Clear AlignersSanta Clara, CA
Finding out more about orthodontic options, like clear aligners, when you are experiencing alignment problems in your teeth and/or jaw is a great idea. The more you understand about your orthodontic options, the better off you will be when it comes to making a decision to improve your oral health.
What are clear aligners?
An orthodontist is a dental professional whose entire focus is on treating misalignment problems in their patients. This makes it essential for you to visit an orthodontist as soon as you begin to experience teeth alignment and/or jaw alignment problems.
Learning more about clear aligners is recommended for any dental patient who is dealing with oral misalignment problems. These types of oral problems are often treated by moving the teeth back into their proper positions. While braces are commonly used to straighten the teeth, clear aligners work the same way as braces do and therefore are also a common option. Clear aligners are therefore an orthodontic treatment option that can be utilized instead of braces.
Clear aligners are the result of one of the many dental-based advancements made in the dental field over recent years. They are created using a safe plastic and are an orthodontic device that fits over the teeth in order to straighten them. They are often referred to as invisible braces as they are barely noticeable when being worn. Clear aligners are made in sets, with each set being worn for about two weeks before being replaced with a new set. Once the last set is used, the end result is a mouth full of straight teeth and correct dental alignment.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, aligners are one of many technological advancements that have made orthodontic treatment less conspicuous and one of many appliances orthodontists use to move teeth and align jaws to create a healthy, beautiful smile.
What clear aligners treat
Clear aligners are an alternative orthodontic treatment option for dental patients who would rather not wear traditional braces. They are most often used to treat minor to moderate misalignment problems, like crooked teeth, gapped teeth, overbites and underbites. They can also be used to treat major misalignment problems, like crowding and open bites. When clear aligners are used to address major misalignment problems, there is a possibility that additional orthodontic treatment will be necessary after undergoing the aligner process.
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How clear aligners work
Clear aligners work by moving and shifting the teeth a little at a time in order to get them into their proper positions. It starts with an initial visit to see an orthodontist, who will take X-rays and make images of the patient's mouth. The orthodontist will carefully review the information gathered from the patient and design a proper treatment plan to address their particular orthodontic problems. The overall goal is to create a healthy bite in the patient.
The creation of the clear aligners is based on the information gathered, which needs to be very precise in order to provide the patient with the most optimal results. Based on the information, the orthodontist will determine how many sets of clear aligners the patient will need to wear in order to correct their specific orthodontic problems. Once the patient receives the custom-made aligners, they will place the first set in their mouth and then replace it with a new set every two weeks. When the last set is worn and removed from the mouth, the patient has completed the clear aligner process of correcting their misalignment problems.
How long it takes for clear aligners to work
There is no set amount of time required to wear clear aligners. Instead, it will depend on each individual dental patient's unique situation when it comes to how long they will need to wear their aligners. The most important factor that is taken into consideration when it comes to how long this orthodontic treatment option will take is how much the teeth will need to move in order to correct the misalignment problems. This means patients who choose this orthopedic corrective option will need to wear their aligners anywhere between 12 and 30 months.
How to care for clear aligners
Taking proper care of clear aligners is essential when it comes to their working exactly as they are supposed to. This makes it essential for patients to closely follow the directions provided to them by their orthodontist. When aligners are removed from the mouth during the day, they need to be thoroughly rinsed before being placed back into the mouth. They need to be properly cleaned at least twice a day, which includes using a gentle soap. They should be periodically soaked in a cleanser made for this purpose to deep clean them. Hot water should never be used as it can destroy the shape of the aligner, making them no longer usable.
Clear aligner advantages
While clear aligners and braces work the same way to correct misalignment problems, there are a number of advantages that come with choosing clear aligners over braces. They are barely noticeable when being worn, making them a discreet option for straightening teeth. They are more comfortable to wear due to their being made of plastic, which means less irritation to the gums and cheeks. They can be removed from the mouth for a couple of hours every day, making it easier to eat, brush and floss. They are easy to care for and they can help prevent worn teeth problems for patients who grind or clench their teeth.
Are clear aligners the right choice for you?
Whether you are just beginning to experience problems related to your teeth and/or jaw or have been living with misalignment problems for a while now, clear aligners just may be the right solution for you. The only way you can know for sure is by making an appointment with an orthodontist for a complete evaluation of your mouth. Imagine - if you made an appointment today, you could experience a healthy mouth in as little as 12 months.
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