Are Your Teeth Ready for Clear Aligner Treatment?
So, you’re considering a course of clear aligner treatment to get the best out of your smile and why not? Orthodontic aligners are becoming more and more popular as people seek better alternatives to fixed braces; but just like bracket and wire style braces, did you know that it’s equally as important that your mouth is as healthy as it can be – Eg: No cavities and no gum disease!
Aligner therapy involves a series of clear aligners, otherwise known as ‘trays’, which are worn sequentially over your teeth. Because each clear aligner needs to wrap around your teeth, it means that your pearly whites won’t have access to your body’s own natural tooth cleaner – saliva! Add to this a warm, moist, protected area behind the aligners where millions of bacteria can lurk, and it’s a potential disaster zone for your teeth.
For this reason, you really want to have as healthy a mouth as possible before embarking on a course of clear aligners for your teeth. But in addition, having any kind of orthodontic treatment on a weak foundation can have a detrimental effect as you progress through the treatment.
That said, don’t worry if your mouth isn’t in the best of health at this point. After all, it’s all about the journey, right? With this in mind, here are some top tips on how you can get a healthy mouth before clear aligner treatment begins…
Countdown to clear aligner treatment Tip 1 – Visit your dentist!
Okay, so this sounds a little obvious, but if you are considering orthodontic aligners you should visit your dentist first. Don’t worry if you haven’t visited your dentist in…well…longer than you’d care to remember, as they aren’t going to judge you. The goal is to ensure your teeth are in good shape and you don’t have any cavities, etc.
Oh, and if the reason you haven’t visited the dentist is because of an anxiety issue, then you’re not alone. Did you know that approximately 80% of us feel some form of dental anxiety before an appointment and approximately one in seven of us develop an intense dental fear? Okay, so maybe that didn’t make you feel a whole lot better, but perhaps what will make you feel better, is that modern dentists are trained to practice gentle, pain-free dentistry and indeed, most will welcome nervous or anxious patients. So, as long as you choose an experienced dentist, you should be in safe and secure hands.
Countdown to aligner therapy Tip 2 – Don’t forget to follow the instructions
After a course of hygiene treatment, it’s likely that your dentist may give you instructions for keeping plaque and gum problems at bay. So while your teeth and gums might now officially be clean and strong – amen to that 🙂 – chances are you’ll be given the tips, tools, and techniques to ensure they remain that way. This may involve tips like:
- How to better brush your teeth – Adopt a proper brushing technique by angling your toothbrush to roughly 45 degrees toward the gumline. Use small, circular motions with your toothbrush, and don’t forget to brush your tongue.
- What type of brush to use – Always use a soft-bristled brush where the head and bristles are a good fit for your mouth. Ensure it can reach right into the crevices of your molars where food particles can hide, and don’t forget to change it every 3-4 months or before, if the bristles become worn.
How long to brush your teeth – Many people brush regularly, but simply don’t brush for long enough. The ADA recommends brushing for 2 minutes twice daily and flossing at least once a day. Combine this with regular dental visits to keep your mouth in tip-top condition.
Without a timer, most people only brush for 30 seconds!
Talking about timescales, this ties in nicely with the last and final tip:
Countdown to invisible aligners Tip 3 – Be prepared to wait
Although you probably can’t wait to start your teeth aligner therapy, it’s far better to get the foundations in place first, than to forge ahead with your clear aligner treatment, especially before your mouth is altogether back on a healthy footing.
Did you know for example that over half of all American adults suffer from some type of gum disease? Yet, milder gum problems such as gingivitis can typically be reversed within 10-14 days.
Even more serious issues like periodontal disease can be reversed using mixture of non-surgical and surgical procedures including:
- Scaling and root planing – This involves the removal of tartar from the teeth and root surface using a scaling technique, then smoothing any rough surfaces to prevent further bacteria from gathering.
- Pocket reduction procedures – This short surgical procedure can also be performed by folding back the gum, cleaning out any unwanted bacteria and re-attaching it to healthy bone.
- Regenerative procedures – Bone and gum grafting can also help to restore both gum and bone loss caused by periodontal disease.
Although these types of treatments can take anywhere from several days to a few months to complete, they’re important in order to ensure that your teeth remain healthy during and after your aligner treatment.
Not only that, when you do finally get to order your clear aligners either online or from your chosen dentist or orthodontist, you’ll end up with a longer-lasting and more pleasing result once you come to remove the final tray. That has to be something worth waiting for, right?
So there you have it, 3 top tips on how to get a healthy mouth before undergoing aligner therapy and why it’s vitally important.
In the meantime, if you’re planning your options with regards to aligners for teeth, then you really should check out our website. We are a leading orthodontic-led provider of cost-effective, clear aligner treatment online, so why not take a look at how we can help you today.