Clear aligners are a popular choice for adults because they are less noticeable than the more traditional braces. The goal is the same, though. They work to move teeth gradually, so they are straighter and improve your smile.
Unlike traditional wire and bracket braces, clear aligners consist of plastic form trays that you take out when you eat and to clean your teeth. That freedom can make these braces more comfortable. What else should adults considering clear aligners know?
Why should I get clear aligners as an adult?
With clear aligners, there are no wires or brackets to cut soft tissue, so they are more comfortable. The aligner’s smooth surface will not irritate the mouth the way traditional braces do.
The clear plastic form of the aligners makes them almost unnoticeable in your mouth, too. You can wear them at work, to parties or while sitting at home watching TV. And if you want to take them out for a big event, it’s easy to do.
One of the biggest advantages to clear aligners is the ability to remove them when eating. It is necessary to cement brackets to teeth for the old-school braces and food and plaque build-up around them, making your mouth feel unclean and leaving you afraid to smile. That problem does not exist with clear aligners.
You can also remove the aligners to brush and floss each day. That allows for better oral hygiene and fresher breath. The goal is to wear the clear aligners for roughly 22 hours a day.
How will you start my treatment plan?
The treatment will start with a full exam and an impressionless scan of your teeth. It allows a lab to custom make the aligners so they fit perfectly in your mouth. We will replace the aligner tray as needed, usually once a month. Each time, we scan your teeth and have a new aligner custom-made to fit your mouth as the realignment happens.
How long will my treatment last?
here is no way to know how long it will take for clear aligners to do their job. On average, we can tell you that our patients wear these clear aligners for 12 to 24 months depending on the treatment complexity.
How much will my clear aligners cost?
It’s hard to say how much adult clear aligners will cost because there are many factors involved, such as how long your treatment lasts and the difficulty of your correction. Someone that needs less time requires fewer aligners, so the cost is less.
We should be able to give you an idea during your first visit with us. That allows us to look at your teeth and understand what is involved in correcting their alignment. That way, you will know if getting clear aligners makes sense for you.
Is it possible to switch from braces to clear aligners?
It’s hard to say without having a chance to understand your situation. It is possible to make this switch, so you can consider if you are unhappy with your braces. Clear aligners tend to be more comfortable and easier to wear. The circumstances would have to be right for this change to happen, though, which is why we would need to see you before saying definitely.
How do I sanitize clear aligners?
One of the best options for cleaning and sanitizing your clear aligners is antibacterial soap. You scrub the aligners using a little of the soap and then rinse them under running water. Use a soft toothbrush to clean the aligners with the soap to avoid scratching them.
Another option is white vinegar. Simply soak the aligners in a mix of white vinegar and cold water for at least 15 minutes.
You can also choose to brush the aligner with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste. Make sure you avoid toothpaste with baking soda or another abrasive. And use the toothpaste sparingly as it can leave a film on the plastic aligner.
Are clear aligners uncomfortable?
Many people choose clear aligners because they are more comfortable than braces. They can be a little uncomfortable, though. Keep in mind the process requires your teeth to move, which puts pressure on the gum tissue, which causes most of the pain.
You might want to avoid eating foods that can make your gums sore, like nuts or potato chips. Try not to chew ice, but you can use it to help with the discomfort. If you are having a lot of pain, make sure to let us know so he can check to ensure you don’t have an infection or another problem inside your mouth.