Today, there are more choices than ever before when it comes to straightening your teeth. At-home orthodontic treatments are an exciting option, but just as with many other choices in life, there are some definite pros and cons.
If you’re wondering if at-home teeth straightening seems too good to be true, then here are a few things you need to consider to help you decide whether or not it’s for you.
Aligners: What Are They?
Invisible aligners are what is used in at-home teeth straightening. Unlike traditional braces, these aligners are a clear retainer-like piece that fits in your mouth, over your teeth, to help adjust their position over time.
You change the aligners every 7 to 14 days over the course of a period of time, usually between six months and one year.
At-home aligners are a great choice for some people and they definitely have their perks. The pros of this option include:
Aligners May Be Clear, But That Doesn’t Mean Invisible
What most people don’t like about braces is that they’re really noticeable. The aligners used in the at-home straightening process of teeth are clear and nearly invisible. They’re also not bulky like traditional braces and most people can’t even tell you’re wearing them.
Quicker and Easier to Use Than Traditional Braces
In most cases, you don’t have to wear aligners as long as you do traditional braces. Most people need only use them for one year or less. Plus, aligners are easy to take in and out as well for cleaning, maintenance, etc.
Can Be More Cost-Effective Than Traditional Braces
Let’s face it, straightening your teeth isn’t the most inexpensive undertaking. What attracts so many people to at-home teeth straightening is that it can often be less expensive than braces. Financing options are available for aligners, too.
Straighten Your Teeth on Your Own Time
When you use at-home options to straighten your teeth, you don’t have to make time for appointments at the orthodontist. Everything you need to do for aligners can be done in the privacy of your own home, on your own time.
Of course, at-home aligners aren’t all rainbows and straight teeth. There are a few challenges you may face if you choose to go the at-home route. These include:
Forgetting to Put Your Aligners In
The beauty of braces is that they go with you everywhere because you have no choice. With a removable product such as an aligner, it can be easy to forget to put them in – not to mention, it’s an invisible piece of plastic so losing it can be an issue too.
If you’re a person who misplaces their car keys frequently, then you may want to think very hard about whether aligners are right for you.
Extra Material and Dry Mouth Can Equal a Lisp
Having clear, plastic aligners over your teeth can change the way you talk. It can also have the unfortunate side effect of causing dry mouth. Put these two things together and you may find that you talk with a slight lisp – which can add a little more stress to your day when you’ve got a big work presentation to do, for instance.
The Risk of Stained Teeth for Coffee, Tea and Soda Drinkers
If you can’t start your day without a cup of coffee or you like to drink tea or soda, then wearing aligners for most of the day can actually lead to stained teeth.
Physically Moving Permanent Teeth Is Uncomfortable No Matter What
Straightening your teeth isn’t a comfortable process. You may expect that from braces, but it’s important to understand that it’s going to be the same with aligners. You are physically moving your teeth, after all. You will be sore.
Are You a Good Candidate for In-Home Teeth Straightening?
In-home teeth straightening can be a good idea for many people, but it’s always best to check with your dentist to ensure it’ll work for you the way you envision.
In most cases, you may not be a great contender for aligners if:
- Your teeth need to move vertically, aligners are only for moving your teeth horizontally
- You have certain dental conditions involving your back teeth
- You have a bridge or other implants that won’t respond to aligners
- You don’t think you can wear them all day long
Feel free to explore whether or not at-home teeth straightening is right for you with your dentist. They can help you to understand what’s involved and whether your particular dental issues make you a good candidate or not before you make the investment.
Ask questions about orthodontic procedures, your personal dental history, and your current circumstances so that you can make an informed decision about in-home teeth straightening.