how to wear clear aligners - image showing a graphic of clear aligners

Wear your aligners the correct way: How to Wear Clear Aligners?

Clear aligners have gained mass popularity because of their superior aesthetics compared to traditional orthodontic treatment modalities. Many people using aligners are first-timers, and it is thus very natural to face some difficulties during the initial stages of the treatment.

Since you have decided to go for aligner therapy to straighten your teeth, the first question that arises in your mind will be about the time duration. Aligners are removable, unlike braces, so the onus lies with the user to wear them properly for maximum hours to get effective results.

Three methods to wear aligners: How to Wear Clear Aligners

Full-time wear method

This is the standard method for the user to wear the aligners for 20-22hrs in a day. It is the most recommended way of wearing clear aligners.

Day time wear method

This method is indicated when the user is wearing nightguards or using any other therapy like C-PAP for sleep apnea.

Nighttime wear method

When a person is not comfortable wearing the aligner in the daytime due to any reason like speech problems. It is the least preferred type of method for clear aligner therapy.

Whichever method you choose, please consult your orthodontist before making any decision. Your doctor will help you make a better decision based on your current malocclusion state.

How to Wear Clear Aligners and How long do you have to wear the aligners?

  • The time duration of wearing aligners varies from case to case. However, it is recommended to wear the aligners most of the day. You only have to remove them while eating or drinking anything except water.
  • The average duration for wearing aligners is 20-22 hrs for effective results.
  • Aligners are given in numbered sets as per the expected movement of teeth with each group. You do not have to wear one set for more than two weeks. 
  • Make sure you switch onto the next set in the correct order and never skip any pair of aligners.

How to wear aligners correctly?

  • Aligners come in pairs, and you have to wear them one by one
  • Make sure you gently insert them and push them softly onto your teeth.
  • You will hear the sound of a click when the plate is seated correctly.
  • If your aligner is not fitting at a particular place, use the chewie provided in the starter kit by your orthodontist. Just place the soft chewy in the place where you feel that the seating is improper and gently bite on it. This will help in the proper positioning of the aligner plate.
  • Do not be too harsh while handling your aligners. If you feel that the plate is not seated correctly, it is better to talk to your doctor once.
  • Always store your aligners in the case provided to you. Most damage occurs when the aligners are casually handled and not stored properly.

What to expect in the first few days of wearing clear aligners?

The first few days of the aligners can be slightly uncomfortable. Here is the list of things you must expect when starting your journey of clear aligners.

  • Slight pain in the teeth which is managed easily with the use of painkillers
  • The feeling of tightness around the teeth
  • There may be lisping in speaking some syllables or difficulty in speech for the initial few days. 
  • There can be slight difficulty getting accustomed to wearing and removing the plates.

Whatever difficulty you face in the initial few days, remember that it will all be worth it in the end when you see your dazzling smile after the treatment. Also, make sure that you handle your aligners softly and consult your orthodontist if you cannot resolve any issue with the plates.