Uncovering the Modern World of Teeth Aligners


For years, dentists would give their patients metal braces to treat their crooked teeth. However, many patients would often complain about the discomfort that came with wearing them. Cuts, bruises, pain, and soreness of the soft oral tissues were some common complaints. With new and successful advancements in dentistry, traditional metal braces are not so popular anymore when it comes to straightening teeth. One such advancement in the field of orthodontics is teeth aligners!

Teeth aligners have gained much popularity for good reasons. They help you fix your crooked teeth and other bite issues in a hidden, comfortable, and effective way. This blog will help you learn more about what aligners are, how they work, the steps to get them, and how to maintain them for a radiant, straight smile.

Understanding What Teeth Aligners Are  

Gone are the days when you could only choose metal braces as an option to straighten your teeth. Teeth aligners are custom-made, thin, invisible plastic trays that fit perfectly over your teeth. They apply continuous and gentle pressure on the teeth to move them to the correct position.

People with mild to moderate teeth alignment issues who want to straighten their teeth discreetly use clear aligners. These aligners are made from almost transparent and BPA-free smooth plastic or acrylic material. This is why they are less visible than metal braces.

How Do Teeth Aligners Work? 

Teeth aligners work their magic by gently moving your teeth into the desired position with controlled pressure. This process involves a series of aligners, each one a step closer to your perfect smile. As you progress through these aligner sets, your teeth gradually reach their correct positions. The treatment typically lasts for 18 months or more. Dentists recommend their patients wear each set of aligners for 20-22 hours daily for 1-2 weeks.

What Dental Problems Do Teeth Aligners Correct? 

Teeth aligners are effective in treating a variety of dental problems, including:

  • Crowding occurs when there is not enough space in the dental arch for all teeth to be in their correct positions.
  • Spacing is when there are a lot of gaps present between teeth. This happens when the dental arch is too wide for all the teeth or if teeth are missing.
  • Overbite occurs if the upper front teeth are positioned excessively ahead of the lower front teeth when biting down.
  • Underbite occurs if the lower front teeth are positioned excessively ahead of the upper front teeth when biting down.
  • Crossbite occurs when the upper and lower teeth don’t line up properly. In this bite problem, the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth after closing the mouth.
  • Open bite is when a space is present between the upper and lower teeth after closing the mouth.
  • Midline misalignment is when the vertical middle line of the upper and lower teeth does not align correctly with the vertical central line of the face.

What Does the Journey to Getting a Straight Smile Entail?  

In the first step, the patient has to meet with the dentist for an initial consultation. In this meeting, the dentist will examine your teeth, discuss your smile goals and determine if you can get teeth aligners.

The next step involves the dentist taking impressions or digital scans using a 3D virtual setup. The amazing part about this setup is that it lets the patient see their future smile before even starting the treatment. The 3D virtual setup also allows the dentist to plan the tooth movements.

The patient and the dentist will review and approve the treatment plan. The treatment plan also outlines the expected duration of treatment and progression.

The scans are then sent to the dental lab. These scans are then used to make the custom-made aligners. Once ready, all sets of aligners will be sent to your dentist.

The dentist will then call you to the clinic and give you all your sets of aligners, along with instructions on how to wear them. You’ll start wearing your aligners typically for 22 hours a day or as told by your dentist.

Attend regular check-up appointments with your dentist to check your progress and make any adjustments if needed.

You’ll achieve your desired smile after successfully wearing all sets of aligners. Your dentist may advise a retainer to maintain the results.

Some Common Do’s and Don’ts for Teeth Aligners 

  • Do Remove Your Aligners before Eating. You are free to eat all your favourite foods with aligners as they are removable. However, one can forget they even have aligners on as they are very comfortable. You should avoid eating hard foods like nuts, coloured drinks, and other foods to avoid any permanent damage to the aligners.
  • Do Wash Your Aligners Regularly. Clean your aligners well with a soft-bristled brush and cold water. Use a non-abrasive toothpaste to clean the aligners.
  • Do Rinse Your Mouth. Always rinse your mouth before putting aligners on, especially after you eat anything. This will prevent food particles from getting stuck between your aligner and teeth, which can cause tooth decay.
  • Do Wear Your Aligners Regularly. The advised wear time for aligners is 20-22 hours a day. Make sure you wear them for that duration to have a perfect smile!
  • Do Store Them Safely. When not in use, store your aligners safely in the box they come in. When kept out in the open for a long time, they can be exposed to air bacteria. If left lying around carelessly, they can also get misplaced or damaged.
  • Do Handle Them with Care. While putting in your aligners, handle them one at a time. Avoid handling both together as there are chances of them slipping, getting compressed and damaged.
  • Do Have Regular Appointments with Your Orthodontist. Make sure to attend all your appointments with your dentist to keep track of your treatment progress.
  • Don’t Touch Your Aligners Constantly. When you start wearing your aligners initially, you may want to touch them constantly. Avoid doing this, as it can distort or damage your aligners.
  • Don’t Use Colorful and Harsh Cleaning Products. The tint and harsh chemicals from the cleaning products can damage the aligners and affect their transparency.
  • Don’t Chew Gum or Smoke Tobacco. Chewing gum alters the shape of your aligners and attracts bacteria and food particles. Tobacco in any form can discolour aligners permanently.
  • Don’t Try to Be an Orthodontist. If you face any problem with the fitting of your aligners or any other problems, don’t try to fix it yourself. Consult your orthodontist immediately.
  • Don’t Have Hot Food and Drinks. If you consume hot foods and drinks, the heat can distort and affect the fitting of your aligners for good. Always remember to remove your aligners before consuming anything hot.

With new and upcoming developments in the field of dentistry, teeth aligners are a prime example of innovation and convenience. With aligners, you can walk the path to a confident smile without any disruption to your daily routine. So why wait any longer? Take the first step towards your dream smile today.

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