Pros and Cons of Using Clear Aligners to Straighten Your Teeth

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

Cons of Clear Aligners 

There are some disadvantages to clear aligner systems: 

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. 

To learn more, call 518-439-9339 or contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

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.

How Long Does It Take To Whiten Teeth?

The desire for a whiter smile is practically universal. No matter what caused the stain, you might wonder how long it will take to eliminate them and whiten your teeth once and for all. Here’s what you can expect when you begin your journey to a pearly-white smile. 

What Causes Teeth to Discolor?

There are many culprits that can cause teeth to discolor. Some may be out of your control, while others might be attributed to lifestyle and dietary decisions that you may wish to change if you’re especially concerned about the color of your teeth. 

Medication

Sometimes, you may need to take prescription medication to treat a specific health concern. While such medicines are invaluable, they may have an unfortunate side effect of causing teeth to yellow.

Smoking

Smoking affects your overall health, but it can have a more visible effect on the appearance of the teeth and, over time, the condition of your teeth and gums. It’s been linked to conditions like gum disease and even mouth cancer.

The ingredients responsible for staining the teeth are tar and nicotine, both of which can lead to fairly rapid discoloration. Tar adheres to the teeth, causing them to take on a yellow or brown color. Nicotine is colorless, but it can cause marks to develop on the teeth the more that you smoke.

The stains may seem merely cosmetic at first, but they can actually have a long-term effect on your dental health. The stains can slowly cause your enamel to break down, leaving the soft dentin layer inside your teeth exposed. The dentin layer is yellow, causing teeth to appear more discolored. More importantly, exposed dentin can lead to severe sensitivity and issues like receding gums and cracks.

Stains can even damage your gums over time, as the chemicals in the cigarettes that adhere to your teeth can cause slow deterioration of the tissues in your mouth. Left untreated, gum diseases can have serious consequences, like tooth and bone loss. 

Beverages

Millions of people drink coffee, tea, and wine — which means millions are at risk of developing discoloration due to these beverages. It’s a common concern that can develop if you consume anything that contains tannins, which have acids that break down the enamel on your teeth and cause stains to form.

Some foods are also to blame, like berries, curries, and beetroot. Condiments like soy sauce, tomato sauce, and balsamic vinegar can also cause teeth to discolor over time. 

How Long Does It Take to Whiten Teeth?

Whitening depends largely on the level of discoloration, what caused it, and your desired shade of whiteness. Yellowing related to smoking, for example, may take some more time to treat than stains that occur as a result of coffee consumption.

The good news is that your dentist will perform a complete examination and assessment, so you’ll have a good idea about how long the entire whitening process will take. Often, dentists can whiten teeth by two to three shades in an hour.

The process involves using a hydrogen peroxide-based bleach that is specifically tailored to your unique needs. This is more effective than using over-the-counter products, which may cause sensitivity or not be effective enough to cut through deeper-set stains on the teeth.

Once you achieve the desired results, you can expect them to last for several months — but in some cases, your teeth may retain your preferred whiteness level for several years. The more care that you give to brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly, as well as limiting stain-causing beverages and habits, you can prolong the results of your smile makeover. 

Teeth Whitening at Embrace Orthodontics

If you’re concerned about discolored teeth, explore the options available to you at Embrace Orthodontics. Dr. Palermo and his friendly team are proud to offer proprietary teeth whitening, created to give you the smile of your dreams using a peroxide-based solution that produces lasting results. Visit our website to learn more, and call 518-439-9339 to schedule an appointment.

Do You Need to See an Orthodontist for Clear Aligners?

While any general dentist can receive training and offer clear aligners, seeing an orthodontist for this treatment is the wisest choice. Orthodontists spend years studying how the teeth, jaw, and facial tissues move when receiving treatment.

How Clear Aligners Work

Clear aligners consist of a graduated set of medical-grade plastic trays custom-made for your teeth. Each set of trays moves your teeth using even, gentle pressure. You will wear them 22-24 hours daily, removing them only to brush, floss, eat, and drink.

Your orthodontist will direct you to change aligners every one to two weeks. As you progress through the series of aligners, you will notice your teeth gradually shifting and your smile transforming. While no one has to know you are using clear aligners to straighten your teeth, they may notice your new smile taking shape.

Advantages of Clear Aligners

Comfortable

Clear aligners have no sharp edges or metal to irritate your sensitive oral tissues. After you become accustomed to wearing your aligners, they will feel natural.

Discreet

Busy adults and older teens appreciate the discretion of clear aligners. They do not attract unwanted attention like traditional braces.

Faster Than Braces

Clear aligners take about 12 to 18 months to straighten your teeth, while braces can take up to three years.

Better Oral Health

Many patients find cleaning around braces difficult. Clear aligners come out for brushing and flossing, making the process easier. Since you can keep your teeth cleaner with clear aligners, you will have a lower risk of gum disease and tooth decay.

No Food Restrictions

Many foods are off-limits for people with braces. Since clear aligners come out when you eat, you can eat what you like as long as you thoroughly clean your teeth before replacing the aligners.

Benefits of Receiving Clear Aligners From an Orthodontist

Orthodontists have a deeper understanding of how and why teeth need to move to ensure optimal oral health. If complications arise, orthodontists are better equipped to handle them.

Orthodontists have better design skills than general dentists. Rather than simply following instructions, they can carefully plan your clear aligners treatment for the best results. Many orthodontists offer multiple brands and types of clear aligners to meet your needs best rather than being tied to one brand.

Orthodontists have more experience with clear aligners than general dentists, who spend most of their time on other treatments.

Call Embrace Orthodontics

Any general dentist can take a course and receive training in clear aligners, but an orthodontist will provide the greatest chance for successful treatment.

If you are interested in clear aligners, give yourself an advantage by choosing an orthodontist as your treatment provider. Call our Delmar, NY, office at 518-439-9339 to schedule a consultation and meet with one of our orthodontists to discuss your goals.

2 Options for Whitening Your Teeth

If your teeth are not as white as they could be, you may be interested in professional teeth whitening. Many orthodontic patients want to finish their treatment with teeth whitening to complete the look of their new smile.

Here are three options for whitening your teeth:

1. Chairside Teeth Whitening

For our patients, we offer a proprietary teeth whitening system tailored to the needs of orthodontic patients.Unlike other in-office teeth whitening systems, we can create stunning results without the excess sensitivity that can occur from using other products.

2. Over-The-Counter

The second option and least preferred is over-the-counter whitening. Toothpaste, rinses, and strips purchased in pharmacies or grocery stores are mostly safe but may not be nearly as effective as professional whitening. In addition, with repeated use, they may produce severe tooth sensitivity.

Use items purchased online with extreme caution. The peroxide level in these gels may be much higher than in other over-the-counter preparations. They can cause excess tooth dehydration, sensitivity, and even burn your gums.

How Professional Teeth Whitening Works

Teeth whitening starts with an exam and evaluation. Your dentist will help you decide which level of whitening looks best on you.

Next, the dentist protects your lips and gums from the strong whitening gel. They may use a plastic lip retractor to keep your lips out of the way. The dentist covers the gums around the teeth to be whitened with a protective gel, then hardens the gel with a light. This gel will keep your gums safe during the bleaching process.

Teeth whitening gels use hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Peroxide penetrates the enamel and breaks up stains in a process called oxidation.

The dentist typically repeats the gel application several times during one appointment. Each round of gel will produce brighter results.

After treatment, the dentist may apply another gel that reduces tooth sensitivity.

Teeth Whitening Recommendations

If you need bonding, implants, or crowns, consider whitening your teeth before receiving these treatments. Since they are artificial materials, these restorations do not respond to whitening gels. If you get your teeth whitened first, your dentist will be able to match your new restorations to your brightened smile.

How to Preserve Your New Smile

Most people understand you should avoid darkly pigmented food and beverages after whitening your teeth. You should also steer clear of overly sweet or acidic foods and drinks.

Smoking causes tooth stains, so if you smoke, consider quitting before whitening your teeth. These lifestyle changes can preserve your beautiful new smile as long as possible.

Call Embrace Orthodontics

Call our Delmar, NY, office at 518-439-9339 if you are interested in our unique teeth whitening system. We can help you decide which whitening options are right for you.

Considering Adult Orthodontic Treatment? What You Should Know

Contrary to popular belief, it is never too late to start orthodontic treatment. While it is true that many patients get treatment done when they are young, there are multiple dental issues in adult patients that can still be effectively treated through orthodontic solutions. With advancements in dental technology, there are even effective treatments for issues now that weren’t available for many adults when they were younger.

So what are the similarities between orthodontic treatments for young and older patients? What are some of the differences? What are some of the latest developments in orthodontic dental treatments? We here at Embrace Orthodontics are happy to explain everything patients should consider when seeking adult orthodontic treatment:

You have multiple treatment options to choose from

Gone are the days where the only option to correct your teeth were bulky metal braces. In fact, there are two different options that many adult patients consider when considering adult orthodontic treatment:

Treatment time is typically longer for adult patients

The one negative to orthodontic treatment for adults compared to child patients is that the overall treatment time is usually longer. This is because orthodontic treatments work in tandem with your child’s growing and shifting jaw to accelerate treatment. Because adults aren’t growing or changing as quickly, treatments do take longer compared to younger patients.

Whether you go with braces or clear aligners, you should anticipate treatment taking between 24 to 36 months. It is vital you follow your orthodontist’s aligner and braces instructions during this time to accelerate and successfully complete treatment. By practicing good oral hygiene habits, you’re likely to accelerate overall treatment time as well. 

Your insurance may cover adult orthodontic treatment

One reason why some adults are hesitant to get orthodontic treatment is due to the price. While it isn’t true for all insurance companies, some do offer orthodontic treatment as part of their dental package. If you are enrolled in a dental insurance program, contact your insurance provider and your dental office and see if any orthodontic treatment services are covered.

Get orthodontic treatment from Embrace Orthodontics

Are you looking for a new orthodontist for yourself or your family in the Delmar, New York area? Then please reach out to us at Embrace Orthodontics! We are happy to provide orthodontic treatment to patients of all ages, be it through traditional metal braces or through clear aligners. Want to preview what your teeth will look like after treatment? Ask us about our 3D Orthodontic services to preview how we can improve your smile!

Contact us today if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment, and we look forward to helping you straighten your teeth here at Embrace Orthodontics!