Growing in popularity, clear aligners are an ever-advancing treatment option to realign your teeth with a nearly invisible appliance. At Rio Grande Orthodontics, our older teen and adult patients enjoy the option of a discreet appearance that still guarantees the results of fixed braces like traditional metal. Our orthodontic team, Dr. Gardiner, Dr. Vest, Dr. Klingler, and Dr. Kellam, are experts in providing clear aligner care and can help you achieve the fantastic results you are after. Read on to learn the five keys to creating beautiful smiles with aligners!
#1) Switching Out Your Aligners On Time
After your first appointment, we will hand over your first set of aligners to follow over the start of your treatment. Every two weeks, you switch out your tray for the next set in order to keep your teeth moving in the right direction. It is important to make reminders of when to start using the following pair of trays so as not to fall behind on your treatment at all.
Wearing the next aligner early will not result in quicker treatment. Your trays are designed to move in phases with the help of 3D digital models of your teeth, which precisely map out each movement your teeth will make. If you wear the incorrect appliance at the wrong time, discomfort may arise from too much pressure being placed on your teeth from trying to shift too quickly.
#2) Prioritize Your Scheduled Appointments
Our clear aligner wearers come in for check-ups every four to eight weeks, depending on your treatment plan. Keeping your appointments is crucial. Our technology is able to predict how your teeth will move, but sometimes, the original plan of care changes once we see how your teeth are actually moving in real time.
Our team gets it; life happens! Sometimes, you are running late or need to reschedule your appointment. Call our front desk as soon as you can, and we will be happy to work with you to find a better time to come in. Staying on schedule as best as possible is essential to creating a beautiful smile so that any adjustments our orthodontists need to make to your treatment plan are swiftly done.
#3) Keep Your Oral Hygiene in Excellent Shape
To ensure your teeth stay healthy throughout the process, it is crucial to maintain your oral hygiene during treatment.
Brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily and before placing your trays back in after eating both protect your teeth from oral complications such as cavities and tooth decay. Depending on the positioning of your teeth, you may have some hard-to-reach areas to get to with your toothbrush. Our orthodontists can help point these areas out to you during your appointments so you can make a point to clean them.
If food is left behind after a meal and your tray is returned to its place before cleaning, tooth decay can take over much quicker than you think. Taking the extra time to double-check that your mouth is free of food particles can help save you from unnecessary procedures later on. Other oral complications like cavities can prolong or even pause treatment entirely to deal with them properly.
#4) Wearing Your Aligners At Right Time
Sticking to the treatment plan you are provided is critical in ensuring your treatment stays on schedule and you are not left wearing your aligners for longer than necessary. In order to get the best results, you must wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day, only taking them off for meals and drinking. What makes this appliance attractive is the leniency that metal and other wired braces lack.
When you do not wear your aligners as often as needed, your teeth can relapse back into their original position very quickly. This simply prolongs treatment and requires you to come in for adjustments.
#5) Make Sure Your Aligners Stay Clean
Even though you only wear each tray for two weeks, they can still get quite dirty in a short amount of time. Since they are in your mouth for such a while without breathing room, they can quickly build up bacteria and plaque if not cleaned properly. This can damage your teeth over time and even begin to change the color of your trays, ruining the nearly invisible look that makes clear aligners such a popular choice.
Cleaning your trays is very simple and a daily task you should make a habit of. For general maintenance, use a toothbrush different than the one you clean your teeth, and lightly brush them with lukewarm water. It is as simple as that! Our team recommends you also give them a quick brush before putting the trays back in your mouth after a meal.
Start Working Toward Your Perfect Smile with Aligners Today!
Achieving a straightened, beautiful smile is a big step, and Rio Grande Orthodontics wants to ensure all your questions are answered before beginning. We provide high-quality orthodontic care to Albuquerque, Edgewood, Espanola, Las Vegas, Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Taos, Socorro, and the surrounding areas. Contact the office location closest to you today and schedule your free consultation to see if clear aligners are the right choice of treatment for you!