Braces have been around for decades and have earned their reputation as an effective, reliable orthodontic appliance. They are perfect for even the most complex situations, but did you know that there is an alternative option for braces? Clear aligners are transparent, removable trays that straighten the teeth by gradually increasing pressure over time. These are perfect for patients with less complex issues who require a little flexibility in their orthodontic treatment or want a more discreet option than traditional metal braces or clear ceramic braces.
At Alba Orthodontics, we are excited to offer Spark™ Clear Aligner System for our adult and teen patients. While clear aligners do provide more freedom and a low maintenance option for users during treatment, there is still some responsibility that comes with wearing aligners! Here are five tips to get the most out of your Spark™ Clear Aligner System experience.
Wear Your Aligners Daily!
One of the most desirable benefits of clear aligners is their removability. Users have no food restrictions in treatment and can remove the aligners for pictures or important events. However, it is critical to remember to wear your aligners for the prescribed amount of time per day — usually around 22 hours! Aligners can typically straighten the teeth in less time than braces, but forgetting or neglecting to wear them can prolong overall treatment time.
Don’t forget to brush and floss!
Unfortunately, your clear aligners do not protect your mouth from germs and bacteria! During your Spark™ Clear Aligner treatment, it is crucial to brush and floss twice a day. Improper or inconsistent care can result in a build-up of bacteria and plaque that can cause bad breath, tooth decay, and tooth loss! The good news is that with aligners, you do not need to learn a new oral hygiene routine. All you have to do is remove the aligners to brush and floss your teeth and gums like normal!
A healthy mouth is a happy mouth! Maintaining a healthy routine ensures your smile will look as beautiful as you hoped at the end of treatment!
Clean your aligners!
Dirty aligners can host the same bacteria and plaque found in your mouth. These germs can give your aligners an unpleasant taste and smell, which is not inviting or encouraging when it is time to wear them! Dust and other particles in the air can also collect on the trays, so when you are not wearing the aligners, make sure to keep them in their protective carrying case!
Your aligners need to be cleaned twice a day, just like your teeth! Luckily, they are super easy and quick to clean. Simply gently run them under lukewarm water and gently brush them with unscented, antibacterial soap using a separate toothbrush from the one you use for your teeth. Extreme temperatures can warp their shape, so make sure the water is not too hot or too cold. Do not soak your aligners in a cleaning solution or use toothpaste, as they can damage the aligners. If you want to use a product on your aligners, ask your orthodontist if it is safe before using it!
Bonus Tip: Even though you need to remove the trays every time you eat or drink anything other than water, what you consume can transfer from your mouth onto the aligners. Spark™ Clear Aligners are stain resistant, but we recommend rinsing the mouth with water before wearing the aligners again to ensure their clear appearance.
Protect Your Aligners!
Though stain-resistant and durable, the trays are not invincible — though it would be cool if they were! Aligners are clear and thin for your comfort and invisible aesthetic, but those features can make them easy to lose or damage! Make sure to carry your protective carrying case with you everywhere you go. The case not only protects them from germs but also from being stepped on, chewed by your pet’s gnashing teeth, and getting lost. Every day, clear aligners end up in restaurant trash cans or movie theater floors, stepped on or never seen again.
Waiting for replacement trays can prolong treatment time. To stay on schedule, keep your aligners in your case whenever you are not wearing them!
Change Your Trays On Time.
At Alba Orthodontics, we know you are excited to see your final smile as soon as possible. We are excited, too! It is important to follow your treatment plan and wear the aligners as prescribed by our orthodontist team to see your new smile as quickly and safely as possible.
Each aligner is worn for roughly two weeks before you move on to the next one(s). Changing to the next pair of aligners in a set too early can prolong treatment time. If you switch too early and try to wear an aligner that does not fit, you could damage the aligner and have to wait for a replacement. If you wear the incorrect aligner for too long, you could change the movement path of your teeth, potentially requiring your treatment plan to be adjusted or altered.
Your treatment plan and schedule were custom-made just for you! You are getting the best treatment for your smile and oral health goals. If you follow the program closely, the smile of your dreams will become a reality in no time!
Come to Alba Orthodontics to Discover if Spark™ Clear Aligners are Right for You!
Once you step into our office, you become part of the Alba Orthodontics family. We take pride in offering our patients the quality care you expect for you and your family.Whether you are a current patient with questions or a new patient wondering if clear aligners are right for you, our experienced and professional team is always thrilled to answer your questions. Schedule an appointment or free consultation today to learn more about the Spark™ Clear Aligners System and how it can transform your smile!