A beautiful smile is not a trend. It is essential for every person. Many of us have to deal with various dental problems, including those associated with uneven teeth. This, in turn, may be due to various bite anomalies, interdental space, etc. Many people who have such problems have realized that in addition to the aesthetic aspect, they affect our health and self esteem. More and more people agree that it is necessary to correct uneven teeth but many wonder how this can be done at an adult age. We shall focus your attention on a treatment concept which has been developed for correcting teeth position.
What are clear aligners and what are their pros and cons? How are they different from braces? Clear aligners are tight-fitting custom-made mouthpieces that slip over the teeth. They are resin splints made individually by orthodontist.
In 1945, in the USA, Dr. Kesling first described the technique of dental positioners, which were later called aligners. At that time, the idea was truly innovative and revolutionary. The first invisible aligners appeared in 1971 but their cost was quite high. This type of therapy has received a recognition only at the beginning of the 21st century with the appearance of new materials.
What are the pros and cons of clear aligners?
Clear aligners offer many advantages. Generally speaking, people choose teeth straightening without braces for the high aesthetics, ease of use, comfortable wearing, etc. Individual aligners are designed specifically for a every patient so that they perfectly match the shape of the dentition.
Visibility – this is one of the main reasons why people choose clear aligners. They are actually invisible and for many high school- and college-age, even older patients this is a serious advantage. Many people feel uncomfortable and embarrassed by the fact that they are undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Removability is another advantage of aligners. While braces cannot be removed, the aligners can be taken out when you eat, brush your teeth, if you have a meeting or, go to a party or a social event.
For the period when you wear aligners, there are no restricted foods and you can eat whatever you want.
Clear aligners will not affect your natural speech and diction, which is very important for people whose professions require verbal communication.
The installation process is completely painless and patients get used to them in just a couple of days.
The cavity of the aligners may be filled with teeth whitening gel, for example.
Clear aligners are fabricated individually, taking into account all the anatomical features of the patient.
The material does not cause an allergy and does not irritate the mucous membrane. In addition, there are no elements that can injure soft tissue
Aligners are very easy to maintain.
On the downside we have to mention that while wearing clear aligners you should avoid drinking coffee, tea, alcohol, sweet juices and freshly squeezed fruit juice, energy drinks, etc. Hot tea or other hot drinks must be avoided due to the fact that clear aligners are made from plastic and hot liquids may damage them. In addition, coffee and tea may stain them. Of course, if you just love your morning coffee and afternoon tea, either brush your teeth immediately after having one or drink some cold water before putting the aligners back. The same rule applies if you drink sweet or acidic drinks.
Another disadvantage is that you need to brush your teeth after every meal. This is very important and you may need to carry a brush and toothpaste with you at any time to prevent plaque and food particles getting trapped.
Despite the fact that aligners are easy to use and maintain, you need to take care where you leave them. They should not be placed on napkins, a sheet of paper, in your pocket, etc. You need to keep them in their case when you take them out of the mouth.
Finally, you should know that clear aligners are not universal for every orthodontic problem.
Removability is an advantage, but it can easily become a disadvantage, as many patients are tempted to remove them due to discomfort or for other reasons. You have to realize that you need to wear them for 20-22 hours a day if you want a result and they cannot work if out of the mouth.
How to take care of your clear aligners?
The most important thing to remember is that cleaning of aligners is done with a separate toothbrush.
Make sure that you clean them with a toothbrush once a day. The use of dental disinfectant or toothpaste is mandatory. They should be washed with warm water after each meal and before bedtime. You need to remember a few simple rules so that your aligners are in perfect condition.
Do not forget to remove caps before eating;
Brush your teeth after each meal;
Brush the aligners with a toothbrush once a day;
Keep them in a box that has openings for air circulation;
Wash the aligners only with warm water;
Do not use chewing gum while wearing them.