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The demand for clear plastic dental retainers that aim to straighten teeth in a similar manner to traditional wire braces is increasing, according to a report in the Modesto Bee.
Known as Invisalign, the product is molded to individuals' mouths to reposition teeth over the period of approximately 12 months.
Patients wear their aligners constantly, removing them only to eat, brush their teeth and floss.
Before they begin treatment, 3D computer imaging allows people to see how their mouth is expected to look when their teeth have been repositioned.
Just as with braces, patients are likely to feel some soreness when they first begin to use Invisalign, the publication states.
"Everybody has some degree of discomfort. You cannot move a tooth without getting sore," commented orthodontist Robert Waxler.
Dentists - rather than orthodontists - make up more than half of those who have undergone specialized training to insert the retainers, which are changed every two weeks.
According to Invisalign, nearly 500,000 people have used their product.
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