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Can It Be Easier to Wear My Clear Aligners for 22 Hours a Day?

April 12, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — chicagopedoortho @ 7:11 pm
Teen is pleased with clear aligners

While traditional metal braces are a tried-and-true way to achieve a straighter smile, many prospective patients are hesitant to commit to a treatment that involves conspicuous and irremovable metal oral appliances and irksome dietary restrictions. Luckily, today’s orthodontists can often realign a smile using removable clear aligners. While it’s great to be able to take them out, you’ll need to wear your clear aligners for at least 22 hours a day to keep your treatment on track. Here are a few tips to help you make sure you’re wearing your aligners enough.

How Do Clear Aligners Work?

Each set of clear aligners is designed to be worn for about two weeks before the patient switches to the next one in the sequence. Each set picks up where the last one leaves off to shift the teeth into even better alignment, and these movements are spaced over months so that the patient experiences only minimal discomfort. Many patients report that, while they may feel tightness or pressure while adjusting to a new set of aligners, they do not feel any pain during treatment.

Why Do I Need to Wear My Clear Aligners for 22 Hours Daily?

Since clear aligners work by exerting a gentle but constant pressure on the teeth to shift them into better positions, they need to be worn as much as possible to achieve the intended result. In fact, your teeth will immediately begin to shift back out of alignment as soon as you take your clear aligners out, meaning that it’s important to spend as little time as possible not wearing them each day. Ideally, you will only remove your clear aligners for meals and oral hygiene.

How Can I Meet the 22-Hour Mark?

Not meeting the recommended time for wearing your clear aligners can lead to greater discomfort during treatment or even costly delays. Here are a few tips to help you wear your aligners sufficiently each day:

  • Schedule when you will remove your aligners. For example, plan to remove them for 15 minutes at breakfast, 30 minutes at lunch, and 60 minutes for dinner. This will give you enough slack to eat properly and perform oral hygiene.
  • While your trays are removed for dinner, you can store them in a glass of warm water and cleaning crystals so they get cleaned while you eat.
  • Get into the habit of brushing, flossing, and rinsing before putting your trays back in.
  • Switch to your new set of trays before bed so that you can sleep through any initial discomfort.
  • Many apps are designed to help people keep up with wearing their aligners sufficiently.

Wearing your clear aligners for 22 hours each day will keep your treatment as comfortable and brief as possible. By keeping your goal in mind and planning ahead, you can ensure that the process goes smoothly.

About the Practice

Chicago Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics provides friendly and high-quality care for families in Chicago, IL. Led by a team of seven dentists and orthodontists, the staff ensures that each patient receives compassionate and courteous care that effectively addresses their needs. The office provides pediatric dental and orthodontic services including clear aligners. For more tips on helping your child through their orthodontic treatment, contact the office online or dial (312) 766-0995.

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