Aligners FAQs

How Do I Care for My Aligners?

One of the things that people like the most about aligners is that the process of caring for them is incredibly straightforward – especially when compared to traditional braces.

All you need to know is that you should take them out of your mouth before you go to bed and brush them with water and a toothbrush to remove anything that may have been caught in them during the day. At that point, all you have to do is put them back in and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.

What Is the Treatment Process Like?

The treatment process with aligners is also incredibly straightforward. Every few weeks, you’ll swap out one set of aligners for the next in the sequence – thus making sure that your teeth continue to shift into their ideal positions for the duration of treatment.

How Much Do Aligners Cost?

This is a difficult question to answer, as it is going to be so heavily impacted by the actual length of treatment required. Longer treatments require more sets of aligners, which will increase the price.

Having said that, most people find that aligners come out to be just about the same cost as traditional braces – all via a technique that is every bit as effective and that is certainly more comfortable as well.

Are Aligners Effective?

Speaking of effectiveness, it’s true – aligners are every bit as effective as something like traditional braces for most people. When you also consider the fact that they’re far more discreet – to the point where most people probably won’t even realize that you’re wearing them at all – and you can understand why clear aligners are so popular.

How Long Does It Take for Aligners to Work?

Generally speaking, aligners begin to “work” right away – it’s just that progress is slow by design. Every time you swap out a set of aligners for the next one in the sequence, your teeth shift ever so slightly – a few millimeters or less in most cases. But by the time treatment has finished, your teeth will likely have shifted enormously and you’ll see the perfect smile you’ve always wanted for yourself staring back at you in the mirror every day.

Are There Any Diet Restrictions?

Another one of the major reasons that people love aligners is that there are no dietary restrictions. Again, this is because they’re removable and can be taken out of your mouth in seconds. All you have to do is remove the aligners and you can eat whatever you want. Just be sure to brush and floss before you put them back in again, of course.

How Do Aligners Work?

Aligners work by gently shifting your teeth into their ideal position over many months. Each set of aligners in the sequence is a little bit different than the one that came before it, thus moving your teeth farther and farther over time.

Are Aligners Right for Me?

There is a very excellent chance that aligners are right for you – but as is true with all types of corrective dental treatment, this isn’t necessarily a 100% guarantee. Your orthodontist will go over everything with you after your initial examination, making sure you have the most complete picture to work with moving forward. Even if aligners aren’t right for you, they’ll be able to discuss the options that ARE – thus allowing you to make the best decision possible with regards to your oral health.

Are Aligners Better Than Braces?

Aligners aren’t necessarily “better” than braces in that they’re somehow more effective because they’re not. Indeed, both techniques allow you to achieve the same results – just in two entirely different ways.

Most people prefer aligners because they’re far more comfortable, as the clear plastic trays themselves are created using precise measurements of your mouth. This allows them to act as something of a “second skin” to your natural teeth, offering an experience that most people get fully used to in a few days or less. Likewise, they’re far less noticeable than braces – unless you come right out and tell people you’re wearing them, most people won’t notice. Finally, because there is nothing to “break” like with traditional metal braces, treatment is usually far more straightforward as there is very little, if anything, that can truly go wrong.

But as stated, both techniques have their fair share of pros and cons. Your orthodontist will go over all of this with you well in advance so that you know exactly what to expect before treatment begins.

Are There Any Food Restrictions?

As previously mentioned, there are absolutely no food restrictions to speak of. This is not the case with traditional braces, for example, where you’ll want to avoid any foods that are particularly hard, chewy, crunchy, or even sticky. You can eat whatever you want with aligners, whereas you do have to watch a lot of what you eat when you’re fitted with traditional braces.

How Should I Clean My Aligners?

Cleaning your aligners is a lot like brushing your teeth regularly. You should follow the techniques outlined above by brushing them every night, along with any time that something is “caught” in them that could brush up against your natural teeth.

How Many Hours a Day Do I Have to Wear Aligners?

For the absolute best results, you’re going to need to wear your aligners as often as you can. Most orthodontists recommend at least 22 hours per day, but that’s just a starting point. The only times you should be taking them out of your mouth are when you’re having a meal when you’re drinking something that isn’t water, or during a special event like a prom, graduation, or a wedding. At any other point, those aligners should be securely in your mouth to guarantee the most effective treatment possible.