Clear Aligners: What you need to know

For most people, traditional wire braces are often viewed as awkward and unattractive. They are obviously visible from a distance and require a lot of thorough cleaning to maintain good oral hygiene. Clear aligner treatment is an alternative to braces that slowly move the teeth. They are made up of removable, clear plastic trays which are used to shift teeth in order to fix gaps, crowding and have been used to improve jaw function. Nevertheless, like any other procedure, there are pros and drawbacks if you choose the clear aligner treatment option.

Clear Aligner Pros


Due to their removable nature, they are deemed more comfortable over braces; the trays are hard plastic trays that can slip on and off a needed. They are usually taken off before meals and for cleaning. Patients must, however, keep in mind the recommended wear time, which is 22 hours out of a full day.  


The main advantage of aligner treatment is its aesthetic nature. They are translucent in colour, which means you can work on aligning your teeth without it having your orthodontics on display for all to see.

Improved oral hygiene

Traditional braces have archwires, elastic ties and brackets that cover a large part of the teeth they are attached to. This makes it more difficult to thoroughly clean, which can lead to more problems. With clear aligners, dental hygiene can be easily maintained because they can be removed at home.

Unlimited diet

Due to the removability of the trays, you will not have to keep them on during meals. With braces, you have to avoid various foods that can get caught in the wires and brackets and eventually cause cavities and decay.

Advanced treatment planning

You receive all your trays at once. This way there is no need for multiple unnecessary dental appointments for new aligners. 

BPA free

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an organic synthetic compound which is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are often used in containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles.  Clear Aligners trays do not contain BPA so they are safe to use consistently. 

Clear Aligner drawbacks

Limited candidacy

Aligner treatment is not designed for severe cases of malocclusion or misalignment. These are best treated with traditional orthodontics. It is also not suitable for an immediate confidence boost or before an approaching special event.

Treatment Cost

Depending on your needs, it can be generally more expensive than other clear aligner brands on the market. The treatment takes some time to have a visible effect.

Personal commitment

Neglecting to wear your trays for the recommended time frame can negatively affect your treatment. For the best results, you should follow your dentist’s prescription instructions.

Adjusting to the aligners

During the initial stages, the trays may not feel natural but soon adjust to the change. Some patients have felt that they have trouble speaking properly when they have the trays on.

This orthodontic treatment is specially designed to straighten your teeth without the use of bulky metal materials. The clear hard plastic trays fit onto your teeth leaving you with a natural smile. It is the solution to getting better-aligned teeth without going through the painful and awkward phase. If you’re interested in an Orthodontic solution for your misaligned or gapped teeth, clear aligners may be the answer.

To schedule your consultation, contact Dr JJ Serfontein located in Cape Town, South Africa, today. Don’t let the unsightly appearance of braces put you off fixing your smile. 

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