If you’re someone who spends any time on social media, possibly following a style influencer or former contestant on a top reality show, then you will be familiar with at-home teeth straighteners. They are just the latest in top beauty and health fads to sweep the nation, but unlike those jade rollers (what exactly do they do anyway?), at-home teeth straighteners have the potential to change your life in a drastic and noticeable way.
While there are a lot of good reasons to get your teeth straightened, doing so at home may not be the right form of dental correction for everyone, so continue reading to find out whether teeth straightening at home is the right move for you.
They Aren’t for Everybody
When deciding what kind of orthodontic treatment you want to choose, you need to consider exactly what you need to change. While the before and after photos of at-home straightening patients are impressive, the trays are really meant for the cosmetic enhancement of your smile. Those wanting more comprehensive orthodontic treatment will want to see an orthodontist about braces or Invisalign. Once you have that figured out, you can ask yourself what you’ll do with all your extra free time.
One of the most appealing aspects of at-home straightening is that it works quickly. On average, Impressions only takes six to nine months to correct a patient’s teeth. This is in large part because Impressions and other at-home straightening kits aren’t meant to address severe orthodontic issues. That’s when you’d want to talk to an orthodontist.
Fewer In-Office Visits
There is a lot you should know before getting aligners, but an essential part of this business model is that most of the orthodontic correction is done at home. Because of this, there isn’t much need to go into an actual office. This can be good or bad, depending on the person. To start Impressions, you’ll schedule an appointment at one of our ImpressionsHubs. This allows for one of our orthodontic specialists to take a more complete scan of your teeth using one of our 3D digital iTero scanner, the same technology used at the start of Invisalign. After the scan, a kit will be sent out to your house within 6 weeks containing your first set of aligners and a complimentary teeth-whitener.
Not every at-home aligner is made the same. Some companies send out a mold for you to use at home to make the tray. This method requires no actual in-office visits, but it can also open you up to a bad first impression, and that is not the way to start this treatment.
Who Should Consider At Home Teeth Straightening?
At-home aligners are ideal for someone who wants a fast, comfortable, convenient method of correcting their smile, especially the social teeth, or the front three teeth of your top and bottom rows. This style of straightening is great for professionals and other adults because it does not require you to wear noticeable braces. Braces can indirectly affect your performance in school or at work by preventing you from feeling confident in what you’re doing.
Other requirements exist to qualify for at-home straighteners. Mild to moderate tooth crowding or spacing is about the level that most at-home aligners work for. You also must have visited the dentist within the last 6 months to ensure that you do not have active gum disease, tooth decay, jaw issues, or loose teeth.
Who Doesn’t Qualify?
The first and most distinct disqualification for at-home aligners is that your case may be too severe to be helped by them. While teledentistry works for many cases, certain teeth may be too crowded or spaced for clear aligners to work successfully. There are general limitations to how much the teledentistry model can achieve. Teeth can be shifted or realigned, but major changes in their alignment will require a more acute style of orthodontics.
Additionally, if you do not have all natural or permanent teeth, you will not be able to use at-home aligners. Replacement teeth in the area that a person wishes to adjust will disqualify them from using aligners. Replacement teeth are designed to fit into the alignment of teeth that exists when they’re put in place. Straightening the teeth will not adjust a permanent replacement.
Finally, it’s important that you are able to comply with the instructions if you choose to use aligners. Anything less than total commitment could end up costing you more in the long run. At-home straightening services like Impressions rely on clear aligners to correct the look of your smile.
They aren’t permanent and are changed often to make small shifts in the shape and alignment of your teeth. Since aligners can be removed to eat and drink anything other than cool water, you as an individual are responsible for ensuring that you put them back in and keep them in place for the right amount of time, at least 22 hours a day.
What’s the Downside?
It is extremely important that you go to a dentist and get a full check-up before using at-home aligners. Once treatment starts, you won’t be spending much time at a dentist’s office, so it’s essential that you cover your bases before correction gets underway. Get advice from your dentist as to whether any oral issues exist that could be exacerbated by the aligners. Unhealthy gums, active tooth decay, or severe issues with bite can all derail your treatment. Any service that provides at-home straightening care will ask for recent x-rays to determine whether or not your teeth are healthy enough for aligners.
For most people, invisible aligners can be a great solution to take care of mild to moderate adjustments in the look of one’s smile. If you are interested in getting started with at-home aligners, set up an appointment with someone from our team. We would be happy to explain all the steps involved in Impressions and what to expect while using aligners.