They say you’re never fully dressed without a smile, and in the spirit of dressing to impress that means your teeth too! Being embarrassed about your smile is something that no person should feel, nobody should ever be ashamed to express their joy. Unfortunately, however, if you don’t have perfect teeth some people can be less than kind. Before aligners, braces were the standard for straightening the teeth but they’re expensive and inaccessible to many people. Aligners are much more accessible, but several misconceptions scare people away. Here are four myths about aligners, and the facts to set them straight.
Myth: They’re an At-Home Gimmick
While aligners do offer the convenience of treatment from the comfort of your own home, your care and progress will be monitored by a licensed orthodontist. To begin the process, you may choose to either order an at-home impression kit, or if you would rather consult with a medical professional during the initial appointment visit a clinic in-person for a 3D scan.
After the scan is completed your care team will review the 3D model of your teeth with you and show you how they will straighten over time. Your aligners are then delivered directly to your door, just pop them in and check in with your orthodontist for your regularly scheduled remote visits to ensure your treatment plan is working as expected.
Myth: They’re Cosmetic, Not Medical
Some patients may indeed choose to get aligners for purely cosmetic reasons, however, they also treat several orthodontic issues. Many patients choose to get treatment to correct things such as:
- Crowded teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Gap teeth
Crowded teeth are caused when there is a lack of space for them to grow properly. Due to the way the jaw shrinks as you age, crowded teeth can become an increasingly serious problem over time. Overcrowding causes extra stress on facial muscles as well as your teeth and gums and can cause serious damage ranging from cracked teeth to temporomandibular joint disorder.
Myth: You Have to Restrict Your Diet
While there is some truth that you have to be more careful about what you eat, unlike braces there are treatment options that allow you to eat freely. You may choose to wear your aligners only at night. This option takes a few months longer due to less wear time but frees you to continue with your day-to-day life as normal.
If you choose to wear your aligners during the day as well you can still eat almost anything, it just comes down to proper care. If you are eating or drinking anything other than water, it’s best to remove your aligners to avoid getting food particles, sugar and bacteria stuck in them. Before replacing the aligner in your mouth make sure to brush and rinse or floss to remove any food particles. This is particularly important if you’ve eaten hard foods to avoid damaging your aligners or your teeth.
Myth: They’re Not as Effective as Braces
Braces have been the industry standard for years, but not anymore. Aligners are just as effective at straightening your teeth as traditional braces are, and often at a fraction of the cost. Your treatment plan also comes with a lifetime guarantee for your results. Meaning that if your teeth shift after the treatment is completed you may receive new aligners at no additional cost.
All in all, aligners are a cost-effective and legitimate way to straighten your teeth and address any medical concerns you may have. Aligners make orthodontic care more accessible to Australians, and that’s something to smile about; because everyone deserves to be confident in their smile.