Smiling is a gesture that generates positive feelings such as happiness, amusement and approval. Research in 2017 showed that smiling also has a direct impact on one’s self-confidence. So if you have a beautiful smile, you have a better chance of being confident.
But what if your teeth are crooked or if there are gaps between your teeth? Depending on the state of your teeth, you might also suffer from complications like jaw joint problems and airway disorders.
Fortunately, there are dental practices that provide orthodontic services to help you enhance your smile and improve your overall oral health. One of the common orthodontic treatments is metal braces. However, there is another option. These are invisible aligners, which are clear trays that fit over your teeth.
Invisible Aligners vs Metal Braces
Braces and aligners have the same purpose. They are both used to straighten misaligned teeth or to improve an overbite. But besides one being metal and another being clear, what sets the two apart?
For one, aligners are removable. You have to take them off when you eat or drink something besides water. Braces, though, cannot be removed until the prescribed end of your treatment. This would make it difficult for you to eat sticky and hard food.
Another difference between the two solutions is their level of maintenance on top of brushing and flossing your teeth. When you wear braces, you have to make sure you don’t break the brackets and the wires. Invisible aligners, on the other hand, require minimum maintenance, as you just have to clean them.
Lastly, braces and aligners correct different degrees of incorrectly spaced teeth. Clear aligners are recommended for those with minor spacing problems in their teeth. But if you suffer from wider teeth gaps, an incorrect jaw position or other joint disorders, you are better off wearing braces.
How Aligners Work
Invisible aligners are customised for every patient, so you first have to visit a store that sells aligners. During your visit, the store will take a digital 3D scan of your teeth. After that, visit the dentist and they will create the details of your treatment plan.
Aligners work by slowly shifting your teeth into their ideal position, making them straight. You are required to wear them for 22 hours every day and then change to another clear tray every two weeks. The length of treatment will depend on how crooked your teeth are. Some people wear them for as little as 10 weeks, while others wear aligners for up to three years.
Maintaining Your Aligners
Besides brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, you are also required to clean your invisible aligners frequently. Aligners are susceptible to bacterial build-up, and this could give you bad breath.
Regular cleaning is the key to properly maintaining your aligners. Stores will give you cleaning crystals or denture cleaners when you buy aligners. Soak your trays in these solutions daily and use a spare toothbrush to remove plaque and food particles.
Also, make sure to clean your trays as soon as you wake up, every time you remove them from your mouth, and before you go to bed. Remember to brush and floss after you eat and before you wear the aligners. This will prevent food particles from being trapped in the tray, which could lead to cavities and other dental issues.
Invisible aligners are one of the solutions orthodontists could offer you if you suffer from crooked teeth or teeth gaps. Just make sure to maintain regular cleaning and proper maintenance of your aligners so that you will have clean, straight teeth at the end of your treatment.