Over are the days when metal braces were the only way you could get a straighter smile. Nowadays, clear aligners are able to fix most orthodontic problems while staying invisible in the process. They allow kids, teens, and adults to better their oral health and appearance without making them self-conscious about the appliances they wear. Keep reading to learn how they work and what you can do to keep them in the best condition possible.
How Do Clear Clear Aligners Work?
While much research and development have gone to clear aligners technologies, their principles are much simpler than you might expect. Clear aligners have the same fundamental idea as most orthodontic treatments, move your dental structures slowly with constant pressure.
Like traditional metal braces, clear aligners move your teeth to their desired position by applying gentle pressure on specific teeth. However, the main difference with conventional braces is that the aligners are removable and unadjustable. Given that the aligners are basically transparent plastic molded perfectly to the patient’s teeth, it’s impossible to change the shape of the aligners after construction. Thus, orthodontists will change your aligners every few weeks for a new set of trays which will continue pushing your teeth to their ultimate position.
How to Clean Clear Aligners?
While aligners are much simpler to use than traditional braces, they still require a thorough and consistent cleaning routine if you want to maintain proper oral health during your orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontists recommend you clean your aligners after every meal. However, we know that asking you to brush your aligners and your teeth after every meal can be a bit much, so we highly recommend that you at least wash them thoroughly every time you remove them to eat or drink anything. Still, you should brush both your teeth and your appliances at least twice a day every day if you want to avoid bacteria accumulation.
To brush your aligners during the day, you’ll only need a soft-bristled toothbrush and lukewarm water. Remember to avoid using toothpaste, as many formulas contain harsh ingredients that can damage your aligners. Try wearing your invisible aligners while cleaning to make brushing the exterior easier. After which, make sure you get every nook and cranny from both the inside and the outside layers of the appliance. One thing you should avoid is having food particles trapped in between your aligners and your teeth.
To have an even deeper clean, however, you might want to dip your aligners into a special solution that kills and dissolves bacteria accumulation. Here are a few common products and a few common homemade solutions for you to consider.
The first option to consider is an Invisalign product, which has a solution called Invisalign Cleaning Crystals in which, after mixing with water, you soak your aligners for about fifteen minutes. Then, Alignerco has a special foam meant to clean your aligners and within your teeth. Lastly, Smile has cleaning tablets that you dissolve in water that works for aligners and retainers.
There are a couple of alternatives to cleaning products for you to try out. One option is to use antibacterial soap. If you were to pick this alternative, make sure you are not using colored soap, as it could stain your aligners. Another solution is to dip your appliances in mouthwash. Similar to toothpaste and soap, make sure you choose a formula without harsh ingredients or strong colors. A third alternative is to soak your aligners in a 50/50 water and vinegar mix for the whole time you are not wearing your aligners.
How Much Do Clear Aligners Cost?
Clear aligner costs will vary significantly depending on the type of clear aligner system you are looking to get. In-office aligners, like Invisalign, require the patient to visit an orthodontist for the treatment process to even begin. At-home aligners, on the other hand, complete the whole treatment plan without the need for a dental professional.
While both types of aligner treatment options offer you a custom treatment plan, at-home aligners are only able to fix non-severe orthodontic issues like crooked teeth and small gaps between teeth. If you wish to get the beautiful smiles you always wished for despite severe orthodontic problems and are only considering clear aligners, In-office aligners are your only option.
In-office alternatives, such as Invisalign, ClearCorrect, and SureSmiles, all have an upper-limit cost of up to $8,000. The average, however, is around $5,500 dollar. With some luck, your insurance can cover a part of it, and the end cost will be even lower.
Some options for at-home aligners treatment are SmileDirectClub and Byte. Most alternatives of this type are under $3,000, with SmileDirectClub costing $2,050 for single pay and $2,564 if you decide to pay $89 a month for 26 months plus a $250 deposit.
Visit Hong Orthodontics and Get the Smile You Always Wanted in Orange, CA
If you want straighter teeth and a healthier mouth for a more confident smile without announcing to everyone you meet that you are in the process of doing so, then clear aligners are for you. Schedule your appointment with us here, and if you are eligible, we’ll start your orthodontic treatment in Irvine as soon as possible.