When it comes to choosing a clear aligner, you've got an important decision to make, and you'll want facts to help you make your choice. Our Okotoks orthodontist can help. Here are important facts everyone should know before choosing a clear aligner.
What should I know about clear aligners?
These removable orthodontic appliances are used to help straighten your teeth - similar to braces. However, clear aligners do not have wires or metal. Instead, they're made from a transparent plastic material, making them appear nearly 'invisible' the casual observer when worn.
Before making your final decision about which orthodontic option you'll choose, we'd like to share some factors you might want to consider regarding this important choice. We are here to help patients make informed choices, so in this post we'll share some things you should know about clear aligners.
Clear aligners are a discreet option many patients appreciate.
Your custom-made clear aligners will be designed to precisely fit your teeth, gradually moving them into their proper positions over a period of time, as prescribed by your orthodontist.
As the name suggests, your aligners are clear, and will likely be virtually invisible on your teeth to the casual observer. This is why many who are concerned with how their teeth look while they undergo orthodontic treatment may prefer them to metal braces.
Clear aligners typically treat dental issues quickly and efficiently.
While every case is unique, patients typically begin to see treatment results within a few months as their teeth start to straighten and their treatment plan takes effect.
By working hard to stay on track and maintaining an excellent at-home oral hygiene routine, along with attending check-in visits with your orthodontist, you'll likely be able to feel the difference in the mouth.
Do the math on how quickly you’ll need to eat and drink.
You'll need to wear your clear aligners for about 22 hours every day for them to have the intended effect.
That means all your eating and drinking will need to fit within an approximate two-hour time slot. While this might seem daunting at first, you may soon see some side benefits. For instance, you can say goodbye to mindless snacking (and the effect it can have on your waistline).
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 each time you eat or drink, you’ll need to clean your aligners as well. You shouldn’t use toothpaste to clean them, as it contains abrasive ingredients that can scratch your aligners. Instead, clean them with clear aligner cleaning crystals, denture cleaner, 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 orthodontist for a consultation.
Depending on which clear aligners you’re considering, they can be used to fix a variety of issues, from gapped, crowded or crooked teeth to overbite and crossbite. We would be happy to assess your smile and help you find out if you’re a candidate for treatment with 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 orthodontist. 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.