For lots of patients, the thought of orthodontic treatment is intimidating – but we find that changes as soon as we tell them about clear aligners. You see, clear aligners have changed the way that people view orthodontics, because most of the disadvantages of wearing them have been removed by aligner manufacturers. The end result is a straighter smile and healthier teeth that are easier to clean. Today we’re going to tell you a few things you probably didn’t know about the world of aligners.
But first, what are clear aligners?
Clear aligners are an alternative to braces. They are very discreet and almost see-through and they slip over the front of your teeth like covers. They can be removed for eating, but that doesn’t mean you can take them out whenever you want to.
Clear Aligners Are Custom-Made
Your aligners are created for your mouth and teeth. They are crafted to move your teeth into the positions they need to be in, in order to straighten your teeth or correct your bite. Special technology allows your dental practitioner to map out the positions your teeth need to move into, to create a straighter smile.
Clear Aligners Have Been Created For Comfort
One of the major drawbacks of traditional metal braces is the discomfort that patients experience. Aligners do not make use of the bracket and wire system – rather, you are given a few sets of aligners at the beginning of your treatment programme. Each new set plots a new position for your teeth to shift into. Every second week you will open a new box of aligners and wear them until it is time to move on.
You Won’t Have To See Your Dentist As Often
Patients who wear traditional braces need to see their dentist regularly so that adjustments can be made. With clear aligners, the adjustments are taken care of with each new set, so you can look forward to a more open schedule – and spend it doing things you enjoy.
Straightening Your Teeth Isn’t A Vanity Issue
While some patients may not be fond of how their crooked teeth look, having your teeth straightened is actually a matter of dental hygiene. Crooked teeth are difficult to keep clean and because of this, are more prone to decay.
Straightening your smile is an investment in your future dental health, and it will certainly give your self-confidence a boost too.
Clear Aligners Are Best Suited To Mature Patients
Wearing aligners demands a certain level of discipline and maturity. They must be removed before eating and drinking so that the clear plastic they are made from doesn’t become discoloured (if it does, your aligners are no longer discreet, and probably will be more noticeable to other people).
Also, your treatment plan will only be successful if you wear your aligners for the minimum prescribed period of 22 hours a day. You should only remove them for eating or cleaning, and if you don’t you run the risk of not meeting your treatment milestones. They should be worn at night while you are asleep.
You must also remember to change your aligners every second week. Not visiting your dentist regularly gives patients more responsibility to self-manage their treatment calendar.
Furthermore, clear aligners must be cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This generally means that you should not use toothpaste or very hot water to clean them as you run the risk of damaging the plastic or making your aligners change shape.
You should also use a soft bristled toothbrush, reserved exclusively for cleaning your clear aligners, so you don’t cause damage to the plastic surface.
You Must Clean Your Teeth Before You Put Your Aligners Back In
Any food or bacteria that gets trapped between the aligner and your tooth surface can cause decay, so it’s essential that you only replace clear aligners in a mouth that is clean.
Clear Aligners Give Adults The Opportunity To Straighten Their Teeth
Aligners are ideal for older teenagers or adults who want to correct their smiles and not wear visible braces.
Aligners Are Best Suited For Minor To Moderate Corrections
Clear aligners work best when they are used to correct minor to moderate orthodontic issues. They are commonly used to straighten the front teeth and can be used for minor bite corrections. If you need extensive straightening, your dentist may recommend an alternative.
Still wondering what are clear aligners, or how they could make a difference to your self-confidence? It’s always best to get a professional opinion. Please contact us for an appointment as soon as possible: (02) 8203 8760.