How to Straighten Your Teeth with Invisible Aligners

dentist holding up x ray smiling great teeth brown hair dentist officeCorrective dentistry is something that most people need to keep their smile looking healthy and beautiful. For many who did not have braces in their teens or whose teeth may have shifted during adulthood, invisible aligners are an excellent option to straighten your teeth. However, many people have questions or concerns about using products like Invisalign. One of the most common questions is, “How exactly do invisible aligners work?” followed closely by “Will invisible aligners work for me?” We’ll explore how to get started with clear aligners, how aligners straighten teeth, and find out if invisible aligners are the right choice for you. 

How Do I Get Started Using Invisible Aligners?

Talk to your dentist or orthodontist to find out if you are a good candidate for invisible aligner treatment

woman consulting dentist about care older dentist with clipboard giving advice                                                        Talk to your dentist about clear aligners and how they can benefit your smile.

When you begin asking your dentist about straightening your teeth, you should also inquire about invisible aligners and whether or not they will work for you. If your dentist determines that you are a good candidate for invisible aligners, you will book your first appointment. At your initial appointment, your dentist will talk to you about your goals and what you expect from your treatment.

Next, your dentist will break down the plan to straighten your smile using aligners and take some molds of your teeth. Your dentist will use a digital molding process to scan your teeth and produce an accurate mold to make your initial retainers. The scans are then sent off to a clear aligner provider, like Invisalign, to produce your customized aligners.

Lastly, you will return to your dentist to pick up your aligners and start on your smile journey. It may take some time to get the trays fitting correctly, which is why people use clear aligner chewies to seat their retainers in the correct place. Once your aligner has been properly fitted, you are on your way to straightening your smile.

How Should Teeth Be Properly Aligned?

Having straight teeth is more than just a cosmetic preference, it is integral to your oral health

invisible retainers man placing smile close up                                                        Invisible retainers can improve your overall oral health once your teeth are straightened.

Everyone wants to have a bright straight smile, it is often one of the first things people notice about you. However, there are many more benefits to having straighter teeth beyond making great first impressions. When your teeth are properly aligned, your teeth are in place to protect your gums and prevent excessive plaque buildup. Crowding or large gaps between teeth can cause that excessive plaque buildup, which leads eventually to gum disease and tooth loss.
By choosing to straighten your teeth with clear aligners, you are making it easier to brush and floss without missing spots due to crooked or misaligned teeth.

Straightening your teeth also helps improve your bite. When you bite down, your molars should connect and your upper row of teeth should fit just slightly over your bottom teeth. If your teeth are matching up incorrectly, it can cause an overbite, underbite, teeth grinding, or jaw pain. None of these conditions are good for your overall dental health, which is why straightening your teeth with invisible aligners is more than a cosmetic choice.

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How Long Will It Take for Invisible Aligners to Straighten My Teeth?

Invisible aligners generally take much less time than traditional metal braces, as long as you remember to wear them

young man consulting dentist about teeth x rays blue scrubs office gloves                                                        Your dentist will set up your individualized care plan so you can plan for the duration of your treatment.

One of the greatest benefits of choosing clear aligners over traditional metal braces is that they do not take as long to straighten your teeth. Though everyone’s smile is different, clear aligners are usually the faster way to achieve your perfect smile. However, when you decide to use clear aligners, you have to stick with the program by wearing your aligners for 22+ hours every day.

That’s right, you can only take out your aligners when eating or drinking. The closer you adhere to the strict guidelines, the sooner you will begin to see results. In addition to wearing your aligners for 22+ hours per day, providers recommend using chewies to seat your aligners over your teeth. Movemints is a great on-the-go alternative to chewies that helps you set your aligners while freshening your breath, which leads to faster, fresher treatment.

On the flip side, if you are not using your aligners properly, the alignment process could be prolonged or even take longer than traditional braces. Just like with braces, after you reach the end of your clear aligner you should wear a retainer for the foreseeable future.

Am I a good candidate for invisible aligners?

Clear aligners are very effective for lots of people, but they are not for everyone

lab coat dentist gloves bite model upper lower teeth demonstration close up                                                        Major bite adjustments can’t be fixed using clear retainers, only minor adjustments.

Though many people have successfully straightened their smile with clear aligners, they are not the best option for all smiles. Products like Invisalign can treat alignment problems like:

  • Mildly crooked teeth.
  • Some protruding teeth
  • Open bites 
  • Crossbites
  • Mild overbites
  • Mild underbites 
  • Teeth gaps
  • Overcrowding

If you are experiencing any of these issues, it is likely that your dentist will recommend you for clear aligner treatment. However, there are a few issues that are unable to be corrected by aligners, for example extreme overbites and extreme underbites are unable to be corrected by clear aligners because they require the jaw to be realigned. While aligners do a great job of straightening teeth they do not affect your jaw in any way.

If you are interested in using invisible aligners to straighten your teeth, that's great! Just make sure you do your research to decide if it is the best dental care plan for you. Remember to wear your aligners for over 22 hours per day, and seat your aligners with a chewie and you will be on your way to a straighter smile. To properly seat your aligners, try Movemints, the only Mint That Fits® your clear aligners! Movemints are the most convenient aligner accessories that keep your Invisalign in place and your breath fresh. Explore the different accessories Movemints has to offer in the Essential Aligner Accessories kit and discover all of the different ways you can improve your invisible aligner experience.

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