Clear Aligners Offered at Saint Orthodontics
A Simple and Aesthetic Alternative to Braces
Here at Saint Orthodontics in El Cajon, we offer clear aligners, an effective alternative to traditional braces. We’ve found that some of our patients greatly appreciate this orthodontic option over traditional braces.
How Do Clear Aligners Work?
Using gradual force, clear aligners gently move teeth into alignment without the use of metal wires or brackets. Clear aligners are made with very strong plastic material that is fabricated specifically to fit the patient’s teeth. As treatment progresses, the patient switches through a series of aligners, each one bringing the teeth closer to their correct alignment. It is recommended that the patient wear the aligners for twenty hours each day. New aligners are switched out approximately every two weeks.
The aligners fit comfortably over your teeth to gradually and gently straighten your smile. No wires or brackets to irritate your mouth! Unlike traditional braces, you can remove your aligners during your oral hygiene routines and while eating your favorite meals. Brushing and flossing are not complicated and you don’t have to give up any of the foods you love.
The average treatment time with clear aligners ranges from nine to 18 months, but the length of treatment will depend on the severity of the alignment problems being corrected, as well as the diligence of the patient in wearing their aligners as directed. Just like with traditional braces, following the orthodontist’s instructions is crucial to stay on schedule for the end of treatment. Make sure you’re wearing your aligners!
What Are the Advantages of Clear Aligners?
For our patients who want a straighter smile but do not want to wear metal bracket braces or for patients who have had braces but want to make minor corrections to their smile, clear aligners are a fantastic option.
- They’re extremely simple to keep clean, which makes it easier to maintain healthy gums and teeth.
- They are less likely to irritate gums and cheeks.
- They prevent wear and tear on your teeth from tooth grinding.
- They are also removable, which allows the patient to brush and floss after each meal with ease.
The Daily Experience with Clear Aligners
For the first few days of each stage of your treatment, you may feel minor discomfort as your teeth get used to the added pressure, similar to what traditional braces patients experience after adjustments. This is perfectly normal and a sign that the aligners are doing their job.
The difference is that with clear aligners, you may be tempted to take the aligners off to relieve the pressure. Resist that temptation, because it will delay your results! You should wear your aligners at all times during your treatment, except during meals and snacks and while brushing and flossing your teeth. Wearing them less often will make your treatment take longer.
Potential patients often ask if clear aligners will make it difficult to speak clearly. Most patients experience very little difficulty with speaking clearly while wearing their aligners, but there will likely be an adjustment period as you get used to having them in your mouth.
Caring for Your Clear Aligner Trays
To clean your aligners, brush and rinse them in lukewarm water and use special cleaning tablets. Make sure you’re also brushing and flossing after each meal before you re-insert your aligners.
One of the best advantages of clear aligners over traditional wire braces is that there is no banned foods list! As long as you are brushing and flossing before putting your aligners back in, you can enjoy all your favorite foods without compromising your orthodontic treatment!
Gum can stick to your aligners, so it’s not a good idea to chew it while they’re in. Take your aligners out for all meals and snacks. We also discourage smoking during your treatment, as it can stain and discolor the aligners, as well as putting you at risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Retainers After Clear Aligners
Retainers are crucial at the end of any orthodontic treatment, whether you’re using clear aligners or traditional wire braces, because it takes time for teeth to get used to their new positions. Make sure to wear your retainers as directed by the orthodontist.
Get the Smile You Deserve
If you are interested in clear aligners, give us a quick call. Call (619) 464-1771 or send us an email. You can learn more about our practice by checking our business page, and make sure to get directions before heading our way.