Are you looking for an alternative to traditional braces? You may not like the idea of braces or feel too self-conscious to wear them. Don’t despair. Clear aligners may be an option for you. Clear aligners are thin, clear trays made to fit your teeth. Unlike metal braces, aligners are removable. You put them in and take them out yourself. Patients receive sets of aligners designed to move their teeth. Clear aligners use the same method as braces — constant, gentle pressure.
Benefits of Clear Aligners
Clear Aligners have some benefits that metal braces do not:
- Aligners allow for easier brushing and flossing since you can remove them for cleaning. Plus, food won’t get stuck like with metal brackets.
- Aligners don’t have brackets or wires that can loosen. Therefore they require fewer repairs and fewer emergency visits to the orthodontist.
- Aligners are nearly invisible.
Often people won’t be able to tell you’re wearing them at all!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will wearing aligners affect my speech?
A: Like all orthodontic treatments, the aligners may temporarily affect your speech. Also, you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue adjusts to the aligners, any lisp or minor speech problem should disappear.
Q: Is it okay to drink hot or cold beverages while wearing aligners?
A: Except for cool water, we recommend that you do not drink while wearing aligners. If you want to drink something hot, remove your aligners because hot water can warp them.
Q: Can I eat while wearing clear aligners?
A: Food can become trapped in the aligners causing cavities or stains on your teeth. Therefore, you take the aligners out of your mouth for eating, brushing, and flossing.
Q: How often do aligners need to be changed?
A: How often you need to change your aligners depends on the length of your treatment. Typically you will need to change your aligners weekly or every other week.
Q: What if I lose or break an aligner?
A: If you lose or break an aligner, you advance to your next aligner and wear it for the remaining days of your lost or broken aligner.
Clear Aligners versus Traditional Braces
Here are some points to consider when weighing if you should get traditional braces or clear aligners.
- Both metal braces and aligners apply a constant yet gentle force to align your teeth properly.
- Metal braces are efficient at fixing complex tooth problems such as severe overcrowding.
- Clear aligners are less conspicuous, more comfortable, and easier to wear than metal braces.
- Because Dr. Cobb personally creates your custom aligner treatment plan with virtual technology, he knows where your teeth are going before you start. Therefore, you need fewer appointments in the office to accomplish clear aligner treatment.
The important thing is to see an orthodontist. Then you can discuss your problem and whether or not clear aligners are an option for you. Also, talk to your orthodontist about the cost and treatment time. Then you will have all of the data to make the choice that is best for you.
Dr. Numa Cobb, III