Posted on: 26 August 2018Share
Everyone wants to have a bright, beautiful smile, with straight, pearly white teeth. Unfortunately, nature doesn't usually deliver that. When it comes to crooked teeth, genetics does play a role, but environmental factors, such as using a pacifier, can also contribute to teeth that aren't straight.
Thankfully, modern dentistry and continuing advances in technology can straighten a crooked smile, and it doesn't always require months and months of walking around with "metal mouth." If you have always felt self-conscious about your misaligned teeth, clear plastic aligners, often referred to by one of the available brand names, Invisalign may be right for you. Here's what you need to know.
Can Anyone Have Dental Aligners?
While clear dental aligners are the right choice for many people, there are some situations where they are not an appropriate treatment method. People who have crooked teeth in conjunction with an extreme underbite or overbite are not a suitable candidate for dental aligners. This is because the bite needs to be addressed as well. Those who have severally crooked teeth are also not a candidate for this treatment method. Children and young adolescents are also not candidates as their teeth are still changing and may straighten on their own as they grow.
Older teenagers and adults who have a mild case of misaligned teeth, a minor overbite or underbite, crowded teeth, or gaps between teeth, such as between the upper two front teeth are good candidates, however.
How Do Dental Aligners Work?
If your dentist determines you are a good candidate for dental aligners, he or she will create a customized digital course of treatment. You will begin by wearing your first clear aligner, which fits snugly over your teeth. They need to be worn for about 22 hours each and every day. Every week or two, you will switch to a new aligner. It won't be noticeable for a while, but these aligners are gradually shifting your teeth into alignment.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
Treatment can take anywhere from 12 to 24 months. The length of time depends on the degree of misalignment. Being sure to wear the aligners consistently and as directed is your bet for expediency.
Are There Any Side Effects?
There are no major side effects to worry about. Of course, It can take some time to become accustomed to the feeling of the aligners in your mouth. You may have minor mouth irritation or discomfort and the occasional headache or jaw pain as you adjust to both the aligners themselves and your teeth shift, but for the most part, you won't have any adverse effects while you wait for your new perfect smile!