Clear aligners are the latest technology in orthodontic treatment. They are an alternative to braces that are effective for many patients. There are a few different brands of clear aligners on the market, Invisalign being the original and most well-known.
If you’re thinking of choosing clear aligners for your orthodontic treatment, consider the pros and cons to help you make the best decision for you.
How Do Clear Aligners Work?
Clear aligners are made of plastic that is molded to the shape of your teeth. A series of aligners are created that have slight variations in the shape so that the teeth will be gradually shifted into the proper position. You wear each aligner for about two weeks, then switch to the next aligner in order. Once you have worn all of the aligners according to your orthodontist’s instructions, your teeth should be in the desired position.
Pros of Clear Aligners
The following are benefits of clear aligner systems:
- Discreet. Clear aligners are virtually invisible on your teeth. The clear plastic fits snugly to your teeth so that it can’t be in most cases. You can straighten your teeth discreetly without changing your appearance.
- Comfortable. The smooth plastic aligners won’t irritate your tongue or the insides of your cheeks and lips. And clear aligners shift your teeth more gradually so you’ll experience less discomfort overall.
- Convenient. Clear aligners are removable for eating and cleaning your teeth. There are no food restrictions and no special brushing or flossing tools required to keep your teeth clean.
- Efficient. Clear aligners can shift your teeth into the proper position in 6-18 months.
Cons of Clear Aligners
There are some disadvantages to clear aligner systems:
- Not everyone is a candidate. Clear aligner systems work best for patients with mild to moderate orthodontic issues. If you need significant adjustments made to your teeth, clear aligners may not be effective.
- Aligners can be lost. It is easy to lose your aligners unless you store them in the case provided and keep track of it.
- You may forget to wear your aligners. If you don’t wear your aligners enough the treatment will not be effective or may take longer. It is recommended that you wear them for at least 22 hours a day.
- You can’t eat or drink while wearing your aligners. You should not eat or drink anything other than water while wearing your aligners. This means if you’re a frequent snacker or sipper, clear aligners may not be best for you.
Are Clear Aligners Right For You?
If you’re wondering whether or not clear aligners are the right orthodontic treatment for you, the first step is to schedule an evaluation. Embrace Orthodontics can evaluate the current position of your teeth and determine whether or not clear aligners would be effective in your case. We can discuss the pros and cons with you as well to help you make the best decision for you or your child.
Frequently Asked Questions About Clear Aligners
Do I need to clean my aligners?
It is important to clean your aligners daily. Brush them with clear, unscented soap and a soft bristled toothbrush that is different from the one you use on your teeth. Clean your aligners and your teeth before putting the aligners back in.
Why do some people need braces?
There are some adjustments that clear aligners are not capable of making. If teeth need to be rotated or moved up or down in the jaw, braces may be needed. Severe bite misalignment may also require braces.