Serving Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN
Millions of people undergo orthodontic treatment to get straight teeth. Orthodontics can improve your confidence, makes you more willing to smile, and helps protect you against threats to your oral health later in life. In decades past, orthodontic treatment meant getting braces, but today there are new treatment methods such as clear aligner therapy. At Devine Dentistry, we now offer a clear aligner system called SureSmile®. In this article, we share 10 facts you might not know about SureSmile®.
They need to stay on your teeth
Clear aligner therapy entails wearing custom-made, removable aligners on your upper and lower teeth. When worn, these aligners exert gentle pressure on your teeth to guide them into their ideal, straight alignment. You receive a new set of aligners every few weeks as your teeth move and shift in your mouth. For SureSmile® to work, you should wear your aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours each day, only removing them when you eat and drink or you brush and floss your teeth.
Your speech may change, but only temporarily
One of the major advantages of SureSmile® is that it is very discreet. You can wear your aligners and, generally, people never will notice them on your teeth. However, when you begin wearing SureSmile®, you may speak with a slight lisp at first as your mouth adjusts to wearing the aligners. If this makes you self-conscious, you can try to adjust more quickly by reading out loud or singing when you are by yourself.
SureSmile® is not for everyone
SureSmile® aligner therapy is meant for teens and adults with minor tooth crookedness and/or moderate tooth misalignment. Crowded teeth, overbites, underbites, and gapped teeth all can be corrected through SureSmile®. At Devine Dentistry, our Nashville family dentists evaluate each individual patient interested in this treatment method during a consultation to determine candidacy.
You need to have good, if not great, oral hygiene
Not only should you continue brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily, but you also need to keep your aligners clean. This is the main reason why we ask patients to remove their SureSmile® aligners before eating. Before placing the aligners back in your mouth, you should brush your teeth so that they don’t trap bacteria and sugar on your teeth. You also can help lower the total bacteria and plaque in your mouth by having regular dental cleanings.
Certain foods and drinks can stain your aligners
Your aligners are transparent, but they won’t necessarily stay that way. If you frequently drink coffee, tea, or red wine – all highly acidic – this can stain your aligners and therefore make your teeth seem discolored. Stains also can form from foods or drinks with high sugar content, such as soft drinks. It is recommended that you remove your aligners when drinking beverages other than plain water.
Your dietary routine could change
Do you like to snack between meals? This can become inconvenient when you’re undergoing SureSmile® treatment. You have to weigh the pros and cons of getting that mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack against the inconvenience of removing your aligners, brushing your teeth, and returning the aligners to your mouth.
Aligner therapy causes less discomfort than braces
Modern dentistry has come a long way, but it hasn’t yet figured out a way for braces to become completely pain-free. The wires can poke you. The brackets can irritate your gums and cheeks. And if a wire or bracket breaks, it can be an inconvenient experience. With SureSmile®, you may feel some discomfort for a day or two after switching to a new set of aligners, but that’s about the extent of what you can expect.
Your aligners can be damaged
It’s vital to keep your SureSmile® aligners clean, but make sure to use the right products and methods. You should only clean your aligners using the recommended cleaner they come with, Retainer Brite, and use the product according to package instructions. Never use toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, or hot water when cleaning your aligners. Any of them can damage the aligners, leave scratches, or make them turn a yellowish color. You should also avoid exposing your aligners to heat, whether that means leaving them in a hot car, exposed to the sun, or near a heater or stove.
You need to be patient
While clear aligner therapy tends to produce results more quickly than alternatives such as braces, the process does take time. Gentle pressure is exerted on your teeth to move them in small increments in order to preserve the tooth, root, and gum structures. Remember that you are unique, and your treatment plan will vary from that of any other individual. Therefore, it may be that your treatment needs to be extended.
Not all dentists offer SureSmile®
Only licensed providers of SureSmile® can provide this method of orthodontic treatment. We’re proud to offer this to our patients in the areas of Belle Meade, Green Hills, and Nashville. If you’d like to find out more about SureSmile® and see if this is right for you or a member of your family, then contact the office of Devine Dentistry today to schedule your consultation by going online or calling (615) 269-4209.