Selecting a clear aligner for your smile is an important decision. And you should try to collect as much information as possible to make your choice. At our Selkirk dental office, we aim to provide you with the treatment and information you need. Here are a few facts you should know before choosing clear aligner treatment.
What should I know about clear aligners?
Clear aligners are removable orthodontic appliances that straighten your teeth like braces do, just without the metal and wires. Clear aligners are composed of transparent plastic material, helping them to be quite difficult to see for the causal observer.
Before making your final decision about what orthodontic treatment is right for you, we'd like to share some of the things you may want to factor into this important decision. We are committed to helping our patients to make informed choices, so here are a few facts you should know about clear aligners and their treatment.
Clear aligners are a discreet option 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 their name suggests, clear aligners are made from transparent plastic that is difficult to see for the casual observer. Because of this, some people who are concerned with how their teeth appear while undergoing orthodontic treatment may prefer these to metal braces.
Do the math on how quickly you’ll need 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.
This means that any eating and drinking you do during the day will need to collectively occur within a two-hour time slot. This may seem intimidating at first, but you may soon see some of the side benefits of this schedule, For example, you will be able to say goodbye to any mindless snacking habits.
Clear aligners typically treat dental issues quickly and efficiently.
While each orthodontic case is unique, patients often start to see the results of their treatment within a couple of months. Their teeth will start to straighten as they move to their prescribed positions.
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.
You’ll level up on 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.
This is because food particles can become trapped between your teeth and your aligners. This is both uncomfortable and bad for your oral health. If this happens, it can even result in your aligners turning yellow.
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 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.
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 be surprised if your teeth feel loose.
Since your clear aligner will gradually be straightening your misaligned smile, your teeth may feel somewhat loose when you remove your aligners. Don't worry about this though. It is a perfectly normal effect of the realignment process.
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 dentist. 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.