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A woman is holding a clear aligner braces in her hands.

A warm, friendly smile can make a remarkable first impression and significantly improve social interactions, job interviews, and romantic relationships. Teeth make such a strong impression that 48% of people think a person’s smile is the most striking feature in a first meeting.

For a long time, people relied on traditional metal braces to correct misaligned teeth. However, with technological advancement, other discreet and comfortable options, such as clear aligners, are now available.

Below is an overview of clear aligner treatment, its growing popularity, and why understanding its timeline is important.

What Are Clear Aligners?

Clear aligners are a series of transparent, removable plastic trays custom-fit over your teeth with minimal adjustment and discomfort. At Aligner Experts, we start the aligner treatment by taking a digital impression and uploading it to our software program to create a 3D model of your teeth.

We then send these specifications to our lab, and they create a series of custom aligners based on your treatment plan. The person wears them for 21-22 hours a day, usually changing to a new set every one or two weeks.

With every passing day, your aligners will help your teeth move, but not all of them move at once. Each aligner in the series is designed for specific tooth movements, and they apply the right amount of force at the right time. As you progress during your treatment, your smile starts to change and feel better.

Clear braces on a white surface.

How Clear Aligners Straighten Teeth

Clear aligners straighten teeth by using flexible trays that tightly fit onto the teeth and delicately apply gentle pressure to them, causing a gradual shift into the desired position over time.

Each set of aligners is customized to fit the unique contours of the patient’s mouth, emphasizing a tailored approach to teeth straightening, and these trays are worn for 20-22 hours daily to ensure effective and continuous pressure.

Each set of transparent teeth aligners represents a different step in the process, showing how the teeth gradually move towards the desired alignment; as the patient goes through each set, the teeth gradually shift into the right position.

Transparent teeth aligners are easy to remove, which means you can take them out easily, making it convenient for patients to use them in their everyday lives without any problems. You can eat, brush your teeth, and floss without any disruptions, which helps with effective treatment and makes patients feel comfortable.

By using our Dental Monitoring app Cassee, a remote treatment assistant, you’ll have the ability to send photos of your teeth, keep track of your progress, and communicate with our orthodontist from your home or anywhere in the world.

Why Choose Clear Aligners?

If you’re still not sure why you should choose clear aligners for clear aligners teeth straightening over metal braces if you have crooked, crowded, or rotated teeth or dental problems, here are some benefits of clear aligners that can’t be ignored at The Aligner Experts, we offer clear aligners to our patients living in or around Chicago.

1. Customized for Each Individual

Clear aligners are uniquely tailored for every patient, ensuring a personalized fit. Although an initial adjustment period is expected in the first week, individuals quickly adapt to wearing their aligners. Utilizing safe dental plastic and crafted through a 3D imaging process, these aligners guarantee a precise fit for each patient.

2. Unrestricted Eating and Drinking

One important aspect to note is the ability to remove clear aligners while eating and drinking, an exclusive advantage of this teeth straightening option. The removable feature eliminates concerns about dietary restrictions during the straightening process. After eating, it is essential to brush your teeth before reinserting the aligners to prevent potential staining.

A woman is getting her clear aligner braces provided by a dentist.

3. Post-Aligner Use Requires Retainers

After completing the aligner treatment, the use of retainers becomes necessary, as they play a crucial role in maintaining the newly aligned teeth in their correct positions, preventing any regression; the duration of retainer varies for each patient, typically spanning at least 12 months.

4. Designed for Ages 14 and Above

Clear aligners are suitable for individuals aged 14 and older, making them an ideal option for teenagers seeking a discreet straightening process. Parents interested in this option for their children should book an appointment to determine the suitability of aligners for their child.

How To Look After Your Clear Aligners

Here are some simple steps to take better care of your clear aligners, including rinsing and brushing, so that they last longer and work effectively.

  1. Rinse Aligners Regularly: After removing your trays, make sure to rinse them each time to remove moisture and prevent plaque and saliva from drying, which can cause stains and discoloration.
  2. Avoid Toothpaste for Brushing: Avoid using toothpaste while cleaning your aligners to avoid scratching the clear resin; instead, opt for a clear, liquid antibacterial soap along with a soft toothbrush and rinse with water.
  3. Brush Your Aligners: Brush your aligners (without toothpaste) in the morning and before bedtime, along with your regular teeth brushing routine to prevent bacteria and plaque buildup. Removing any remaining food particles will maintain your aligners and prevent the odor-causing buildup that may cause bad breath.
  4. Daily Soaking Routine: Use a specific, clear aligner recommended by your orthodontist or a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water, which can effectively eliminate bacteria on your trays. Soak the trays for about 30 minutes once a day (preferably while eating) and rinse them well before placing them back in your mouth.
  5. Post-Meal Oral Hygiene: Maintain a proper oral hygiene routine after meals to prevent bacterial buildup by removing any food particles stuck between your teeth and aligners, in addition to your regular brushing in the morning and before bedtime.
  6. No Eating or Drinking with Aligners: Don’t eat or drink with your clear aligners, water is the only acceptable substance while wearing them, as clear aligners are not designed for chewing and may crack under pressure.
  7. Caution with Cleaning Products: Be cautious with certain cleaners that may be too strong for use on aligners. Avoid denture cleaners, mouthwashes, scented soaps, and toothpaste to preserve the integrity and appearance of your aligners.

Are Clear Aligners The Right Straightening Option?

Using clear aligners to straighten your teeth is a highly effective treatment, especially for minor to moderate tooth misalignments, which is what most dental patients need; it provides a comfortable, effective, and convenient solution that easily fits into your daily routine without making significant adjustments.

However, we recommend consulting a dentist or orthodontist to know the most suitable treatment option, as they analyze your dental needs, discuss the pros and cons of different treatment options, and help you make an informed decision.

For more details, contact Aligner Experts; our professionals will guide you through the treatment process, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of your aligner treatment.

Aligner Experts

Aligner Experts is your one-stop shop for a smooth, long-lasting, and timely smile transformation. With cutting-edge technology and expert treatment, we make your path to a perfect smile efficient and effective.

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