What Are Clear Aligners?
Clear aligners are removable and transparent orthodontic aligners placed over the teeth and exert gentle pressure to gradually straighten a patient’s teeth. Clear aligners are becoming more popular than braces in adults and patients with minor to moderate orthodontic misalignment because of their aesthetic qualities. The clear aligners are unnoticeable, more hygienic, and give patients more freedom in their daily lives. Clear aligners can correct a range of orthodontic issues, including:
- Crooked teeth
- Bite problems
How Do Clear Aligners Work?
Impressions are taken of a patient’s bite so we can fabricate custom-made aligners that fit over their teeth. These aligners exert pressure on the teeth just like braces do, but the aligners, which are made of thermoplastic instead of metal, are much more comfortable and cushiony.
The aligners are to be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day to give the aligners enough time to shift the teeth. This is different from braces, which are bonded to the teeth and move the teeth 24 hours a day. For this reason, clear aligners are more convenient.
You can take them out to eat anything you want and to clean your teeth more easily. However, this means you also need to be diligent about wearing them. Avoid removing your aligners too often.
You should avoid habits like frequent snacking that cause you to repeatedly take out your aligners. Each set of aligners will be worn for two weeks. Then, you will switch to a new aligner. Each aligner takes you closer to your orthodontic goals as you progress through your treatment.
The aligners will feel tightest at the start of the 2-week period when you switch to a new aligner. Over time, as the aligners shift your teeth, they will feel less tight, and any soreness will start dissipating.
You will come into Swartout Dental every six weeks for a routine checkup. During these appointments, we check on your progress and provide you with more aligners. You will not need to attend as many appointments as you would with braces because your aligners don’t need adjusting.