We’re your best bet towards a cost-effective straighter teeth and beautiful smile.

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