When deciding on a course of orthodontic treatment, clear aligners should be included in the conversation. While this option may not be as popular as traditional braces, the profile of this less-invasive, less-visible smile corrector is on the rise. It may be hard to believe that a system of clear trays can work as well…
Ask an Orthodontist: Can Clear Aligners Work for People of All Ages?
Teeth straightening is in constant demand. Many adults, kids, and teens prefer them to traditional braces. There are good reasons for this. This treatment is an effective alternative to traditional metal braces. While braces are common among patients both old and young, your orthodontist may take a different approach to teeth straightening with aligners.
How they work
Clear aligners are removable plastic appliances that gradually adjust teeth and move them into different places. The appliance is essentially a wearable mold of the person’s mouth, as it fits directly over the person’s teeth. Patients can remove teeth straightening aligners. In fact, patients do not have to wear the apparatus for 24 hours a day. Most orthodontists tell patients to have the mouthguard in for 20 to 22 hours a day.
What clear aligners can treat
Much like braces, aligners straighten crooked teeth. This treatment can also address other dysfunctions and oral issues. People choose this method to help with crossbites, underbites, overbites, spacing issues, or a crowded mouth. In most cases, the patient will get a new appliance at every appointment. The orthodontist will come up with a treatment plan to address the person’s various conditions.
What people like about this treatment
It is no secret that metal braces stand out. Some people have a difficult time wearing them and may feel some embarrassment. Aligners are almost impossible for other people to notice. This appliance also will not cut up the person’s lips or gums like braces can. Food can get trapped in between the brackets and under the wires of braces. However, because the patient can remove the clear aligners, it is easy to maintain them and keep them clean.
A wise choice for adults
Many people associate braces with children and teens. Even though adults can have crooked teeth bite abnormalities, the prospect of having metal in their mouth for teeth straightening may not be appealing. A working adult is more likely to maintain a professional appearance with aligners. Also, treatment time with this appliance is shorter than braces. Adults who want a faster solution enjoy this method more. Aligners also get less in the way than braces, making them a smart option for active adults.
Younger patients discouraged
While children and teens can wear clear aligners, many orthodontists do not recommend this treatment for non-adults. One of the reasons is that younger patients may tend to take out the mouthguard and not replace it. Leaving the aligner out too long can have negative effects on its effectiveness. Also, young children are still losing baby feet, so it may make sense to wait until the patient has a mouthful of permanent teeth.
Benefits of teeth straightening clear aligners
Misaligned or crowded teeth can cause dental issues. That is why it is necessary to correct this dental problem through teeth straightening. Traditional braces may work for severe cases of misalignment, but for mild to moderate ones, clear aligners can do the job. Below are the benefits of clear aligners:
The patient can remove the aligners while eating or practicing daily oral care. Since there are no brackets and wires, the patient can eat anything.
- Nearly invisible
This trait is what attracts patients to clear aligners. Traditional braces are visible, which is why patients who wear them feel awkward when they smile or talk. These braces often prevent patients to get more involved in socializing and meeting people. Teens like clear aligners because it is easier to be accepted in social circles. Professionals also like these aligners because of the discreet teeth straightening.
- Make dental hygiene less complicated
Clear aligners are removable. This allows the patient to brush and floss without issue.
- Reduce risk for injuries
Misaligned teeth tend to rub against each other. This degrades the enamel and exposes teeth to decay, damage, and infection. Clear aligners can even protect the teeth while straightening them.
- Help whiten teeth
These aligners can also help whiten teeth. Placing some whitening solution in them can help whiten teeth while straightening them. Aligning teeth also helps remove shadows from crooked teeth. It also helps clean teeth better, eliminating stains that can darken teeth.
Start today with your teeth straightening treatment
If you have been putting off doing something about your crooked teeth or a misaligned bite, now is the time to act. Call your orthodontist to discuss your goals and how clear aligners can help improve your smile. This teeth straightening treatment is popular among adults who never took advantage of orthodontic care in their youth. Even so, it may not be right for children and adolescents.
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