Crooked teeth can make us feel self-conscious and, depending on the severity of the misalignment, they can even interfere with our ability to chew or speak properly. While braces and other orthodontic treatments have long been a popular way to address misaligned teeth, many people are now turning to alignment retainers as an alternative option. But what exactly are alignment retainers? Here are five things you should know before you get started.
Alignment retainers are like traditional braces in that they gradually move your teeth into better alignment over time. However, unlike traditional braces, which require frequent adjustments from your orthodontist, an alignment retainer is worn 24/7 and will automatically adjust your teeth as needed. This makes them much more convenient and less time-consuming than traditional braces.
Alignment retainers can correct a wide range of issues including crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, crossbites, gapped teeth, and crowded teeth. Your orthodontist, such as those from Dentologie, will be able to tell you whether an alignment retainer is a right choice for you. This is based on your individual needs and circumstances.
The amount of time it takes for your aligner to do its job depends on the severity of your misalignment and how diligently you wear it as instructed by your orthodontist. On average though most people wear their aligner for about 12 months before achieving their desired results. Be sure to listen to your orthodontist and follow their instructions.
When you first get fitted for an alignment retainer there may be some slight discomfort as your mouth adjusts to wearing it but this should not last long. Any pain can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen if necessary.
In order to maintain the results achieved through wearing an alignment retainer it is important to continue wearing a retainer even after treatment has been completed. These retainers come in both removable and fixed varieties so talk with your orthodontist about which type would be best for keeping your newly aligned smile looking its best.
If crooked or misaligned teeth are preventing you from feeling confident in your smile then consider talking to an experienced orthodontist about whether getting fitted for an alignment retainer is right for you. With proper care and maintenance, these devices can help give you the beautiful straight smile that you've always wanted without having to go through all the hassle that comes with traditional braces.