Choosing a clear aligner is an important decision, and you want facts to help you make your choice. Our Burnaby dentists have you covered. Here are important facts everyone should know before choosing a clear aligner.
What should I know about clear aligners?
Clear aligners are removable orthodontic appliances that straighten your teeth just like braces do, only without the need for metal and wires. Clear aligners are made of a transparent plastic, making them nearly 'invisible' to the casual observer while you're wearing them.
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 decision. We love helping our patients make informed choices, so here are some things you should know about clear aligners.
Clear aligners are a discreet option many patients appreciate.
Your clear aligners will be custom-made to precisely fit your unique smile, gradually moving your teeth into their corrected 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 typically treat dental issues quickly and efficiently.
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.
By diligently wearing your aligners 22 hours a day, cleaning your teeth and aligners as instructed, and visiting your dentist for brief check-ins, you will soon be able to see and feel the difference in your mouth.
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.
That means all your eating and drinking will need to fit within an approximately two-hour time slot. This may seem daunting at first, but you may soon see some unexpected benefits. For instance, you can say goodbye to mindless snacking (and the impact it can have on your waistline).
Don’t be surprised if your teeth feel loose.
Because your clear aligners will be gradually moving 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 shift to their new positions where they will settle in.
You’ll get used to outstanding oral hygiene.
Every time you take your aligners out to eat or drink, you need to brush and floss your teeth before placing your aligners back in your mouth.
That’s because food particles can become trapped between your teeth and the aligners, which can be uncomfortable, bad for your teeth, cause bad breath and even 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 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 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 right where you want it.
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.