These days everybody has some knowledge of orthodontics and its treatment types. Giving the definition is easy, but to answer the question “what are removable orthodontic appliances?” We need a brief explanation:
Removable orthodontics, called clear aligners or invisible aligners, are appliances for straightening our teeth, which can be removed during brushing or eating. You don’t need to wear them all the time during the entire treatment period. These orthodontic appliances are fabricated in clear or in plastic form. They are shaped like mouthguards but can treat discrepancies in teeth.
Common removable orthodontic appliances
Most removable appliances are custom-made and tight-fitted on the teeth. You can use them for the purpose of either teeth discrepancy treatment or perfect orthodontics outcome achievement. After the orthodontic treatment, we need appliances to prevent misalignment of the teeth.
The first of these appliances are aligners that help achieve straightened teeth. The most famous of these clear, invisible orthodontic appliances are in the following forms and ways:
- Clear Correct
- Semi direct club
The second categories are retainers or orthodontics guards that are in clear, customized forms for every dental condition and arch size. Hawley retainer is one of the common types of removable retainer.
Who needs clear aligners?
To prevent slight discrepancies and achieve the desired position of the teeth, clear aligners can be useful and also for the treatment of the following problems:
- Gap between the teeth
- Overcrowded and protruding teeth
- Slight overbite
- Open bite
You can benefit from this way of orthodontics treatment if you have the problems mentioned above.
How can clear aligners straighten the teeth?
After examining the teeth, we need radiologic imaging to have our own size of the teeth mold. Monitoring the predictable position of teeth is also necessary. Accordingly, to achieve the best esthetics of straightened teeth form, they say, for example, 20 Invisalign should be applied.
Each clear aligner plate in orthodontics is specially designed for repositioning the teeth for a specific period of time (say 2 weeks). After that, you should remove them and use the next orthodontic plate.
The other plate should be replaced, and this process continues until the desired position of the teeth is achieved.
How long does it take to straighten our teeth with clear aligners?
Depending on the age and the severity of the problem, you can wear clear aligners orthodontic plates for as long as 1 year to 18 months to align your teeth.
The cost of clear aligners
The number of teeth molds changes the cost of removable orthodontics. By the way, this way of orthodontic treatment has a relatively lower cost.
Do we really need to wear clear aligners?
It is necessary to keep on wearing them during the entire period of treatment. There are some advantages to removable appliances or clear aligners compared to other forms of orthodontics.
While eating, drinking, or brushing, you can remove aligners. But don’t forget to rinse your mouth before putting them back again.
Get into the habit of using them to complete the straightening period of your teeth as your dental practitioner has pointed out to do so.
The first week of clear aligner treatment
You might be wondering about the most difficult step. You might be thinking of adjusting the orthodontics plates or metal braces (wiring). This is not the most painful or hardest part as you might think.
The most complex stage of orthodontics is the 1 to 7 days after the placement. You haven’t experienced any pressure for repositioning your teeth before, but now with the orthodontics aligners on, your teeth are under pressure to change direction to the favored position.
This process may cause:
- Feeling some pains
- Increase in saliva production
- Feeling itchy around your lips
- The irritation in your mouth
- Some problems during speaking
These problems can last up to one week and are not really something to worry about.
How to deal with the first week’s problems?
- If you feel any pain, take over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- Do some exercises if you have difficulty speaking. Read a book out loud to get used to the condition you are in.
- In case of excessive saliva in your mouth due to the placement of the clear aligners, try not to spit but peacefully swallow that! This is normal in the early days.
Is it necessary to visit the orthodontist if I have my clear aligners on?
You might be imagining that with clear aligners, positioning of teeth is easy to do and you don’t need any help, but this is not true. Regular visits to the orthodontist are crucial in terms of maintenance or supervision over the important task of straightening the teeth to get the perfect results.
The needed appointments with the orthodontist
There are some types of aligners (Invisalign or other brands) that demand one visit in a 2-week time or during a 4 to 8 weeks period of time. In these visits, tightening or changing the aligners is done. Therefore, try not to reach out your tongue if the aligners become loose or chew on something.
What should you eat or avoid eating while you are wearing clear aligners?
Avoid eating when your aligners are on the teeth. Remove them and then eat or drink. We should be careful about our eating and food types when we use removable orthodontics.
For this reason, at the beginning of the treatment, you may not be able to eat what you want. Eating soft foods is recommended. You can eat:
- Soft rice
- Yogurt or any other foods like that
Some foods are potentially harmful and should be avoided. Cut down on these:
- Chewing gums
- Hard candies or toffies
- Hard bread
- Other hard foods
How to clean our removable aligners?
Cleaning the plates and aligners should be your important task to do.
- Remove and clean them with cold water twice a day (usually after eating, try to clean them as you brush your teeth)
- Don’t use hot water to clean the aligners because these appliances may loosen and not fit anymore
- Smooth brushes are good options for cleaning
- Rinse the aligners once a week in a special liquid prescribed by the dental practitioners to disinfect the appliance
What to do in other possible problems for our orthodontics aligners?
Problems can be a hole in the trays, broken trays, or even losing them. To reduce the orthodontic treatment time in these cases, inform your orthodontist about the problem. After examinations, you can have your custom-built aligners remade.