How Do Dental Aligners Work, And How Can You Maintain Them?

Teeth misalignment can affect your smile. Common teeth misalignment problems include overbite, open bite, crossbite, spaces in between teeth, and crooked teeth. Fortunately, orthodontic treatments like dental aligners can fix bite problems. How do these aligners solve teeth misalignment? How can you maintain them?

Read on to find out

What Are Dental Aligners?

Dental aligners are orthodontic treatments that straighten the teeth and fix teeth misalignment. The teeth are properly aligned when the upper teeth fit over the lower teeth. Also, the points of the molars should fit the grooves of the opposite molar.

Who Needs Dental Aligners?

Dental aligners fix bite problems and teeth misalignment. They are suitable for people with crowded teeth, overbite, crossbite, and open bite. You can also get teeth aligners if you have spaces between your teeth.

What Are The Benefits Of Aligners?

Although braces are also orthodontic treatments that can correct teeth misalignment, dental aligners offer numerous benefits, including allowing you to brush and floss. Also, since dental aligners are removable, food particles do not get stuck in them, unlike braces. Dental aligners are also nearly invisible. You can use the aligners without people noticing them. 

Types of Dental Aligners

The two types of dental aligners are in-office and at-home aligners. The difference between the two aligners is in their names. You have to visit a dental office to get in-office aligners, while for at-home aligners, you complete your treatment at home.

In-office aligners

These aligners are very common. You have to visit a dentist to get a dental impression and a set of dental trays if you qualify for the treatment. Getting in-office aligners is a quite intensive treatment that should show within weeks. It would be best to commit to using these aligners for a minimum of 22 hours daily for maximum results. 

At-home aligners

At-home aligners are cheaper than in-office aligners, and you don't have to visit a dentist for treatment. Because you don't have to visit a dentist for the aligners, some of them may not be trimmed along the gum line, causing irritation. Furthermore, although at-home aligners are a cheaper treatment than in-office aligners, they are only suitable for minor cases of teeth misalignment.

How Do Dental Aligners Work?

Dental aligners are clear plastic or acrylic trays that fit over your teeth, applying constant, gentle pressure to move your teeth gradually. You'll need to get aligners every few weeks till your teeth are properly aligned. 

When you visit a dentist for aligners, you'll have to undergo a dental examination. Afterward, the dentist will take digital images of your mouth and discuss a suitable treatment plan for correcting your bite and moving your teeth into their correct position.

3D technology is used to create a custom set of aligners for you before you commence treatment. It is advisable to use the aligners for about 20 to 22 hours daily for maximum results. Because the aligners apply gentle pressure to your teeth, you'll have to change them every two to three weeks due to your teeth' new position. It would be best to get a retainer after your treatment to fit your newly straightened teeth and prevent malocclusion over time. It is advisable to wear the retainers every night.

How To Maintain Your Dental Aligners

When you start your treatment, properly maintaining your aligners can ensure their durability and remove built-up debris, food, and bacteria. You can maintain your aligners by;

•           Rinsing them with cold or lukewarm water when you remove them

•           Avoid cleaning them with hot water. Heat can warp the plastic, thus, damaging it

•           Brushing and flossing your teeth before wearing the aligners

•           Soaking the aligners in denture cleaner when not in use

•           Removing the aligners before eating

•           Avoid cleaning the aligners with toothpaste


Your dental aligners can fix problems with your teeth' alignment, improving your smile. You should visit your dentist to see if you qualify for the treatment. In addition, it is best to use the aligners according to instructions and properly maintain them for maximum results.