Wondering how to straighten teeth without braces? Clear aligners are an outstanding solution! At 914 Smiles, our Tarrytown orthodontist, Dr. Rishi Kothari, has perfected thousands of smiles with the innovative, removable treatment option. To help give you some clarity on the treatment (pun intended), we’re answering the questions we hear most often from our Tarrytown patients.
Is there an Invisalign alternative?
There is an Invisalign alternative. Actually, there’s more than one when you visit 914 Smiles. In addition to Invisalign, we also offer our own in-house 914 Smiles brand of aligners and 3M™ Clarity™ aligners. We’ve invested in 3D printers at our practice. By designing, printing and packaging our aligners in our office, we have more control over our patients’ treatment plans, which translates to better results, and the aligners are ready in about half the time. The FDA-approved materials we use are of better quality and when combined with our high-resolution printing capabilities, our aligners are clearer and more comfortable. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with Invisalign or Clarity aligners. They’re both excellent choices and we’ll help you decide which would be the best clear aligners for your needs at your consultation.
How do clear aligners work?
Clear aligners slip over your teeth like super comfortable, thin, barely noticeable mouthguards. Each set of aligners is programmed to achieve certain tooth movements specified by Dr. Kothari. The aligners fit snugly and exert gentle, steady pressure, which is what causes the teeth to move into place.
How often do I have to wear my aligners?
For the best results, we typically recommend wearing your aligners for about 22 hours per day. You’ll only take them out to eat, drink anything except for plain water, and to brush and floss your teeth. While it will depend on your specific treatment plan, most patients switch to a new set of aligners every one to two weeks.
What is the effectiveness of Clarity, 914 Smiles or Invisalign vs. braces?
A long time ago, when it came to the effectiveness of Invisalign vs. braces, it is true that braces were more effective for more severe orthodontic issues. That’s not always the case anymore. Thanks to upgrades in materials and aligner engineering, as well as Dr. Kothari’s experience, we’re able to treat many patients with mild, moderate and severe issues with clear aligners. If we have to achieve complex tooth movements, we may pair aligners with tooth-colored attachments to gain more leverage. Don’t worry; the attachments blend in with your smile and are virtually invisible.
Do clear aligners hurt?
Nope. Clear aligner treatment is extremely comfortable. The aligners are made from smooth plastic and there are no brackets and wires. You may experience mild tenderness when you first start treatment or when you put in a new set of aligners. However, this will go away quickly. Most patients don’t need it but you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever (whatever you would take for a mild headache) if necessary. You may also want to eat softer foods and cold drinks for a day or two when you first start treatment if your teeth are sensitive.
Are there food with restrictions with clear aligners?
There are zero food restrictions with clear aligners. You can eat whatever you want during your treatment since you’ll take the aligners out for meals and snacks.
Can I drink with Invisalign, Clarity or 914 Smiles aligners in?
You can drink plain water with your aligners in your mouth. However, for anything else, take your aligners out. The sugars in drinks will get trapped between your aligners and teeth, which can lead to tooth decay. Additionally, things like red wine, coffee and tea will stain your teeth and your aligners if you keep your aligners in. Hot beverages may warp the aligners, which will affect how they fit and, ultimately, your results.
How long does clear aligner treatment last?
The length of your orthodontic treatment will depend on how severe your case is and how well you follow the instructions for wearing your aligners. Every patient is different but treatment can take as little as a few months. With our 914 Aligners, since we control how many aligners we create and print, we can offer limited treatment options as long as the end results will give you a healthy, stable bite. So, if you just want a touchup and don’t want to do comprehensive treatment, in many cases, we can work with you and do a shorter, less extensive treatment plan.
How much does Invisalign cost? How about Clarity or 914 Smiles aligners?
Your 914 Smiles, Clarity or Invisalign cost involves a number of factors, including the complexity of your case and how long your treatment lasts. We can give you an accurate number once we’ve had the chance to evaluate your bite and develop a treatment plan at your consultation. We believe everyone deserves to have a smile they love, which is why we accept most insurance and offer flexible financing plans, including in-office, zero-interest financing and low down payment options.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of clear aligners?
The advantages of clear aligners are that they’re extremely comfortable. They’re also removable, so there are no food restrictions, and brushing and flossing are easy. There are no brackets and wires to get in your way. Since they’re made from clear material, most people won’t be able to tell you’re even wearing aligners. Thanks to the innovative treatment planning process, treatment is precise and accurate for amazing results. As for the disadvantages, the removability, which is an advantage to most people, can be a problem for those who don’t want to keep track of wearing their aligners or are afraid they’ll lose them.
How do I clean my aligners?
You’ve probably seen cleaning systems for sale like the Invisalign cleaning crystals. These do get your aligners clean and rid them of odors but they’re actually not necessary. You only wear your aligners for about a week or two, so by the time they need a deep cleaning, you’re on to the next tray. Instead, the most cost-effective, simple way to clean aligners is to brush them gently with your toothbrush and rinse them in lukewarm water. Clean them off every time you brush your teeth. Be sure to rinse them before putting them back in your mouth after meals or snacks too.
What happens after my clear aligner treatment is finished?
When your clear aligner treatment is finished, you’ll wear a retainer. This is the only way to maintain your results for life. Believe us, it won’t seem like a huge deal when you see how fantastic your new smile looks. The teeth have a natural tendency to shift back to their old places, and a retainer prevents this and locks them in place. Eventually, you’ll only have to wear your retainer at night. We offer clear retainers that we make right here in Tarrytown in our office that look and fit much like your aligners.
Are you interested in finding out if you’re a candidate for clear aligners? Schedule a complimentary consultation at 914 Smiles today. Give us a call or text at (914) 332-0900 or set up a digital consultation.