Choosing a clear aligner is an important decision and you may want to inform your choice with hard facts. Here, our Yarmouth dentists explain some of the important facts you may want to know before choosing a clear aligner.
What should I know about clear aligners?
Clear aligners are removable orthodontic appliances that straighten your teeth just like braces do, only without the metal and wires. Clear aligners are made of transparent plastic material, making them look nearly 'invisible' to the casual observer when worn.
Before you make your decision about what orthodontic option to choose, we'd like to share some things that you may want to factor into this important choice. We are committed to helping our patients to make informed choices, so here are a few of the things you should know about clear aligners.
Clear aligners are a discreet option many patients appreciate.
Your clear aligners will be custom-made to fit your teeth quite closely, moving them very gradually into their proper positions over a period of time as prescribed by your dentist.
As the name suggests, these aligners are clear, virtually invisible on your teeth to the casual observer. For this reason, they may be preferable to metal braces for people who are concerned with how their teeth will look while they undergo orthodontic treatment.
Clear aligners typically treat dental issues quickly and efficiently.
Though each case is unique, patients typically start to see the results of treatment within a few months as their teeth begin to straighten and the treatment plan takes effect.
In addition to your work to stay on track with your treatment and maintain your at-home oral hygiene, you will attend check-in visits with your dentist so they can track your progress and assess your oral health too.
Do the math on how quickly you’ll need to eat and drink.
For your clear aligners to have the intended effect, you’ll need to wear them for about 22 hours per day.
This means that you will need to fit your eating and drinking within about two hours across your entire day. While fitting all of that into two hours may seem daunting at first, you will likely see some side benefits. For example, you can say goodbye to snacking between meals if you strictly follow your treatment schedule.
Don’t be surprised if your teeth feel loose.
Because your clear aligners will be gradually straightening your misaligned teeth, your teeth may feel loose when you take your aligners out. Don’t worry - we can assure you this is normal as they move and realign in their new positions.
You’ll level up on brushing.
Each time you take your aligners out to eat or drink, you should brush and floss before placing them back in your mouth.
That’s because food particles can become trapped between your teeth and the aligners, which would be uncomfortable – and bad for your teeth. It can also result in the aligners turning yellow – yuck.
Make sure to properly and thoroughly clean your aligners.
Just like your teeth need to be cleaned every time you eat or drink, you will need to clean your aligners too. You shouldn't use toothpaste to clean them, since it contains abrasive ingredients that may scratch your aligners. Instead, clean them with clear aligner cleaning crystals or Retainer Brite.
You may want to remove and place your aligners in private.
Because your aligners fit your teeth so precisely, you may find it challenging to remove them and pop them in again when you’re done eating or drinking. For this reason, you may be more comfortable doing this in a restroom, especially at first.
Don’t count yourself out.
Patients who come to us asking about clear aligners often wonder whether they’d be a candidate. The only way to find out is to ask and visit your dentist for a consultation.
depending on what clear aligners you are considering, they can be used to address a variety of issues, including gapped, crowded or crooked teeth in addition to overbite and crossbite. We would be happy to assess your smile and learn whether or not you are a suitable candidate for treatment using clear aligners.
You may need a retainer following treatment.
Your orthodontic treatment may not be quite finished after your wear the entire series of clear aligners as prescribed by your dentist. Wearing a retainer after the main course of your treatment will help to ensure your straight smile stays in its place.
We’re here to support you.
Though choosing clear aligners may come with its challenges, we’re here to support you 100% through any questions or concerns you may have. You’ll have our dental team just a phone call away to provide answers or advice. And in the end – you’ll have a healthier, straighter smile.