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Are There Braces I Only Have to Wear at Night?

Nighttime Aligners

Grayslake, IL – If you’ve been told you need braces, chances are good you may not be overjoyed at the prospect. While you may be looking forward to the result, the process it takes to get there may be less than appealing. You may not love having to go about your daily life with braces or aligners. So, if you see or hear an ad for aligners you only have to wear at night, your interest may pique. But are these effective?

The Allure of Nighttime Aligners

The simple answer is no you should avoid companies who claim you only need to wear their aligners at night,” says Dr. Michael Stosich. “We would all love quick results that don’t interfere with our daily lives but, unfortunately, this is a case of the advertising once again being too good to be true.”

Clear aligners are a great alternative to traditional braces for many patients. They offer a comfortable, removable, and discreet way to improve your smile. But even though this option is removable, it doesn’t mean you can simply wear them whenever you want and still achieve your smile goals. To be effective, aligners are worn 20-22 hours a day. That means all day, every day.

There are companies, however, that advertise nighttime-only aligners. These aligners only need to be worn for 10 hours to be effective, or so the companies claim. Can this actually work?

Unless the issue is an incredibly minor one nighttime aligners are not effective at moving teeth adequately. Decades upon decades of orthodontic research have proven the best way to move teeth responsibly and reliably is by placing constant, light pressure on the teeth.

The Science Behind Teeth Movement

The science behind moving teeth is precise. Your teeth are held in place by gum tissue and bone. The periodontal ligament surrounds the outermost portion of your teeth. As your braces or aligners place pressure on your teeth, the periodontal ligament gets stretched on one side and compressed on the other. This loosens the tooth just enough to move to its desired location. New bone then grows to properly support the teeth.

It requires continuous light force to achieve this. Wearing an aligner only at night will only work to compress the ligament. It won’t actually change the bone that surrounds the tooth. And that will not result in significant enough movement to be effective.

Nighttime-only aligners have no scientific studies to back up the claims made by the companies selling them,” says Dr. Stosich. “This should be a big red flag. I use only scientifically backed methods to straighten teeth. Your smile is too important to leave to chance.”

Choosing the Right Treatment for Your Smile

To achieve your ideal smile, you should only trust the care of a board-certified orthodontist who uses tried and true methods to straighten teeth. You cannot take shortcuts and still expect amazing results.

Clear aligners may be a good treatment option for you, but to find out, it’s important to schedule a consultation with a well-trained orthodontist. There is simply no substitute for knowledge such as Dr. Stosich’s. He provides personalized, scientifically backed treatment plans and will help you discover your best smile.


  • Michael S. Stosich, DMD, MS, MS

    Dr. Michael Stosich is a board-certified orthodontist and the director of orthodontics at the University of Chicago Medicine. He is known for his extensive experience in leading clinical enterprises, publishing, and lecturing both in the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Stosich has expertise in starting, growing, and maintaining successful orthodontic practices, including those in pediatric dentistry, general dentistry, and multi-specialty clinics. He serves on the editorial board of several publications and has been involved in innovating patient care and education, focusing on the future of dental and orthodontic healthcare.

Stosich Consulting