Written by Dr. Rashmi Punnooran, BDS | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Shaista Salam, BDS; Dr. Zein El Hammouz, DDS, MFD/RCSI
2. Myths and Facts on clear aligners
3. How can patients prepare for clear aligners?
A smile is the finest expression a person can wear. It comes with joy, excitement, or even an act of gratitude. Having uneven or misaligned teeth can do more than make your smile look unaesthetic; it can take away your confidence too!
When it comes to correcting a smile that is crooked or has gaps between the teeth, clear aligners are usually the best option. Instead of using traditional fixed braces, you can use clear aligners to correct your smile comfortably and discreetly.
It is common knowledge that these transparent custom-made trays are designed for convenience and flexibility. Nevertheless, let’s look at some things to know before getting clear aligners for your smile transformation journey.
The time it takes to see visible results with clear aligners may vary from person to person. Most aligner treatments take an average time of 8 to 10 months for teeth correction. Simple cases can be treated in just 6 months, whereas advanced cases can take around 18 months, depending on the severity of the problem. (1)
A cardinal rule of clear aligner treatments is that you should commit to wearing them a minimum of 22 hours daily to allow the teeth to move into their correct positions. Not wearing them for the minimum required duration will slow the teeth' movements or even halt them. This will end up delaying your treatment even longer!
Compared to traditional braces, clear aligners cause less pain and pressure on the teeth. However, it is completely normal to feel slight discomfort when wearing your trays for the first time. After all, your teeth require some movements to get that perfect smile!
Another thing you need to know before getting clear aligners is that you might have a slight lisp when you initially start wearing them. This generally lasts for the first couple of days with each aligner step as your teeth get used to wearing the aligners. Often, the lisp is so minor that it is unnoticeable to others and will go away in a few days. Here are a few ways to correct the lisp:
When wearing clear aligners, brush, and floss after every meal and before putting the trays back on. You must keep your mouth clean to prevent bacteria from building up on the trays.
Even after wearing all of your aligner trays, you must wear the retainers provided by your doctor. Remember, your teeth are still adjusting to their new positions, and without proper retention, there is a high chance of them returning to their original positions. This is standard practice for all types of orthodontic correction, be it metal braces or aligners.
When preparing for clear aligners treatment, it’s important to distinguish between a myth and a fact. Let’s bust some common myths related to aligners.
Fact: Orthodontic treatment with clear aligners is cost-effective and not ‘expensive’. The treatment costs depend on the type of teeth problem that you are looking to correct.
In truth, clear aligner treatment should be considered an investment for long-term oral health. Most doctors offer flexible or monthly payment options, making aligner treatments more affordable. Moreover, if patients look at the bigger picture, the benefits of clear aligners are much more significant when taking the cost into account.
Fact: Unlike braces, clear aligners do not have an elaborate cleaning routine. Patients should rinse their trays everytime they remove and wear them. You can also clean your trays daily with mild soap and water. (3)
Fact: NO, you do not have to give up your favorite snacks and drinks. This is one of the most important things to know before getting clear aligners. You are free to eat anything you want, whenever you want, with aligners as long as you take them out before eating or drinking. If you don't, you run the risk of damaging the aligners from the chewing pressure as well as staining from the foods.
Fact: Clear aligners are capable of working as effectively as metal braces. With the advent of modern plastics, clear aligners make tooth movement possible. Aligners can even treat complex cases like deep bits, open bites, severe crowding, crossbite, etc., using auxiliary attachments like elastics, temporary anchorage devices, and attachments.
While patients generally do not have to prepare for clear aligner treatments, there are a few things that they can do to enjoy a hassle-free treatment process. Let’s look at them.
When it comes to creating a plan for your perfect smile, an aligner expert who is certified in aligner treatments will do the best job. Choose a doctor who is confident, supportive, and shares clear treatment plans with you. This will make your aligner journey much smoother.
Select an aligner brand that understands and cares for your needs (4). Your chosen aligner brand must be reliable and trusted to provide esthetic and comfortable treatments. Make sure to check out reviews and patient testimonials from previous cases before settling on one.
Clear aligners need to be stored in a clean, dry case with vent holes for air circulation when not in use. Do not leave them lying around wrapped in tissue paper since it is easy to misplace the trays. Pop them back on after meals only after rinsing the aligners and your mouth (6) Lastly, change your aligners as and when indicated by your doctor.
Like any orthodontic treatment, you can expect mild discomfort for a few days when you initially start wearing your aligner. This happens because your teeth are moving. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for clear aligner treatments:
Before you decide to wear aligners, get a proper consultation with a certified aligner expert or orthodontist. The doctor will tell you if you are an eligible candidate for clear aligner treatments.
Undoubtedly, clear aligners are more comfortable and esthetically pleasing when compared to fixed orthodontic appliances. Not to forget, it makes maintenance of dental hygiene much easier. Typically, clear aligner treatments require fewer emergency visits and shorter appointments. (7)
With Eon Aligner, your orthodontic treatment journey will be as smooth and clear as your aligners. What are you waiting for? Get in touch with our team and we will connect you with a certified aligner expert in your locality!