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How long do I wear aligners?

Aligners need to be worn at least 22 hours a day. Take them out to eat or to drink anything except for tap water. Then clean your teeth before putting your aligners back in. They can only move teeth when they are in your mouth.

How many aligners will I get?

Your orthodontist will probably give you a few sets of aligners, and instruct you to wear a set for one to two weeks before changing to the next set. You will get additional sets of aligners when you see your orthodontist at your routine appointment.

Will you use needles?

No.

Will getting aligners cause discomfort?

No. Getting aligners will not cause discomfort.

Are tooth-colored bumps on teeth necessary?

It depends on your treatment plan. Talk to your orthodontist about whether you will need these attachments to move your teeth.

How are aligners applied?

A retractor will be placed in the mouth to keep the mouth open comfortably. This will also help to keep the mouth as dry as possible. Next, so that attachments bond to the tooth enamel, the tooth surface will be etched with a mild solution. After a few seconds, the tooth will be rinsed. Then, a special adhesive will go in the aligner trays and they will be placed on the teeth and cured with a special light. After all of the attachments have been placed and the adhesive has been cured, any excess adhesive will be removed. Your first aligners will snap into place. Your orthodontist will demonstrate how to put your aligners in and take them out. When you first put a set in, they won’t be an exact fit. They’ll be off by just a fraction of a millimeter. But that’s the idea – so that your teeth move to fit the aligner. They’ll be a little tight at first, and then start to loosen up.

What happens the day I get aligners – do I need to do anything special to prepare?

The day you get aligners, eat as usual. Just brush and floss thoroughly after eating.

How will my mouth feel after getting clear aligners?

As with anything new, you can expect an adjustment period of about a week as it gets used to your aligners.  Mild discomfort is common for the first few days. This is temporary and can be relieved by rinsing with warm salt water (1 tsp. salt to 8 oz. of warm water), or by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.

How long does it typically take to get clear aligners?

You should be in and out of the office within an hour.

Is there anything that needs to be done before getting clear aligners?

Before you get aligners, visit your family dentist for a cleaning and check-up. Any dental work needs to be completed before getting scanned for clear aligners as your aligners will be custom created to the exact shape of your teeth. Visits to your dentist should continue at least every six months for the duration of the treatment or more often if needed.