What To Know About Clear Aligners To Help You Decide If They’re Right For You

Mar 21, 2024
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Are you considering aligner treatment to straighten your teeth? If so, we explain what you should know about clear aligners before committing to this type of orthodontic treatment.

Clear aligners are all the rage thanks to their discreet appearance. They’re so popular that the U.S. aligner market was valued at $3.80 billion in 2023 and is forecast to grow by $17.9 billion by 2030. But before you take the leap, there are a few things you need to consider about this type of orthodontic treatment. Being more informed can help you decide whether clear aligners are right for you.

What to know about clear aligners

The fact that clear aligners are discreet and removable makes them very appealing for anyone looking to straighten their teeth without the hassle associated with traditional metal braces. But you do need to look at the bigger picture to learn more about living with clear aligners. Continue reading to learn more.

Commitment Required: 22 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week!

Unlike traditional braces that remain fixed in place throughout your treatment, clear aligners are removable and offer flexibility. Sounds appealing, but there’s a catch….

Clear aligners need to be worn for a solid 22 hours every day, only taking them out for meals and brushing your teeth. Skipping out on wearing them consistently could extend your treatment time and disrupt your progress.

While it might be tempting to remove them for social occasions, trust us, it will only delay achieving that beautiful smile you're aiming for.

 So, if you're not ready to commit to wearing them full-time, clear aligners might not be the best option for you!

You need to have your toothbrush handy

If you’re wearing clear aligners, you’re going to have to make best friends with your toothbrush. Seriously, it’s crucial to brush your teeth after eating any kind of food, particularly after indulging in a sweet snack.

Because the aligner trays encase each tooth, remnants of food and bacteria may become trapped between the plastic and your teeth. This not only poses hygiene concerns but also heightens the risk of cavities, substantial plaque accumulation, and socially undesirable breath – conditions that no one concerned about their dental well-being desires.

If you’re a grazer and question your ability to maintain regular cleaning of both your teeth and aligners throughout the day, clear aligners may not be the most suitable option for you.

Clear aligners can discolor

It's not just food that requires your attention when caring for your clear aligners. Beverages like coffee, tea, and red wine can stain your clear aligners if not removed before drinking.

Smoking is also strongly discouraged, as it can cause discoloration and compromise overall oral health.

While aligners are regularly swapped out every couple of weeks, it would be embarrassing to walk around with visibly stained aligners when the whole point of choosing them in the first place was because of their transparent appearance.

Clear aligners aren’t for everyone

When considering clear aligners, it's essential to assess whether they can address your malocclusion. Typically, misaligned bites stemming from crooked teeth can be corrected with clear aligners. However, severe cases where the misalignment is due to jaw issues may require orthognathic surgery.

To determine if clear aligners are suitable for your malocclusion, it's advisable to consult with a dentist or orthodontist. They can offer insights into your options and recommend the most appropriate course of action.

They can be quite pricey, but you're investing in quality

We couldn’t discuss what to know about clear aligners without mentioning the price. Sure, you can opt for direct-to-consumer aligners but with the recent collapse of Smile Direct Club, you could be putting yourself at risk.

Leading brands like Invisalign have poured advanced technologies into their clear aligners, and this is reflected in their price tags. Remember, with invisible aligners, you generally get what you pay for. Higher-priced options often come with added benefits such as enhanced comfort, stain resistance, discreetness, and anti-crack technology. Opting for premium aligners may also mean fewer expenses on replacement retainers in the long run.

Clear aligners can work faster than traditional braces and have a host of other benefits too

Clear aligners can sometimes straighten teeth more quickly than traditional braces, depending on the complexity of the case and the patient’s commitment to wearing their aligners for 22 hours every day as instructed.

But that's not the only perk. Clear aligners:

  • are nearly invisible, making them a preferred choice for individuals conscious of their appearance
  • require fewer dental appointments compared to traditional metal braces
  • offer exceptional comfort due to their ultra-thin design
  • can even contribute to teeth whitening by encouraging improved dental hygiene

What to know about clear aligners – the lowdown

Clear aligners aren't the only solution for correcting crooked teeth. There's a diverse array of alternatives available, catering to different preferences and lifestyles:

Traditional metal braces offer a cost-effective option if clear aligners aren't within your budget. If you would prefer a more discreet option, ceramic braces with tooth-coloured wires may be a better choice.

For those hesitant about committing to wearing clear aligners for 22 hours a day but still seeking a discreet option, lingual braces could be a viable alternative. These braces are affixed to the backside of your teeth, eliminating the need for removal during meals or brushing. Some individuals prefer this option for its inconspicuous nature.

Ready to achieve a beautiful straight smile?

At Chesterfield Dentistry, we offer a range of teeth straightening options including Invisalign and traditional braces. Why not schedule a consultation with our experienced dentists and let us discuss your best options?