Clear aligners have brought orthodontics a long way. You can now get your teeth aligned without metal brackets and wires that irritate the soft tissues in your mouth. Better still, clear aligners make eating, brushing your teeth and smiling easier. The same cannot be said for braces.
A dentist could give you the option of choosing traditional braces or clear aligners. If you are thinking about which device will work best for you, let us help a little. You can find out more about clear aligners by looking at the answers to frequently asked questions.
Clear aligner FAQs
Here are some of the most common questions people have when they consider aligners as an option.
1. What are aligners made of and are they safe?
Clear aligners are made of plastics like polyurethane. They are made to be biocompatible, so there is virtually no chance of a person reacting badly to their aligners. A dentist will prescribe a brand of clear aligners that is completely free of harmful materials like phthalates.
The materials used to make clear aligners are strong enough to withstand the forces of stress and strain in the mouth. These materials are also quite resistant to cracks, but that does not mean that a person should try to find out how much their aligners can take.
2. What is eating like with clear aligners?
This is actually the best part about clear aligners: they are removable. That means a person can take their aligners off and eat whatever they want. When they are done eating, the person must brush their teeth and clean their aligners before wearing them again.
The ability to remove clear aligners before eating is one of the perks of the treatment. It is also an added responsibility. It means that a person should carry travel-size cleaning supplies with them because they will have to clean their teeth and aligners every time they eat.
They will have to make each meal count, since most dentists will advise against eating with the aligners on. That also means no chewing gum, because though the aligners are made to be tough, they can still be damaged when a person bites down, and they can also be stained by some types of food.
3. How long should aligners be worn each day?
Most dentists will tell their patients to wear their aligners for 22 hours a day. This means that a person should only take off their aligners to eat or to brush their teeth and clean their aligners.
If the aligners are left off for even a few hours, chances are high that the teeth will start reverting to their previous positions. In the end, this slows down how fast the treatment works. An important reason to stick to the 22-hour rule is the fact that a person needs to switch to a new set of aligners every two weeks.
4. How often does a patient need to see their dentist for a checkup?
It all depends on a patient’s unique situation. Most will ask their patient to come in for a checkup every couple of weeks. During the routine checkup, the dentist will check on the patient’s progress and make any adjustments that may be needed.
5. How long does the treatment take?
Again, it depends on how misaligned a person’s teeth were to begin with. It takes a shorter time to correct a small problem than it does to correct a bigger problem. On average, treatment with clear aligners should take about twelve months, but this number is not set in stone. After a person completes their treatment, they may need to wear a retainer at night for a few months. The retainer helps to keep the teeth in their new positions.
Let clear aligners give you a beautiful smile
Clear aligners can straighten your teeth without the hassle that comes with metal braces: no sore spots on the gums or the roof of your mouth. No food stuck on your teeth. Even cleaning the aligners is a simple task that only takes a few minutes. If you want a great set of teeth, stop by our offices and find out how we treat our patients with clear aligners.
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