Teeth aligners – the clear plastic trays that align your teeth – are popular among teens as they are less noticeable, while being removable and comfortable to wear when compared to traditional braces. Aligners are used to position irregularly arranged or crooked teeth, correct the spacing between teeth and address biting issues.
Clear aligners are prepared specifically based on individual teeth and gum sizes. The dentist uses a digital scan to prepare a 3D model of your teeth and fabricates a set of aligners accordingly. Experts recommend a series of aligners for every few weeks to position your teeth in the right place.
Wondering if you could wear it through the night? Well, dentists say why not for effective results. Will it loosen? No, they say, adding that to remain sturdy, they are fitted with the tooth using white attachments.
But what about plaque formation and bad breath? That is where the catch is. “Due to prolonged use, there may be deposition of plaque in the aligners and teeth especially near the attachment areas and [this can] cause bad breath,” says Dr N Raghunanthan, consultant orthodontist, Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu.
So, what can you do to maintain your aligners and oral health? Keep reading for the answers.
It is important to handle the aligners gently when you are removing them for hygiene purposes. While removing them, use both your hands to hold the edges of the aligners. Avoid using one hand as it can exert uneven pressure on the attachments and result in breakage.
That is not all. “To support the process of teeth correction, it is important to undergo scaling (professional cleaning) once in six months,” adds Dr Raghunanthan. It is also vital to go in for regular check-ups as the dentist can then keep an eye on both teeth alignment and oral hygiene.