Clear aligners are an incredibly popular option amongst people of all ages. Perhaps you’ve seen clear aligners online and are thinking of getting them for yourself. Due to their discrete nature, they are also often the first choice for adults and working professionals. If you haven’t met someone who has had clear aligners, you may have a question or two about them. Well, today we’re here to answer the ten most common questions about clear/invisible aligners, so grab a cuppa, sit back and read on to find out more!

Are Clear Aligners Truly “Invisible”?

Clear aligners are made from an elastic thermoplastic material that is 100% translucent and are thus indeed considered “invisible”. Your aligners are also custom made to fit your teeth perfectly to create a seamless blend between aligner and tooth. One thing to note is that your aligners can develop stains over time if you do not care for them properly, so be sure that you keep up with a prudent cleaning regiment in order to keep them looking crystal clear.

How Do Clear Aligners Work?

Your clear aligners are designed to fit your teeth perfectly and work by slowly shifting your teeth over time. Your first aligner will resemble your current alignment, with small changes toward straighter teeth. Over time, your dental provider will replace your aligners in order to shift your teeth into proper alignment. A typical treatment lasts over a year, going through anywhere between 20-30 invisible aligner trays depending on your individual circumstances.

Can I Eat and Drink With My Aligners?

When using your aligners, it is highly recommended that you only drink water and avoid drinks such as juice, soda, and coffee or tea. You should remove your aligners before every meal and store them in the provided case. Be sure to rinse or brush your aligners and mouth out before putting them back in.

How Much Do Clear Aligners Cost?

Depending on the brand and orthodontist you go to, you can expect to fork out between $2500 – $5000 for your invisible alignment treatment. Keep in mind that costs will vary according to the duration of treatment, the severity of misalignment, and other factors.

Are Clear Aligners For Everyone?

Clear aligners are not indicated for every case and are best suited for people who don’t want to have traditional metal braces fixed to their teeth all the time and who may not have the time or resources to visit an orthodontist often. Patients who have dental bridges, implants, or TMJ disorder may also not be the best candidates for invisible aligners. Your orthodontist will be able to let you know if you are eligible for invisible aligners after a full oral examination.

Do I Need Aligners For Both Rows of Teeth?

Although it is not necessary, your orthodontist will require the impressions of both the top and bottom sets of teeth. It is often recommended to have both sets done in order to ensure that you have an aligned bite when you finish the course of your treatment. Generally, the price will remain the same whether you choose to have one or two rows treated, so the final decision is entirely up to you!

Are Clear Aligners Painful?

This is by far one of the most common questions regarding clear aligners. Because your aligners are designed to slowly shift your alignment, you shouldn’t experience much pain throughout the process. The only time you may experience some discomfort or soreness is in the first few hours of using a brand new aligner. This discomfort is minimal and can easily be remedied with common over the counter pain medication.

How Long Do I Need To Wear My Aligners Everyday?

It is highly recommended that you wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day. The only times you should be removing them is when you are having a snack or meal and when you are drinking anything other than plain water. The longer you wear your aligners on a daily basis, the faster your teeth will shift. Failing to do so may lengthen the period of treatment and cause slight discomfort over time.

Are Clear Braces and Clear Aligners The Same Thing?

The quick answer here is no. Clear braces, also referred to as ceramic braces, are very similar to traditional metal braces and are cemented to your teeth with arch wires. Clear aligners, on the other hand, are removable, and the patient is responsible for putting them in and taking them out. If you think you may not be able to remain disciplined with your clear aligner routine, traditional metal or clear braces may be a better option for you.

How Do I Clean and Sanitize My Aligners?

You should clean your invisible aligner trays daily, each day, starting by brushing your teeth and the trays each morning. If you eat staining foods or foods high in acid content, such as citrus; you may want to brush or rinse out your teeth prior to fitting your aligners in again. You can also purchase a retainer cleansing solution from your dentist or orthodontist.

And there you have it

Ten of the most common questions about invisible aligners answered. If you are considering orthodontic treatment; we highly recommend consulting with your orthodontist to figure out the best treatment plan for your individual circumstances.