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Clear Aligner FAQ


Aligner Questions Answered


These are the questions we get most often from our Tarrytown Invisalign, Spark and 914 Smiles aligner patients.

Q: How do clear aligners work?

A: Dr. Kothari plans out your tooth movements on a 3D model of your mouth and then fabricates aligners based on his treatment plan. When you put them in your mouth, they exert continuous, gentle pressure that shifts the teeth into their ideal positions. Each set of aligners is pre-programmed to achieve certain movements and as you make your way through the series, your new smile takes shape.

Q: Do clear aligners hurt?

A: Clear aligners don’t hurt. However, when you first start wearing them or when you put in a new set, your teeth can feel a little sensitive from the pressure. This is totally normal and means you aligners are working! The discomfort will subside in a day or two.

Q: Can I smoke while wearing aligners?

A: No. Smoking will stain your aligners and cause them to yellow. If they’re not clear anymore, it kind of defeats the purpose of invisible treatment.

Q: How often will I need to visit 914 Smiles during clear aligner treatment?

A: While it will depend on your specific treatment plan, most patients visit us about every eight weeks or so during their clear aligner treatment. The appointments are fast since aligners don’t require adjustments. Dr. Kothari will check your progress, answer your questions and you’ll be on your way.

Q: How much do clear aligners cost?

A: The cost of clear aligners will depend on the severity of your orthodontic problems and how long treatment lasts. At your consultation, we’ll be able to give you an exact figure. At 914 Smiles, we believe everyone deserves to have a smile they love. That’s why our metal braces, clear braces AND clear aligners are all the same affordable price. We also accept most insurances and offer in-office, interest-free financing, as well as flexible payment plans.

We accept the following insurance:
Aetna (PPO)
Healthplex – (PPO, MVP)
Dentaquest (Fidelis, Emblem Health, Affinity)
Delta Dental
GHI (Emblem Health)
Liberty Dental
Empire BCBS
United Concordia 

Q: Will the aligners affect my speech?

A: Most of our Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow Invisalign, Spark Aligner and 914 Smiles aligner patients don’t notice a change in their speech. However, some people do feel as if they have a little bit of lisp at first. This goes away once you get acclimated to having the aligners in your mouth. The best thing you can do to speed up the process is keep talking!

Q: Will I have to wear a retainer when my aligner treatment is finished?

A: Yup. The only way to maintain your results is to wear a retainer. Don’t worry, we do offer clear retainers that are very similar to your aligners. Eventually, you’ll only need to wear your retainer at night.

Q: Are there food restrictions with clear aligners?

A: Nope! You’ll take your aligners out to eat and drink anything aside from water so there are zero food restrictions. You can eat whatever you want during clear aligner treatment.

Q: What are the benefits of clear aligners?

A: Clear aligners are, well, clear, making them virtually invisible. They’re also removable, allowing you to take them out to eat, drink, and brush and floss as you normally would. Since there aren’t any brackets and wires, they’re very comfortable and you don’t have to worry about them getting in the way during sports or playing an instrument. Aligners don’t require adjustments like braces do, so you spend less time in your orthodontist’s chair. Lastly, since clear aligners rely on digital treatment planning, they’re highly accurate and precise for outstanding results.

Q: Can I chew gum with clear aligners?

A: Yes, you can chew gum. However, you’ll want to take your aligners out before you chew it to avoid a mess. Remember, though, you’ll want to wear your aligners for about 22 hours per day.

Q: How long does clear aligner treatment last?

A: The length of your treatment depends on how severe your case is and how closely you follow the instructions for wearing your aligners. After Dr. Kothari examines you and looks at your diagnostic records at your consultation, he’ll be able to give you a specific timeframe. For some patients, treatment lasts less than a year, while for others, it’s about the same as braces.

Q: How often do I need to wear my aligners?

A: For the best results, you should wear your aligners for about 22 hours per day, taking them out only to eat, drink, and brush and floss your teeth.

Q: How do I clean my aligners?

A: There are clear aligner cleaning systems you can purchase. Or, you can just brush your aligners with your toothbrush and then rinse them in lukewarm water.

Q: How do I know if I’m a good candidate for clear aligners?

A: To determine if clear aligner treatment is the right choice for you, book a free consultation with our Tarrytown orthodontist, Dr. Kothari, online or by calling or texting us at (914) 332-0900.

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