How to Straighten Your Teeth Without Braces: Dr. Albert Explains

Have you been tempted by those ads promising to straighten your teeth without visiting an orthodontist? If you aren’t thrilled with your smile, you may even consider a mail-order treatment. But Dr. Heather Albert, an orthodontist at Newtown Dentistry, cautioned against mail-order aligners. Below, she explained why, offering guidance for anyone wondering how to safely straighten your teeth without braces.

How to Get Straight Teeth With Clear Dental Aligners

A dentist instructs a patient on how to use the 3M Clarity Aligners.Previously, achieving perfectly aligned teeth may have required metal braces. These days, clear dental aligners have become a popular treatment option for anyone self-conscious about wearing braces.

Straightening your teeth with clear dental aligners involves wearing plastic trays that reposition your teeth by applying pressure. Unlike traditional metal braces, which use visible brackets and wires, clear dental aligners are invisible and may be removed to eat or drink.

Most people change their dental aligners weekly. At first, you might wear each set of aligners slightly longer, but as your teeth start to move, you’ll change them more frequently. During treatment, plan to visit your doctor every six to eight weeks so they can check your progress and make any adjustments.

According to Dr. Albert, how long it takes to realign your teeth depends on the case complexity. “Cases can range anywhere from a few months to a couple of years,” she said, noting more people can now use clear dental aligners thanks to technological advancements.

Dr. Albert’s approach involves goal setting and then getting X-rays and photographs of your teeth. One advantage of the 3M Clarity Aligners offered at Newtown Dentistry is that everything is done digitally. “We take a three-dimensional scan of your teeth to fit you for the aligners, which replaces those old goopy impressions that people might be used to,” she said.

Digital methods allow the doctor to move each individual tooth and customize your perfect bite. “This is how we program the correct treatment plan and fabricate the aligners that are tailored just for you and your teeth,” said Dr. Albert.

The Dangers of Mail-Order Aligners

If you’re wondering how to straighten your teeth without braces, mail-order aligners may sound appealing. However, Dr. Albert, the American Association of Orthodontists, and the American Dental Association cautioned against this DIY approach to straightening your teeth.

“I definitely do not recommend at-home aligners to anyone,” Dr. Albert said, noting the treatment isn’t based on X-rays. “If you want orthodontic treatment, see a specialist because that’s what we’re trained for.” In fact, Dr. Albert has provided orthodontic treatment to patients who need to realign their teeth and fix problems caused by at-home treatments. She’s even seen patients experience tooth loss, or decay caused by improper diagnosis with mail order aligners.

Are You a Candidate for Clear Dental Aligners?

A patient smiles and shows off his 3M Clarity Aligners.While Dr. Albert noted that many patients have achieved remarkable results with 3M Clarity Aligners, this treatment isn’t suitable for everyone.

“At the initial consultation, we evaluate if a patient is a candidate for clear aligners or if their case would be better treated with braces or another alternative treatment,” said Dr. Albert. “This is determined by case complexity and specific movements that we need to accomplish.”

Beyond matching treatment to the patient’s needs and goals, Dr. Albert stated that the patient “needs to be responsible and committed for treatment to be successful.”

“They need to wear aligners full-time during the day and night to accomplish desired movements, so they must be committed to wearing them full-time,” said Dr. Albert.

Because compliance is an essential aspect of how to straighten your teeth without braces, Dr. Albert emphasized the patient’s role in treatment, including wearing their dental aligners at least 22 hours a day and carefully tracking them when they aren’t being worn. Losing an aligner will delay treatment until a new one is made.

“During the initial consultation, we lay out what’s expected and discuss whether they think they can commit to the treatment,” she said. “Otherwise, we’re not going to get the desired movements, and then they’ll be going in circles. But with compliant patients, we have so many amazing outcomes with clear aligners.”

Why Choose 3M Clarity Aligners from Newtown Dentistry?

A doctor and patient discuss the option of using 3M Clarity Aligners.Dr. Albert admitted there are many good clear dental aligners available, including Invisalign. However, she recommended 3M Clarity Aligners for their exceptional quality, comfort, and technology.

3M Clarity Aligners are extremely comfortable, they’re smooth, and they look really great,” she said. “So many patients can’t believe how clear they are once they get their first set.”

If you want to straighten your teeth without braces and are considering clear dental aligners, Dr. Albert said they can provide excellent results for the right candidates.

To determine whether clear dental aligners are the right choice for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Heather Albert or Dr. Guy Coby at Newtown Dentistry. “Even though aligners are such a great option, there are multiple choices for patients, and we go over all of them at the consultation,” said Dr. Albert.

  • AUTHOR

    Newtown Dentistry

  • DATE

    April 5, 2022

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