I started wearing dental aligners earlier this year and since then my teeth are almost completely straight with only a few more sets to go before I finish with retainers. My reason for starting this process was because I wasn’t happy with my teeth, they were messy, and crowded, and I was worried this could mean dental problems in the future. As soon as I started aligners, I knew I was on track to the smile and straight teeth I wanted.
Aligners are clear plastic orthodontic devices that are used to straighten teeth and made to fit your teeth specifically. They very gently push your teeth into position over the time you have them. You can slip them on and off easily, and you take them off before eating and drinking anything other than water. Then you give them a rinse with water before putting them back in. If out and about, you can swirl some water around your mouth and swallow the water before putting them back in. It’s straightforward once you get the hang of it. You usually have attachments which are tiny dots placed on your teeth that help them fit better. As aligners are removable, you can still eat all your favourite foods.
One of the reasons I went for aligners over braces is that I didn’t like the idea of wires in my mouth or getting braces adjusted. Plus, aligners take around 6 to 12 months to straighten your teeth compared to braces taking about 18 months to 2 years. The only downside to aligners is that they are not covered by the NHS, whereas braces are, so if you are under 18, aligners do cost quite a bit of money. However, I feel they are worth it. Along with my aligners, I was given a starter pack with instructions, orthodontic toothbrush and toothpaste, mouthwash, aligner case, aligner bath (to clean them) with cleansing powder/tablets etc.
When I first started the process, I was nervous as I’d never had braces before. Knowing I could take my aligners off when needing to eat/drink definitely made me more comfortable, and I got used to them quickly. Now it feels like there is so much more room in my mouth with my straighter teeth. I thoroughly recommend aligners as a great alternative to braces.