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Difference between a Clear Aligner & a Clear Retainer

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Clear or Invisible Aligners: Clear or invisible aligners are a series of transparent removable plastic trays which are custom made for the patient as per his / her teeth profile. They are used for the treatment of mild to moderate cases of misaligned teeth, malocclusions, various bites issues as well as to straighten the teeth. Clear aligners push the teeth to their desired position in a gradual and gentle manner. Each set of aligners are worn for 20-22 hours for around 2 weeks before being replaced by the set of aligners next in the series. Ideally, the treatment period ranges from 6-18 weeks, sometimes even more depending on the complexity of the case.

They are a very popular option for such dental issues as they are discrete when worn due to their transparency, light weight, give aesthetic appearance and are easily removable for cleaning and washing. They should be removed while eating and while consuming hot / cold liquids.

Clear Retainers: After the aligner treatment is successfully completed, Clear Retainers come into play. Retainers help in retaining the teeth in their corrected position and do not allow the teeth to make any movements or shift back to their pre-treatment position. They are fabricated from hard transparent thermoplastic, custom made for the patient. The retainers can either be removable or even be a permanent fixture. The fixed retainers are bonded to back of the teeth. They, like clear aligners, are also discrete, and light in weight.

In short, Clear aligners move the teeth into the desired position and Clear Retainers hold the teeth in their corrected position.

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