Patients often have a few questions, so hopefully the below information will help to answer those.
At your appointment the Smiles and Faces team will go through some instructions on wearing the aligners and what to expect during your treatment. Essentially with the clear aligners, you wear aligners which help shift your teeth in to place, instead of the traditional braces.
Each aligner on average is worn for approximately one to two weeks and for twenty two hours a day.
Some patients may require what we call IPR or placement of attachments. IPR stands for interproximal reduction, this means we gently remove a small slither of tooth between two teeth to assist in bringing them together. Placement of attachments is the when we place a small bubble of composite (filling material) to the tooth which assist in shifting the teeth in conjunction with the aligner. These are the same colour as your tooth and often go unnoticed.
Typically on the first to second day patients tend to experience slightly drier lips, but have noted minimal effects on their speech. Most difficulty has been reported in removing their aligners. At your appointment we will ensure you are able to do this confidently and comfortably. It is always tricky initially to remove your aligners and each new set of aligners are always tightest for the first few days.
Some patients have described the ease at which aligners can be misplaced when left on a table for a meal, or wrapped in a tissue, so we like to stress the importance of always placing your aligners in to the cases we provide.
We strongly recommend using your ‘chewies’ for the first three days to assist in seating your aligners. Chewies (see below) look similar to a cotton roll but don’t degrade, you can simply wash and reuse them. These chewies help to fully engage the aligner which allows the teeth to shift easily. It also reduces the amount of days of discomfort and tightness you will feel.
Similarly to braces, your teeth may be sensitive while eating, hence we encourage cool and soft foods to eat through this period. We don’t encourage snacking, as it requires your aligners to be removed frequently. It is also important to note that eating with the alingers and especially drinking coloured fluids can discolour the aligners which can make them much more noticeable.
Many of our patients have been pleasantly surprised that most people they talk to are not aware that they are wearing the aligners and have found that each new set of aligners they can notice movements with the teeth, once again confirming they are well on their way to their beautiful smile.