Selecting clear aligners for your treatment is a big decision which is why it's important to know the facts that will help you make your choice. In this post, our Halifax dentists share some key details you should know about clear aligners.
Things You Should 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 final decision on which orthodontic option to choose, we’d like to share some things you might want to factor into this important choice. It's our goal to help patients make informed choices, so here are some things you should know about clear aligners.
Lots of patients appreciate how clear aligners can work discreetly.
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 are generally fast and efficient at treating dental issues.
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 fast you’ll have 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.
That means all your eating and drinking will need to fit within an approximately two-hour time slot. While this may seem daunting at first, you may soon see some side benefits. For instance, you can say goodbye to mindless snacking (and the impact it can have on your waistline).
Don’t be shocked if your teeth feel a bit 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 will need to commit to brushing.
Each time you take your aligners out to eat or drink, you should brush and floss them 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 might want to remove your aligners somewhere 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 consider yourself out.
Patients interested in clear aligners often wonder if they are a candidate. The only way to find out is to ask and visit your dentist 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 might need to use a retainer after your 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 are here to help.
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.