7 Things You Need To Know Before You Get Clear Aligners

Thanks to their discreet appearance, clear aligners are an attractive option for those who'd like to straighten their crooked, crowded or gapped teeth. Many dentists report that clear aligners are now the preferred treatment for up to 80% of dental patients.

But how do you know if they're right for you? Here are some things to consider.

1. You Need To Wear Them 22 Hours A Day, 7 Days a Week

Clear aligners aren't stuck to your teeth like traditional metal braces would be, but they do still require a certain degree of commitment.

Invisible braces must only be removed to eat and brush your teeth. Failure to wear them for the recommended amount of time could result in prolonged treatment, and could cause your teeth to shift toward their original alignment.

While many people love to have the option of removing their aligners to eat, some people are tempted to take them out for social gatherings. Of course, doing this will prolong and decrease the effectiveness of the treatment. So if you can't commit to the full 22 hours, then clear aligners might not be for you!

2. You Need To Brush Your Teeth After Every Bit of Food (Even Snacks!)

Woman with tooth brush

Speaking of eating, it's absolutely essential to brush your teeth right after consuming food when you have clear aligners.

Because the aligner trays cover every tooth, bits of unswallowed food and bacteria can get trapped between the plastic and your teeth. This is not only very unhygienic, but can lead to cavities, a huge buildup of plaque, and unsociably bad breath – three things no one who cares about their dental health wants!

If you’re a sucker for snacks, or don't think you can commit to cleaning both your teeth and aligners multiple times a day, clear aligners might not be so suitable.

3. Clear Aligners Can Get Stained

It's not just food that you need to look out for when it comes to looking after your clear aligners. Beverages such as coffee, tea and red wine have the potential to stain your clear braces if you don't remove them before drinking.

Smoking is also a huge no-no, and can lead to discolouration and terrible oral health in general.

Some market leaders, such as ClearCorrect, have created their aligners with improved stain-resistant technology. However, your best chance of ‘resisting stains’ is to brush after every meal, snack and drink, and avoid teeth-staining foods and beverages as much as possible.

4. In Some Cases, Clear Aligners Can't Fix Overbite, Crossbite, Or Underbite

One key thing to think about when thinking about clear aligners is whether they'll be able to fix your malocclusion. Generally, misaligned bites are caused by crooked teeth, which clear aligners can fix. However, orthognathic surgery may be required in some severe cases, where the issue lies in the jaw. The best way to find out if clear aligners could fix your malocclusion is to speak to a dentist or orthodontist – they'll be able to advise you on your best options. You can find a local certified dentist or orthodontist by browsing our registered experts on SmileStories.

5. They Can Be Quite Expensive, But You're Paying For The Benefits

Happy couple with beautiful smiles

A not-so-secret thing you need to consider before getting clear aligner treatment is whether or not you can afford it. Market leaders such as ClearCorrect and Invisalign have developed their clear aligners with very sophisticated technologies, and this is reflected in the price of the treatment.

It's worth bearing in mind that you get what you pay for when it comes to invisible braces. Generally, the more expensive options do come with a range of benefits, such as superior comfort, stain resistance, discreetness, and anti-crack technology. Opting for higher quality aligners means that you're likely to spend less on replacement retainers, which can incur a whole lot of extra costs down the line.

Of course, the cost will depend on the severity of your crooked teeth, and for how long your treatment will last. The best thing to do is to speak to a registered dentist or orthodontist who'll be able to advise you on the best option. Why not visit SmileStories and get in touch with one today?

6. They're Generally Faster Than Traditional Braces (and Have a Whole Host of Other Advantages!)

Generally speaking, clear aligners work to straighten teeth can be faster than traditional braces (up to 50% quicker in some cases!). Of course, this is entirely dependent on the patient wearing their aligners 22 hours a day as instructed.

But that's not the only advantage. In fact, Clear Aligners:

  • are virtually invisible, making them an attractive option for those who are conscious about their appearance
  • require fewer dentist visits compared to traditional metal braces
  • are actually very comfortable to wear thanks to their ultra-thin makeup
  • can even help whiten your teeth by promoting better dental hygiene

7. There's a Whole Range of Orthodontic Treatment Options

Clear aligners aren't the only option you have when it comes to fixing your crooked teeth. There are plenty of alternatives out there that may be more suited to your lifestyle:

  • If you don't have the budget for clear aligners, then traditional metal braces offer a cheap and effective option.
  • If you don't think you can commit to wearing clear aligners 22 hours a day, but you still want a discreet option, lingual braces might be a better alternative. This is when a bonded metal brace is glued to the reverse side of your teeth. Some people prefer this option, as it means they don't have to remove the braces to eat or brush their teeth.

At SmileStories, we always recommend speaking to a certified dentist or orthodontist before deciding which treatment is right for you. Why not find your local expert today by searching on our website? 

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