Clear aligners are removable and nearly invisible, making them an excellent option for many with mild to moderate teeth alignment or crowding issues. But to get the best results, you need the correct aligners. Otherwise, you may experience discomfort, or your progress toward straight teeth could stagnate. This article will walk through five steps you can take to get the right clear aligners.
1. Figure out if you’re a good candidate
First, it’s smart to determine if you’re a good candidate for clear aligners. These devices often work well for patients who have mild to moderate crooked or misaligned teeth but don’t want to deal with large braces. If you don’t have a severe case of misalignment, you may be a good candidate for clear aligners.
2. Visit your dentist for a consultation
Next, you’ll schedule a consultation with your dentist or orthodontist. Your provider will assess your mouth and teeth to ensure no oral health issues could make clear aligners ineffective. You can also ask your provider any questions during this consultation to make sure aligners are the right option for you.
3. Have the aligners made
Getting at-home aligners made involves either visiting a dentist for the impression or using an at-home impression kit, then mailing the impressions off to the aligner manufacturer. If you get in-office aligners, you’ll visit the provider’s office to get X-rays and give impressions of your teeth. This process allows for better tailoring of the aligners to your teeth than at-home aligners.
4. Wear your new aligners to see if they fit
Aligners can take a few weeks to create. Once at-home aligners are done, they’ll be mailed to you. If you get in-office aligners, you’ll pick them up from your provider. In either case, it’s time to try on the aligner to ensure it fits. If it doesn’t, there are a few remedies, such as using a bite stick or trimming the aligner if it digs into your gums. However, it may be smart to bring the aligners into your provider for examination to see if you need new ones.
The bottom line
Aligners offer a comfortable and convenient alternative to braces for many, but not everyone. In general, aligners are for minor to moderate dental issues overall. If you don’t have severe misalignment, consider scheduling a consultation with a dentist to see if the aligners are right for you. Determine whether you want at-home or in-office aligners, then try them on to make sure they fit when they’re done. Following this process should help you get aligners that fit well and put you on track to a straight smile.