If your teeth or your children’s teeth are out of alignment and you don’t want unsightly metal braces to correct them, set up an appointment with Dr. Michael Chiang, orthodontist in Missouri City for clear aligners. Read on to discover why clear aligner therapy may be the best orthodontic treatment for you.
What are Clear Aligners?
Clear aligners are trays made out of transparent plastic that you wear most of the day to straighten your teeth. Their transparency and the fact that they are custom made to fit your teeth makes them nearly impossible to see unless someone is very close to you. But that’s not the only benefit of clear aligners. Indeed, it’s not even the best benefit of clear aligners.
Besides their transparency, what really attracts patients to clear aligners is that they can be taken out by the patient. You don’t need to go to the orthodontist to have them removed. Though you should wear your clear aligners for 20-22 hours a day, you can take them out to practice dental hygiene and to eat. Because of this, you don’t need to perform the fiddly oral hygiene that’s necessary when you wear braces. With braces, you’ll have to clean carefully around the bracts and the wires and the rubber bands to make sure that bits of food don’t accumulate on and around your teeth. This intensive oral hygiene is necessary to avoid tooth decay and gum problems. With a clear aligner, you take the tray out, and brush and floss as you normally would.
Another benefit of being able to take the aligners out at will is that you can eat whatever foods you wish. When you wear traditional braces, you’ll need to avoid foods that are sticky or crunchy and can get caught in your braces. This makes clear aligners especially attractive to younger people.
How Do Clear Aligners Work?
Clear aligners and traditional braces work much the same way. Both of them straighten your teeth by placing a gentle, constant pressure on your teeth. The orthodontist changes the aligners every two weeks as the teeth straighten. Aligning your teeth takes about as long as traditional braces, which is six months to two years.
Are Clear Aligners Comfortable?
It is true that a lot of patients find clear aligners tight at first, but your teeth adjust over time. They are made specifically for you, so the orthodontist will X-ray and make impressions of your teeth to send to the dental lab. There, the trays are made up for you. Your orthodontist also uses imaging technology to create a customized treatment plan.
Can Everyone Have Clear Aligners?
One drawback of clear aligners is that they might not be appropriate for everyone. First, they need to be worn for most of the day, and when they’re taken out the patient needs to put them back in after eating or brushing their teeth. This might make clear aligners problematic for very young children, who might be more at risk for not putting them back after taking them out. Another thing Dr. Michael Chiang would like parents to know is that creating clear aligners for young children is more complicated than making them for an adult. Young children’s mouths are still growing, and they don’t have all of their permanent teeth.
Clear aligners are also best for people whose teeth are mildly misaligned. Some patients had traditional braces when they were younger and have decided that they need just a bit more straightening. In that case, the length of treatment can be as little as two and a half months.
How Much Do Clear Aligners Cost?
Clear aligners cost about as much as traditional braces. However, besides the benefits discussed, you won’t need to visit your orthodontist as much as you would need to if you have traditional braces.
Invisibility and the ability to take the trays out when you want are all benefits from using clear aligners. Moreover, they adjust your teeth as well as traditional braces.