Most of you will be new to clear aligners which means you could face some discomfort initially. So here we share How to Wear Clear Aligners article which will be very helpful. Now that you have made your decision to get your teeth straightened with clear aligners, you must know that the entire journey, from taking measurements until you get your first set of Aligner trays, is a multistep process. Clear aligners are transparent trays that are worn on the upper and lower arch in order to bring them into perfect alignment. Since clear aligner trays are custom prepared for each patient, the process involves a whole lot of customization.
After you have made your decision to opt for clear aligners, your orthodontist will take measurements of your upper and lower teeth, gums in your mouth either using an impression tray or a digital scanner. Most clear aligner companies prefer digital measurements that are immediately stored as a digital document. This allows the lab and the team of orthodontists to easily access these details without fear of distortion as is seen with the physical impressions.
After your impressions/digital scans are received in the lab, the in-house team of orthodontists study your teeth alignment, bite and other factors to devise a treatment plan that is custom-made just for you. Your orthodontist will discuss the same with you and show you the final plan, the lab begins manufacturing your trays. Companies like 32 Watts make clear aligner trays from high-quality thermoplastic material using advanced printing technology.
Your clear aligners will arrive as sets of upper and lower trays periodically. Each set of trays needs to be worn for a specified number of hours each day for a specific number of days as instructed by your Dentist. From your consultation visit, till you get your trays, it takes about 4-5 working days with companies like 32 Watts that have their lab right here in India. Many international brands that supply clear aligners in India take a minimum of two weeks to deliver your first set of trays, thereby delaying your treatment.
Your Appointment with the first Set of Aligners
Once your trays are received at your orthodontist’s clinic, you will be asked to visit your orthodontist to learn how to wear and remove them and also take care of them. Your clear aligners arrive safely packed in an easy-to-carry box. Your orthodontist will show you how to place your aligners on your upper teeth and lower teeth one by one.
Instructions to Wear and Remove Clear Aligners
After your orthodontist’s demonstration on how to wear and remove your clear aligners, it is now your turn to do it by yourself! You must place the first aligner tray on its respective arch and lightly bite on it to allow it to fit around your teeth. The moment your aligners slide into their position, you will feel an immediate tightness around your teeth. This uncomfortable feeling will go away once you get used to your aligners.
Now, wear the other tray of the set in the same way. You can also use aligners chewies to wear your aligner trays. These chewies are basically soft plastic tubes that you need to chew on after inserting your aligner tray. They are available in different colors and flavors and allow your trays to fit around your teeth and settle properly.
Once your aligners are worn, get used to how they fit and where the tray margins are. This will help you when you need to remove them. Find a spot around the clear aligner margins near your back teeth and lightly tug on to it. This will lift the aligners from the back teeth and loosen it up over your front teeth, making it easy to remove. Practice this a few times in the presence of your orthodontist in order to gain confidence in doing it yourself at home. Your first set of aligner trays are usually zero-degree aligners, which means that they are not meant to bring about movement. They are mainly given to let you get used to the trays and allow you to get comfortable in lifestyle with them. Once you are ready, your orthodontist will give you a set of instructions to follow during your clear aligner treatment. These include:
- Each set of trays that are given to you needs to be worn for a minimum of 22 hours each day, which is the standard time recommended to most patients. In some cases, the orthodontist may advise the patient to wear the clear aligner trays only during the day or only at night time.
- It is okay for the aligners to feel tight and feel the pressure of the aligners on your teeth. This indicates that your aligners are snuggly fit around your teeth to cause their movement.
- You must remove your aligners while eating and avoid drinking anything too hot or cold as extreme temperature changes can warp the trays.
- Since the aligners can be removed during eating and drinking, it is recommended to brush and floss before wearing them back again. This is one of the biggest advantages over fixed braces!
- You may notice yourself talking with a lisp in the initial days after wearing aligners. Don’t worry! This lisp is temporary and will go away as soon as your tongue gets used to the aligners.
- Since the trays are an artificial material in your mouth, you may experience excessive salivation but this is your body’s normal reaction to something foreign in the mouth.
- Some people might experience the very opposite i.e. dryness in the mouth. Drink plenty of water and allow your body to accept the aligners.
- Whenever you remove your aligners, remember to clean them with regular running water and store them dry in the box given with them. This ensures your aligners are not lost or broken.
- You can clean your aligners with a toothbrush but avoid brushing too hard.
- Whenever you visit your doctor, always carry the previous aligner set with you.
- Wear each set of aligner trays as directed by your orthodontist in order to get your treatment completed in the set time frame. Using your discretion in wearing the trays can interfere with the progress of your treatment.
First Few Days of Wearing Your Clear Aligners?
In the first few days after wearing your first set of aligner trays, patients face many problems. Some of these include:-
- Excessive tightness around their teeth causing pain
- Uncomfortable feeling in the mouth
- Excessive salivation
- Dryness in the mouth
- Difficulty in speaking or inability to say few syllables(lisp)
- Difficulty in wearing and removing the trays
No matter which of these problems you face with your aligners, always remembers that all these are temporary problems and are easily solvable. In case of any doubt, you must always consult with your orthodontist.
Aligners are the best replacement for metallic wired braces as it uses the latest technology to straighten your teeth. No matter which kind of correction your teeth require to make them perfect, aligners can be worn by anyone. Aligners are a pair of clear plastic trays made up of polyurethane which fit your teeth without any pain and irritation except for the initial days when you start using them. The use of aligners is becoming more and more popular day by day, especially in teens and adults as they are virtually invisible. Therefore, it is very important to have proper knowledge of ‘How to Wear Clear Aligners?’. So, here we are sharing some basic techniques and procedures which could help you in wearing aligners.
How to Wear Aligners?
Read the below instructions carefully:
- Your teeth and aligners should be cleaned before wearing them into your mouth.
- Make sure your hands are also clean before handling the aligners.
- Aligners are worn for 20-22 hours a day.
- One pair of aligners must be worn for 2 weeks only and then use the next pair of aligners in the right order.
- Identification of the Aligner: The aligners can be identified by the markings present on it. Eg: some indication for the upper teeth and some for lower teeth. “1” or “A” indicates the 1st set of aligners amongst the lot.
How to Wear Clear Aligners?
- Now, as aligners come in pairs, you have to wear them one by one. You may put any of aligner first followed by the other tray of the aligner.
- Gently insert the aligners one at a time and push the tray softly onto your teeth.
- If the aligner is not seated completely then use the provided chewie from the starter kit to snap-fit them in place.
- Place the chewie between the teeth in the area where the aligner is not seated completely and bite softly onto so that the aligner gets seated.
- You will hear a snap or click sound indicating the aligner is seated completely.
- In case attachments have been placed on the tooth, the aligners should be carefully placed. Seat the aligner on the front teeth first and then gradually seat it on the back teeth.
- Remove your aligners when you are eating, drinking (hot beverages), smoking, etc. with the help of the tool, which comes with the starter kit.
- Don’t touch or pinch the aligners too much if they are not fitting properly. Talk to your dentist/orthodontist.
- Store the aligners in the carry case only if you are not wearing them. Always carry the case when you are going out for dinner, party or outdoor activity. Mostly aligner users damage their aligners by keeping them in a bag or anywhere else casually.
- Keep the aligners away from pets and kids.
Other Useful Tips to Wear Clear Aligners
- To reduce the chances of aligner damage, avoid unnecessary removal and insertion.
- Be careful while removing the aligners when you have multiple attachments.
- Do not pull the aligner suddenly or use sharp objects for the removal.
- In case you are facing difficulty in inserting and removing the aligners consult your dentist/orthodontist.
Do you want to delay your treatment? Obviously not, therefore, you should take care of your aligners and wear them as per instructions. Orthodontists have seen many patients coming back to them to get the same pair again, this happens because aligner users don’t pay much attention to their behavior towards the aligners. But after some time once you will get used to wearing and handling your aligners you will not face any problem. Taking care of aligners will not only increase its life, in fact, but they will also work better and give you a better result.
Click here to Download Smile Journey of October Month
How useful was this post?
Click on a star to rate it!