More and more people choose to straighten their teeth to create a perfect smile and for all of the health benefits. Because of advances in orthodontic treatment, people can now pick from a variety of teeth straightening alternatives, from traditional braces to invisible aligners. But with multiple options at your fingertips, that can make choosing the best treatment for you all the more confusing.
However, the good news is you can straighten your teeth without braces. So, if you’re interested in correcting your smile but would like to learn more about what invisible aligners are and how they work, well, you came to the right place! Below we’ll cover all you need to know about straightening your teeth with clear aligners and what’s in store for you!
What Are Aligners?
Teeth aligners are clear plastic trays usually made from a BPA-free material that is smooth and comfortable to wear. The custom upper and lower trays should fit your teeth snugly and gradually shift them over time into the desired position. Usually, your invisible aligner treatment will include several sets of custom-made trays, worn for 1 to 2 weeks at a time to straighten your smile.
Generally, the process takes 6-11 months to realign your teeth. With each new set of aligners, slight adjustments will be made to your teeth, advancing you one step closer to your desired smile. The entire process is usually mapped out in advance, and a state-licensed dentist or orthodontist will oversee your case.
Do Teeth Aligners Hurt?
A common question asked is, do invisible aligners hurt? No, they shouldn’t hurt. With each new set of aligners, some discomfort is to be expected as your teeth acclimate to their new position. But within a day or two, your teeth should be used to the new set of trays. But, just in case, here are some helpful ways to make your aligners more comfortable if you need recommendations.
How Invisible Aligners Work
Removable aligners work to straighten teeth gradually over time, either by being worn all-day or with an at-night treatment option. Both teeth straightening treatments realign the teeth gradually by applying pressure to shift the teeth into a straighter position.
A gradual application of force changes the position of your teeth and the supporting tissue. Because the treatment is gradual, clear teeth aligners are often more gentle and comfortable than other methods.
Besides realigning your teeth, the benefits of clear aligners don’t just stop there.
What’s Involved with Wearing Clear Aligners?
To straighten teeth, fix teeth gaps or crowded teeth, you will need to wear your clear aligners 20 to 22 hours a day. You’re only supposed to take the teeth aligners out to eat or drink anything besides water and to brush and floss your teeth.
If you think it will be hard to commit to 20 to 22 hours a day, you may like the at-night aligner option instead. Nighttime clear aligners do exactly what daytime trays would do, except they are working to straighten your teeth while at home and asleep. So if you’re unsure about committing to a full 20 to 22 hours, you can always still achieve great results while you’re sleeping with nighttime clear aligners instead.
The average time it takes to complete your teeth straightening treatment with nighttime aligners is usually 8-12 months. And it’s recommended to wear the aligners 10+ hours a day to achieve the results you’re looking for.
How are Invisible Aligners Different From Other Orthodontic Treatments?
Traditional braces use brackets and wires to create the pressure necessary to force the teeth to move into correct alignment. Some of these small components are adhered to the teeth or secured with metal ties, making them unremovable and at times uncomfortable. With clear removable aligners, you’re able to complete teeth alignment treatment without the hardware needed for traditional braces.
Treatment Times Are Reduced
Another difference with invisible aligners is reduced treatment times. Traditional braces can take 1 to 3 years to realign teeth while being worn 24/7. Teeth straightening treatment with invisible aligners take 6-11 months while being worn 20-22 hours a day.
Conventional braces take longer because you’ll need to make monthly in-office visits to an orthodontist for adjustments. With invisible aligners, your treatment can be overseen virtually and include regular check-ins. As soon as you achieve the results with your first set of trays, you’ll be able to easily move on to the next set instead of waiting for your follow-up ortho appointment.
Can Anyone Get Clear Aligners?
Invisible aligners work best for people with mild to moderate crowding, spacing, and general alignment concerns. You may need other forms of orthodontic intervention for issues like severe crowding, malocclusion, or rotated teeth.
The best candidates for invisible aligners are teens and adults. Since a child’s mouth is still developing and growing, clear aligner treatment isn’t recommended for younger children.
To find out if you’re a candidate for clear aligner treatment, normally a screening process is done to determine if you qualify and usually includes taking at-home impressions. However, the good news is, most people are candidates for clear aligner treatment. You can easily consult dental care in Greenbelt to see if you’re a viable candidate for clear aligners.
How Much Do Clear Aligners Cost?
There are a lot of aligner brands out there with a variety of price ranges. But the average price range for teeth straightening treatment is usually between $1700 (UpSmiles) and $2400 (Candid®). Traditional braces usually cost $5000-$6500, and if you were to go with Invisalign®: that normally costs $5000-$7000. For many people, the decision to get invisible aligners comes down to price, and most aligner brands offer payment plans to help you achieve the smile you want.
More and more people are choosing invisible aligners over braces for their convenience, affordability, and faster treatment results. If you think invisible aligners are for you and are ready to take your smile to the next level, getting started is easy.
UpSmiles is an invisible aligner brand that offers a No-Risk Impression Kit you can order to find out if you’re a candidate for clear aligners. And don’t worry if you’ve never taken an impression before.
After you send back your dental impression, their process includes a dentist or orthodontist looking over your case and creating a customized treatment plan. They offer All-Day Aligners or At-Night Aligner treatments, so you can choose whichever fits your needs and lifestyle.
To order is really easy, so whenever you’re ready to start your teeth alignment treatment, your custom clear aligners will be made in a dental lab and sent to your house within a few weeks.
Getting started with teeth alignment treatment is pretty simple, and within a few short months, you’ll be proudly showing off your perfect smile.