If you’re reading this, you’re likely trying to decide whether you or your child should invest in clear aligner orthodontic treatment. Everyone desires a beautiful, straight smile, but for some, this can be hard to attain.
Clear aligners are the modern way to straighten teeth. It’s the fastest orthodontic treatment option that straightens teeth with the use of removable and invisible braces. It provides desired results and a significantly less number of treatment sessions over a reduced period. Clear aligner trays are a popular orthodontic choice because they are removable, discreet, and convenient.
In this article, we’ll break down eight important factors to consider when deciding if clear aligner treatment is the right choice for you.
1. Clear aligners are custom-made for your mouth
Made from clear, medical-grade plastic, aligners are created individually for each patient. They are customized to fit your specific dental structure and are created based on the severity of your case and individual needs. A digital scanner is used to create a 3D image of your teeth and based on the scans, a series of clear aligner trays are designed to gradually shift the teeth into proper alignment as prescribed by your dentist or orthodontist.
2. Clear aligners transform your smile discreetly
Gone are the days of being embarrassed about a mouth full of metal. Unlike traditional metal braces, a series of virtually invisible plastic aligners will straighten your teeth over time and work similar to traditional metal braces, but with one major difference: they are removable. And most importantly, you have the opportunity to watch your smile change over time and witness the difference clear aligners make on your smile throughout the entire treatment process.
3. Clear aligners treat orthodontic issues quickly
Depending on the severity of your orthodontic needs, patients typically start to see results within the first six weeks of treatment. But this requires patient compliance. It’s important to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day for optimal results. In addition to a proper and regular oral hygiene routine, it’s important to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings, and to be aware of the amount of time the aligners are removed from your mouth. If you want to achieve great results, it’s important to stay on track and be dedicated to your treatment plan.
4. Clear aligners allow you to maintain an easy dental hygiene routine
With traditional braces, maintaining a proper oral care routine can be challenging. Food particles and bacteria can become trapped in the brackets and wires. With clear aligners, you can remove your trays before eating and drinking. But even with this convenience, it’s essential to still maintain a regular oral hygiene routine. It’s very important to brush and floss your teeth after eating or drinking anything other than water to avoid bacteria buildup and tooth decay.
5. Clear aligners must be removed when eating or drinking
A major benefit of clear aligner treatment is that the braces are removable. Unlike traditional braces, you do not have to restrict your diet. Simply remove the trays before eating or drinking anything other than water, and be sure to brush and floss your teeth before reinserting. A helpful tip is to always carry a travel sized oral hygiene kit for brushing on the go.
6. Clear aligners should always be cleaned properly
To effectively clean clear aligners, soak them in a special solution designed for specifically for aligners, use a denture cleaner, or simply rinse the trays thoroughly with cool water. It’s not recommended to brush your aligners with a toothbrush and toothpaste, as toothpaste contains ingredients that are too abrasive. This could cause your aligners to become scratched or damaged.
7. Clear aligner treatment requires fewer in-office appointments
Clear aligner orthodontic treatment requires fewer appointments than traditional braces. At the beginning of your clear aligner treatment, you’ll receive a series of trays. Typically, aligner trays are changed every two weeks for the next slightly adjusted set of aligners in the series. There’s no need for adjustment or tightening appointments but your dentist or orthodontist will still recommend occasional appointments to check the progress of your treatment plan. In most cases, you will also need to be fitted for a retainer at the end of your treatment. This will help ensure your newly straighten smile stays in its place.
8. Clear aligners will only be effective if patients are compliant
Patient compliance is crucial in orthodontic treatment involving removable appliances. Simply put, you will be the reason why your orthodontic treatment is effective or not. As previously mentioned, aligners must be worn for at least 22 hours a day. You can help shorten the treatment process if you do your part at home. This entails wearing the aligners for the recommended time, keeping them clean, and continuing with scheduled appointments with your dentist.