If you’ve spent any time online over the past few years, you’ve probably seen ads for at-home aligners. These products offer a cheap and easy way to get a beautiful smile – without ever having to visit a dentist! It seems too good to be true… and unfortunately, it is.
As at-home aligner companies have become more popular, many people have learned a hard lesson: straightening your teeth is a complicated process that needs professional attention. Today, let’s look at the risks of trying to use these products to perfect your smile.
What At-Home Aligners Promise
On the surface, at-home aligner companies function like a dentist. First, the company sends you the tools you need to make an impression of your mouth. Once you send it back, they make custom aligners for you, along with a treatment plan to make your smile straight.
Seems simple, right? This straightforward process (and very low price point) makes at-home aligners very attractive to some people. But don’t be fooled! These companies and the treatment plans they offer can end up causing more damage to your mouth.
The Potential Problems
Most at-home aligners offer one major selling point: you can do the whole process from the comfort of your home, without the help of a dentist or orthodontist. While this may sound super convenient, it is quite risky.
When you use at-home aligners, you miss out on the individualized care your dentist can provide – which also means:
When you send an impression of your teeth to an at-home aligner company, that impression is the only thing they see. They don’t know if you have gum disease, cavities, TMJ, or any other issues that could impact your treatment plan. Without seeing your whole mouth, the company cannot have a complete picture of your needs.
When you visit a dentist or orthodontist office, you always have a full evaluation before beginning any treatment plan. Your dentist has years of education and experience. He or she will be able to determine the best way to straighten your teeth.
When you have braces or Invisalign, your dentist will schedule routine appointments to track your progress. This gives your dentist the chance to correct any problems as they arise and ensure your teeth are moving properly and safely.
With at-home aligners, there are no such appointments. That means you may not notice a problem until it’s too late. If your aligners don’t fit properly, or if any other problems develop during your treatment, you can suffer pain and discomfort. Even worse, you can damage your gums or the roots of your teeth!
An Aesthetic-Only Solution
This is the greatest risk you face when using at-home aligners. These products focus on how your teeth look, but they don’t always pay attention to your other oral needs. People who use at-home aligners may end up with straight teeth… but they can also have a misaligned bite.
If your bite is not lined up properly, you can end up suffering from many oral problems. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) have both denounced at-home aligners, claiming that they can contribute to conditions like TMJ and gum and tooth damage.
The Safest Option for a Beautiful Smile
If you want to have a straight, beautiful, and healthy smile, the best thing you can do is visit a board-certified dentist or orthodontist. Associates for Dental Care is here to give you a smile you can be proud of – with a process that’s simple and safe.