It's an important decision to make when you choose clear aligners for your orthodontic treatment, and you'll want to know all the facts that can help you make your choice. Today, our Lethbridge dentists discuss some important facts you should know before deciding on clear aligners for your treatment.
What do I need to know about clear aligners?
Clear aligners are orthodontic appliances that can be removed and work to straighten your teeth just like braces, although they don't require any metal brackets or wires. Clear aligners are made from a transparent plastic material, that provides a nearly 'invisible' appearance, where the casual observer will have a hard time seeing them when they are being worn.
Prior to making your final decision on which orthodontic option you are going to select, our dental team would like to share with you some facts you might want to take into consideration when making this important choice. One of our goals is to help our patients make informed choices, so below we have shared some things we would like you to know about clear aligners.
Clear aligners are a discreet option that many patients appreciate.
Your clear aligners will be custom-made to precisely fit your teeth, gradually moving them 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 generally treat dental conditions fast and efficiently.
Though each case is unique, patients typically start to see results of treatment within a few months as their teeth begin to straighten and the treatment plan takes effect.
With your hard work to stay on track and excellent at-home oral hygiene, in addition to check-in visits to your dentist, you will be able to see and feel the difference in your mouth.
Calculate how quickly you’ll have to eat and drink.
In order for your clear aligners to make the desired effect, you will have to wear them for approximately 22 hours every day.
This means you will have to schedule all of your eating and drinking times within about a two-hour window. While this can seem intimidating at first, you may see some side benefits. For example, you can say farewell to mindless snacking (and the effects it could have on your waistline).
Don’t be alarmed 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 your brushing.
Each time you take your aligners out to eat or drink, you should brush and floss your teeth before placing your aligners 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.
Remember to clean your aligners properly and thoroughly.
Just as your teeth have to be cleaned after every time you drink or eat, you’ll also need to clean your aligners. Do not use toothpaste to clean your aligners, because it contains abrasive ingredients that could scratch your aligners. Alternatively, clean them with Retainer Brite, denture cleaners, or the clear aligner cleaning crystals.
You might want to take your aligners in and out 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 that ask us about clear aligners often want to know if they are a candidate for this treatment. The only way for you to know this is to schedule an appointment and ask your dentist for a consultation.
Depending on the type of clear aligners you’re considering, they could be used to correct a range of problems such as gapped, crowded, or crooked teeth, overbites, and crossbites. We can evaluate your smile and let you know if clear aligners are a treatment option for you.
You might require a retainer after your treatment.
Your orthodontic treatment may not be quite finished after you 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 are here to help you.
Though clear aligners treatment can come with its challenges, we are here to provide you with the support you need and to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Our dental team is just a phone call away to provide you with answers or advice. And in the end – you’ll have a healthier, straighter smile.