While metal braces have come a long way in comfort and appearance, adults and older teens have more aesthetic options that better suit their lifestyles. Clear aligners can fix many cosmetic dental problems and are virtually undetectable. Since the trays are removable, you can clean your teeth thoroughly and eat the foods you enjoy.
Your orthodontist specialist can tell you if you’d benefit from clear aligners. In general, you’re a good candidate for clear aligners if:
- Your oral issues are not severe. For example, an excessive open bite or underbite requires shifting the jaw using a more intensive treatment.
- Your jaw has stopped growing, and you have all your permanent teeth.
- You have the discipline to wear clear aligner trays for about 22 hours a day, removing them only to eat and clean teeth.
If you do have a severe misalignment issue, your dentist may be able to develop a treatment plan for you that includes both braces and clear aligners.
That doesn’t mean that less severe problems aren’t important enough to fix, however. Even slightly misaligned or overcrowded teeth can cause more serious problems if not treated. If you have any of these oral health issues, clear aligners might be perfect for you:
- Mildly misaligned teeth
- Minor bite problems
- Protruding teeth
- Gaps in teeth