Top 5 must-knows before investing in clear aligners

Clear aligner technology has come a long way! Before you book your appointment, check out the top 5 must-knows about Invisalign.

If straightening your teeth is something on your radar, you’ve probably done some extensive research around braces and alternative options like clear aligners. While braces are still as popular as ever, the fear of committing to braces (particularly for adults) can be enough to discourage them from making a change to their smile.

Clear aligners such as Invisalign aren’t new, but you may have heard more about them on social media especially with the introduction of online and mail order aligners. Invisalign first came on the market 20 years ago and since then, clear aligner technology has come a long way to provide patients of all age groups with discreet teeth-straightening solutions for extreme and minor cases.

Clear aligners look like a clear, thin mouthguard that are virtually invisible, which is why they are so popular. They move teeth gently, safely and slowly making them just as effective as braces.

Clear aligners have skyrocketed in popularity in the past decade, but before you book an appointment, the Glam team spoke to Specialist Orthodontist, Dr Daniel De Angelis, to dispel common myths and shine a light on key must-knows around clear aligners.

1. Clear aligners can be for kids too, not just adults

Braces in your formative years, while common, is also a privilege that not all families are financially equipped to undertake. Clear aligners enable adults to lead the charge on their orthodontic health in their own time and own way.

Clear aligners can be highly effective for adult patients, as adults are more invested and committed to the success of their orthodontic treatment. Attending appointments, maintaining oral hygiene, and taking care of your aligners will give you a huge leg-up to ensure your teeth-straightening journey goes off without a hitch.

With the advancement in clear aligner technology, more and more parents are also opting for clear aligner treatment for their children. Clear aligners can be taken out for meals, for sports and for key events such as formals and weddings, making clear aligners a great fit for a busy lifestyle.

2. Clear aligners are suitable for minor and severe teeth alignment

A malocclusion is when your teeth don’t meet correctly when you bite together. Underbites, overbites, cross bites – you name it! – all classify as malocclusions. There is a misconception that clear aligners are exclusively for minor teeth straightening, and not for severe malocclusions, but this isn’t true! Clear aligners can still treat these conditions in a gentle and effective way.

“I’ve been using clear aligner technology like Invisalign for 20 years and they are proven as extremely effective and successful in fixing complex cases often where patients have been told they wouldn’t be able to have clear aligners,” says Dr Daniel De Angelis.

3. You get what you put in

For clear aligner treatment, wearing them as prescribed means getting your treatment done and dusted as quickly as possible. Aligners need to be worn between 22 hours a day to be effective and only removed when eating and drinking.

While this means you’ll have to wear them to work and when you’re out and about, the removability of aligners does make brushing and flossing easier compared to braces. Something also to note is that they may, initially, give you a slight lisp.

As your teeth adjust to the aligners, however, the lisp will gradually fade after a few days. If you think you will lack the discipline to wear them for 22 hours a day, braces may be a better option.

4. You might feel some initial soreness

Clear aligners are a far gentler orthodontic avenue than metal braces but that does not mean they are absent of discomfort.

Everybody experiences orthodontic treatment differently but it’s true that for the first couple of aligner sets you might experience some discomfort as your mouth adjusts to the new pressure on your teeth.

Great thing is this should disappear in a few days once your mouth adjusts to the aligners. Every time you graduate to a new aligner, you might experience a little bit of soreness, but this doesn’t tend to last much longer than 24 hours and it doesn’t always occur after each aligner change.

5. Be aware of mail order or online aligners

With the rise in popularity of clear aligners and social media, having a beautiful straight smile is more a focus than ever before. This has led to an increase in choices on the market for those wanting to straighten their teeth with invisible aligners.

Before you dip your toe into orthodontics, be aware of the risks. Choosing a cheaper online orthodontics solution means you risk not being treated by a qualified practitioner. This can actually lead to more damage to your teeth. You also risk not being covered under your private health insurance which will only cover you for orthodontics if your treatment is being delivered by a Specialist Orthodontist.

“When a patient sees us for clear aligner treatment, I personally put together the treatment plan which dictates how and when the teeth move. Moving the teeth slowly and gradually is the safest and gentlest way to move teeth, and every week I am tracking your treatment to see that it is progressing as it should,” says Dr Daniel De Angelis.

Have more questions?

While clear aligners are an excellent alternative to braces for patients of all ages, the discreetness of aligners are particularly beneficial for adults hesitant to pursue orthodontic treatment later in life.

In addition to the aesthetic benefits of orthodontics, correcting the alignment of your teeth and your bite has significant overall health benefits.

If you have further questions about clear aligners and other orthodontic treatment, Transform Orthodontic Care has locations in Modbury, St Peters, and West Lakes, and offers online consultations.

To visit the Transform Orthodontic Care website, click here.

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