What Are Clear Aligners?
Clear aligners, like traditional braces, are made to move your teeth slowly. Aligners are plastic copies of your teeth that are worn gently on your teeth and slightly reposition them by applying gentle pressure. Clear aligners are one of many advances that have made orthodontic treatment less noticeable. They are also one of the most popular methods orthodontists use for moving teeth and aligning jaws to create beautiful, healthy smiles. If you have questions about what clear aligners are, call The Smile Store today at 561-658-4100.
How Aligners Work
Aligners work in the same way as traditional braces by gently moving teeth over time They are worn on your teeth and slightly reposition them by applying gentle pressure. Aligners are plastic copies of your teeth that are created with digital scans or initial impressions. The orthodontist will first examine the patient and then take digital scans or impressions, photos, and x-rays to determine the extent of treatment. The orthodontist will use this information to determine the diagnosis and then design the perfect smile. This method allows us to plan your treatment, such as which teeth move where and how they should align perfectly. This includes all the teeth, not just those that are visible when someone smiles. A healthy “bite” is the result of top and bottom teeth that are properly aligned.
The process of moving teeth is complex and requires supervision from an orthodontist who is a member of the (AAO) American Association of Orthodontists. The average person sees their orthodontist about once every six to ten weeks. Aligners should be worn for at least 22 hours per day or as directed by your orthodontist. The orthodontist will determine the best place for your teeth and each patient’s needs will determine the number of aligners required.
The pros and cons of aligners
Aligners are virtually invisible, and many patients love that they can be removed. You can remove them to eat and for everyday activities like work or social situations if needed. Aligners might not be the best method for every type of orthodontic problem. For certain types of corrections, traditional braces may be required.
Drinking anything other than water while aligners are in is something patients should avoid. The aligners can be contaminated by certain liquids and the liquid can remain in contact with the teeth. This can stain the aligners and teeth or cause cavities if the liquid contains excess sugar or acid. Avoid drinking soda, alcohol, and other flavored drinks like fruit drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks. Fluoride toothpaste is a great way to strengthen your teeth while in treatment.
Patients might feel tempted to take out their aligners and keep them out for an extended period of time. Doing so will affect your results because the aligners won’t work effectively if they aren’t in your mouth. When they are out of your mouth, make it a habit to place them in their case. Aligners should not be placed in napkins, in your purse, or in your pocket. Also, keep aligners away from pets! For advice on getting started with clear aligners contact The Smile Store today or even if you lose or damage your current aligners.
Are Clear Aligners right for me?
It is best to consult an Orthodontist who is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists to answer this question. Orthodontists are well-versed in the various types of methods that move teeth and align jaws and an AAO orthodontist is a specialist in the latest orthodontic treatments. Many AAO orthodontists offer free or very low-cost consultations as well as affordable payment options.
The American Association of Orthodontists is only open to qualified orthodontists that have completed two to three years of orthodontic residency training in accredited orthodontic programs. An AAO orthodontist is dedicated to creating beautiful, healthy smiles and can recommend what’s best for you based on your treatment goals.
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