Clear Aligners: Fact or Fiction?

Have you been looking for a way to straighten your smile but aren’t sure if traditional braces are a good fit for you? Clear aligners could be the perfect solution if you prefer a more flexible treatment method! Here at Daniel & Jones Orthodontics, we offer Clarity 3M and in-house clear aligners. These aligner systems feature trays personalized to your unique mouth, guaranteeing the best results for you. 

While clear aligners have been in use for more than twenty years now, there are still a few misconceptions floating around out there about how these systems work and what they can accomplish. To separate fact from fiction about clear aligners, keep reading below! 

Fiction: clear aligners take longer to work than traditional braces

To understand why this is inaccurate, let’s look at orthodontic appliances in general. Most devices are either fixed or removable. For example, traditional braces are fixed appliances, as the brackets are affixed directly to the surface of the teeth. Clarity 3M aligners, on the other hand, are removable appliances that are custom-designed for a snug fit, with no parts that attach to the teeth. 

This removability is one of the most popular features of clear aligners! You should remove your aligners any time you eat, and when you brush your teeth, so there’s a bit more flexibility than you’d have with traditional braces. That means there are no food restrictions, and your dental hygiene routine will be as easy as ever to maintain. Though clear aligner systems require 100% patient compliance to be successful, there is a trade-off. 

What does that mean? Since the aligners are removable appliances, it’s up to you to wear them as directed by Dr. Daniel or Dr. Jones. Clear aligners need to be worn for 20-22 hours per day throughout treatment to be effective. You will also be in charge of switching the aligners out every 1-2 weeks for the next set. Switching them allows them to keep up with the teeth’ movements. When you don’t follow these guidelines, it can result in longer treatment times and affect the overall results. 

When patients are compliant and follow our recommendations, the total treatment time tends to average anywhere from 6-18 months. However, this will vary from case to case since everyone has different needs and will respond to treatment in their way. For some, the treatment time with clear aligners can be slightly faster than traditional braces!Clear Aligners: Fact or Fiction?

Fiction: clear aligners take more work than braces

One part of patient compliance involves taking good care of your teeth and gums throughout the treatment process. Having an effective dental hygiene routine is essential for all orthodontic patients, but learning to navigate the brackets and wires can take some adjusting. These components create pockets that are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and plaque. With clear aligners, these spaces aren’t anything you’ll have to worry about!

You should remove clear aligners before you brush and floss, then replace them once you’re done. We recommend brushing thoroughly after every meal and flossing every night before bed for the best results. You’ll need to take good care of your aligners, too, and this can be done by gently brushing them with water and a soft toothbrush or using a particular kit.  

You won’t have any food restrictions to worry about with clear aligners, either! Since crunchy and chewy foods can damage brackets and wires, patients need to avoid braces until treatment is complete. Since clear aligners are designed to be removed before eating, you’re still free to eat all the things you usually would! Just brush and floss regularly to keep your teeth clean and free from debris. 

Clear aligners can be helpful in ways you might not normally consider, too. Because you can take them out for short periods, they make an excellent option for athletes and musicians who play specific instruments. They’re also excellent for any special occasion when you want your natural smile to shine through, like senior photos, weddings, and prom.

Fiction: clear aligner therapy costs more than traditional braces

Traditional braces have been around for hundreds of years in one form or another! Compared to their history, clear aligner systems are still relatively new. Like many products when they come on the market, the aligners were quite pricey initially. But as these innovative systems became more popular and accessible, the cost decreased accordingly. Several factors go into determining the total cost of treatment for any patient, but in general, clear aligner therapy tends to cost just about the same as traditional braces. 

Once you’ve decided on a treatment plan with Daniel & Jones Orthodontics, we’ll walk you through your payment options. You’ll never have to worry about hidden fees or unexpected charges at our Little Rock practice! Our team will always ensure you know what to expect before we begin the active phase of treatment. We offer a variety of payment options available to suit every budget. 

Clear Aligners: Fact or Fiction?

Fact: a beautiful smile is possible with clear aligners & Daniel & Jones Orthodontics

Dr. Daniel and Dr. Jones have years of experience straightening smiles with clear aligners. While they can be an amazing tool for straightening teeth, we treat each patient with a customized treatment plan. You can trust us only to recommend the appliance with the best outcome possible! 

You’ll need a consultation with one of our expert orthodontists to determine if clear aligners are right for your smile. When you schedule this FREE consultation with us, we’ll examine your mouth and determine which treatment would be the best fit for your specific needs. If you’d like to learn more about how the Clarity 3M clear aligner system or in-house aligners could transform your smile, get in touch with us today to schedule a visit with our Little Rock, Bryant, or Benton office!