If you need braces, you probably are thinking of all the things you can’t do or eat while wearing them. However, there are options that will allow you to enjoy all the foods you normally enjoy while giving you the straight smile you desire. Custom aligners could be the answer for you. Before you decide to take the plunge, there are some questions you should ask your dentist.
What Are the Benefits?
For starters, these aren’t like traditional braces; they do not have wires and weights. Instead of being painfully attached to your teeth, these trays will not rub your gums or irritate your mouth in any way. Additionally, there is no need for you to spend time at the dentist office for adjustments.
No one will notice that you are wearing them, saving you any embarrassment. You can brush, floss, and eat foods like popcorn that you would not normally be able to enjoy with traditional braces.
How do Custom Aligners Work?
In order for these to work, your dentist will have to do a 3-D imaging of your mouth. Your dentist will then use this model and custom software to determine a treatment plan to get your teeth in their final position. From this data, your dentist will have trays designed for you. Each tray will be worn for a couple of weeks, then the next one in the series is used. Typically within a year, your teeth will be in the final, ideal position.
Are They Painful?
One of the main downsides of traditional braces is that they are painful. They irritate your gums, jaws, and inside of your cheeks. Unlike with the wires, the trays are not as painful. There is some discomfort associated with each tray as you adjust to the new position but the pressure associated with this discomfort usually only lasts a few days. It is perfectly normal to feel this; it only means that the custom aligners are working.
Can Anyone Use These?
Children should not use this form of braces. They are designed for those who do not have any of their baby teeth left. If your second molars have not erupted yet, then this is not for you either. They are designed for teens and adults. However, your dentist will be able to tell you if this option is best for you.
Can They be Used to Fix A Shift After Braces?
Some people wear braces as teens and still see a shift in their teeth as they become an adult. In fact, over a million users of custom aligners had metal braces in the past. This option can keep you from having to go through the pain and social awkwardness of traditional braces again.
Do All Dentists Offer This Treatment?
While you must go to an orthodontist to get braces, this is not necessarily the case for custom aligners. However, those who offer this treatment have had additional training. You will need to ask your dentist if they are a “preferred provider” in order to ensure they have the proper training to treat you.