Clear aligner treatment is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. The clear and removable alternative to traditional braces has developed into a well-known orthodontic treatment for adults.
What are clear aligners?
Clear aligners are custom-made mouthpieces that slip over your teeth. Instead of using brackets and wires like traditional braces, clear aligners are made from clear plastic which makes them virtually invisible when placed over your teeth.
For most brands, several sets of aligners will be custom-made for you after your initial 3D digital scan of your teeth. These scans are taken at the beginning of your treatment. The aligners are designed to fit tightly over your teeth. For this reason, this orthodontic treatment is a popular option for adults and teens because their teeth and mouths are fully developed.
However, clear aligners might not be the right solution for every case. Even though most systems can treat more complex cases of crowding, spacing or bite problems, you should consider several factors before deciding to undergo clear aligner treatment. We have listed some of the most common reasons why you might not be suitable for treatment below.
You are forgetful and can’t stick to a plan
Clear aligners can be removed anytime. However, they need to be worn for at least 22 hours a day to achieve the desired outcome. This means you should only take them out while you are eating, drinking or brushing your teeth. If you keep forgetting to place your aligners back over your teeth after removing them, the treatment may not be suitable for you.
You will also have to commit to wearing your aligners for the allocated periods of time and change to the next set of aligners as discussed with your dentist. If you miss changing to the next set of aligners, it may result in a prolonged treatment time. This can make your overall treatment more expensive.
You don’t like brushing your teeth
Dentists recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to sleep. When you are wearing clear aligners, however, you should be brushing your teeth after every meal.
Why do you have to brush your teeth more often during aligner treatment? The simple reason is aligners are made from tightly-fitted plastic that can trap food leftovers between the aligner and your teeth. This can lead to an increased build-up of plaque and bad breath. If you don’t brush your teeth after every meal, you are exposed to an increased risk of cavities.
For this reason, you should brush your teeth before placing your aligners back in your mouth after having a snack, full meal or drink that is not water.
You can’t function without coffee
Clear aligner treatment might not be the right solution for you if you can’t resist sipping on hot beverages such as coffee or tea throughout the day. As clear aligners are made from plastic, the heat of these beverages may damage your aligners which means you will have to remove them prior to consumption. As previously mentioned, you should minimise the time in which you are not wearing your aligners.
Don’t worry – you can still have your morning cup of coffee. Just make sure to remove your aligner prior to drinking it, consume it quickly, and brush your teeth afterwards, or at least drink some cold water before replacing it.
You don’t like going to the dentist
If you don’t like to stick to regular dental appointments, clear aligner treatment might not be the right solution for you. Throughout your treatment time, you will have to come in for regular visits so that your dentist can closely monitor the development of your teeth. You will also have to pick up your new sets of aligners. These appointments are necessary to ensure your teeth move into the desired position.