Learn How Invisible Aligners Work
Remember, this is all of the teeth – not just the few that are seen when someone smiles. With the end goal in mind, a series of plastic aligners are created using the patient’s initial impressions or digital scans as the starting point. Wearing them puts gentle pressure on the teeth, ever-so-slightly repositioning them. It is recommended aligners be worn 22 hours a day, or as prescribed by the orthodontist.
Each set of aligners is worn for a week or two before going to the next set. The total number of aligners will vary by the needs of each patient. As with traditional braces, patients will need to wear retainers after their teeth reach their new positions.
Pros and Cons of Aligners
Take them out to eat, to brush and floss, or for short periods for work or social situations. Aligners may not be the right «appliance» to correct every kind of orthodontic problem. Braces may be necessary for certain kinds of corrections. With clear aligners, tooth-colored attachments will be placed on the teeth to help the aligners move the teeth.
These attachments are removed once treatment is complete. Liquid can seep into the aligners, and it stays there, in contact with the teeth, until aligners are removed. This can lead to staining of the aligner and the teeth, and if the liquid contains sugar and/or acid, as found in regular and diet soda pop, cavities can develop. If you drink something sugary or acidic , be sure to brush thoroughly before putting your aligners back in.
Because aligners are removable, patients might be tempted to remove them if they experience some discomfort. They can be lost or misplaced when out of the mouth. Make it a habit to slip aligners into their case when they come out of the mouth. If you should lose or damage an aligner, contact your orthodontist immediately for advice on next steps.
Are Clear Aligners Right for Me?
The best way to answer that question is to consult an orthodontist who is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists . Because of orthodontists’ extensive education and familiarity with the many types of «appliances» available, they can knowledgeably suggest what is right for you, based on your treatment goals and lifestyle needs. The American Association of Orthodontists is open exclusively to orthodontists – only orthodontists are admitted for membership. The only doctors who can call themselves «orthodontists» have graduated from dental school and then successfully completed the additional two-to-three years of education in an accredited orthodontic residency program.