Dental aligners are one of the most popular ways to address different orthodontic issues. In the past, the traditional orthodontic solution for kids, teens, and adults looking to straighten their teeth was with metal braces. These aligners are bonded to the surfaces of the teeth and use tension to move the teeth into position. This requires patients to have their braces frequently tightened, and can cause some problems. Metal braces require a different diet to prevent damage, they make brushing/flossing more difficult (potentially leading to cavities), and a lot of people (especially teens) hate the way they look. That is why so many patients are excited to find out if aligners are right for them.
Orthodontic aligners use multiple sets of clear aligners to straighten teeth. After traditional braces, many kids and adults are given clear retainers to wear for a few hours each night to keep teeth in their new positions. Without a retainer, the teeth could shift back to their old position. Aligners work by using similar devices called aligners, but instead of just wearing them at night, you wear them for at least 22 hours each day. This means they are only removed for eating and brushing/flossing. The benefit is that they don’t force you to change your diet or negatively impact your dental health.
Aligners have many benefits for adults and teenagers. One main benefit for teens is that they are virtually invisible. Many teenagers over the last few decades have expressed how much they dislike the look of traditional braces. And many teens broken their braces because they chew gum or eat food that they are not supposed to. Additionally, many younger kids and teens will have issues flossing and brushing effectively with traditional braces on. This can lead to cavities, gum disease, and other issues. All in all, aligners can be very effective at straightening their teeth.
That doesn’t mean aligners are perfect everyone. For one, some dentists might not recommend aligners braces for more severe cases of crowding or misalignment. Aligners are great for small adjustments. If a kid has an overbite for example, traditional braces might be their best solution to quickly and effectively correct the overbite. The other big thing to consider is compliance. Aligners only work effectively when it is worn constantly. If your kids are taking them out for the entire school day or not wearing them when they sleep, this will greatly effect the treatment timeline. One of the biggest benefits of aligners can become their greatest drawback if they are not used properly.
If you are interested in learning more about aligners or meeting with our dentist to discuss aligners for your kids or for yourself, we would be happy to answer your questions during an important.