Straight teeth are exciting, but wearing metal braces and smiling through metal wires and bright coloured O-rings isn’t for everyone. It’s no surprise that clear aligners have grown in popularity over the last decade. They are positioned as a quick, simple, and convenient alternative to metal braces. Are these clear aligners worth the hype? What do patients really need to know before beginning treatment? We have answers to your questions. What you should know about clear aligners.
How Do Aligners Actually Work?
Clear aligners, such as Invisalign and Spark, are used to straighten teeth gradually. These aligners apply pressure to your teeth, gradually moving them in the right direction. Your orthodontist will give you several sets of aligners at the start of your treatment and in the comfort of your own home, you can replace them every 2 weeks with a fresh set that will continue to move your teeth closer to their final position. The main distinction between aligners and traditional braces is that aligners can be removed. Aligners are clear and nearly invisible but can still be removed for important events or eating. However, you should wear your aligners as much as possible. The more aligners you wear, the more effective your treatment and the straighter your teeth will be.
How Quickly Can They Straighten Your Teeth
Because each patient is unique, there is no set time frame for your treatment. However, your orthodontist will most likely give you an estimate of how long you should wear your aligners. Clear aligners are typically worn by patients for 9 to 15 months. The more consistently you use your aligners, the better they will work at straightening your teeth. This means your treatment will be faster. From early in your treatment, you will likely notice that your teeth are straightening more and more with each passing week.
How To Keep Aligners Clean?
Keeping your mouth clean is the best way to keep your aligners clean. Don’t forget that aligners should be removed when eating and drinking anything except cold water. Brush and floss, or at the very least rinse your mouth thoroughly with water, before putting on your aligners to avoid staining. Coffee, tea, sodas, and food with strong colouring (curries, turmeric, tomato paste, food colouring) can also stain your aligners, giving you a yellow smile, so drink and eat these with caution. Your orthodontist may provide or recommend a cleaning solution to assist you in de-staining the aligners and keeping them clean and clear.
Our goal at Thorndon Orthodontics is to make you feel at ease with your treatment plan and progress. We want you to be excited about the changes you see as your teeth align and feel confident that you have made the best decision in choosing to transform your smile. Don’t be afraid to contact us if you have any questions about clear aligners. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have!