The process of straightening your teeth at home

We explain the process of straightening your teeth with clear aligners

With clear aligners, you can have straighter teeth without the scheduled orthodontist visits. Skip the endless appointments, and take care of your own treatment from home.

Instead of braces that need to be adjusted, you can use clear aligners and progress through the process on your own. How does straightening your teeth at home work? Let’s learn more!

Getting Started

Every journey starts with the first step. For clear aligners, the first step is a click to order an impression kit. Home impression kits usually cost a maximum of $50. These kits contain everything you need to take molds of your teeth without visiting your nearest orthodontist.

Home impression kits are shipped directly. You’ll use the putty and provided trays to create a mold of your teeth. Then, snap a few pictures with a camera and everything’s ready to go. Send back the impression kits and wait to hear if everything’s gone well.

If impression kits aren’t your thing, you can find a provider with clinics. Visit a clinic for a 3D scan that can be used to make your clear aligners. Getting a scan doesn’t mean that you’ll need to keep visiting the clinic. Once your scan’s complete, you can go through the rest of your treatment at home. Not all providers have physical clinics, and some don’t cover every state, so check the website of your chosen provider to see if they have somewhere nearby. Scans are usually free, but in some cases you will be charged for the appointment.

If you’re using an impression kit and things go wrong, you’ll need to spend more and try again. Most providers will refund the cost if you do well on your second attempt. To minimize costs, read the instructions carefully before you start the process.

Checking Suitability

Most people can enjoy straighter teeth by signing up for clear aligner treatment. Some people aren’t suitable candidates and might find that they’re not approved for treatment.

You might not be approved if your teeth require more work than clear aligners can help with. Often, though, the reasons for rejection are a lot easier to fix. It might be that you have cavities or gum disease. Visit your dentist and get these fixed, then you can try again. Sometimes, it’s best to have your wisdom teeth removed before you start clear aligner treatment.

Once you’ve sent your impressions or had a 3D scan, professionals will review your case. They’ll make sure that you’re eligible for treatment. If you can’t use clear aligners, you’ll usually get a full refund of impression kit costs.

Some people worry that in-home treatments aren’t as safe as visiting the dentist. As long as you follow the treatment instructions, there’s no reason to feel concerned. Providers won’t let you start your treatment unless they’re sure that you’re a candidate destined for straighter-teeth success!

Aligner Shipping and Treatment Progression

Your aligners will be shipped to your door so that you’re ready when you need them. It’ll usually take about a month to receive your first aligner trays. This gives time for manufacture once you’ve been approved for a treatment plan.

Some aligner providers send every set of aligners together in one box. Keep them safe, because lost or damaged trays can cost a lot to replace. Check your treatment plan, or look for in-app notifications, to see when you should be switching sets.

Aligners move your teeth a very small amount, and once they’ve moved you swap to a new set to progressively shift your teeth more. Most aligner trays should be worn for two weeks before you move onto the next set.

Some providers of clear aligners don’t ship every set at once. Instead you’ll get deliveries every two weeks and can switch as soon as you receive them.

If you have a preference for aligner shipping, find a provider that does things your way.

Checking In

You’re not on your own. Keeping you safe, with a healthy smile, is important to aligner providers. They also want to check that your treatment is working, so you’ll need to check in online.

You don’t need to visit a clinic for a checkup, but might be asked to send a few photos. You can upload these to your provider’s app, or securely through their website. People monitoring your treatment check the images you send to make sure that everything is going well. If there are signs that your treatment isn’t working, they might suggest modifications. If it looks like your dental health is worsening, a break from treatment may be recommended.

Don’t skip the regular check-in. These are important not just for your health, but for the success of your treatment. Checking in is also the best way to make sure that you’ll get great results. If you’re not happy at the end of your treatment, most providers will offer guarantees. You might forfeit your right to extra treatment and support if you’ve not been following your treatment plan. By checking in whenever you’re asked, you can show that you’ve been doing exactly what you were told to do.

Getting Support

If you’ve got questions about your treatment, help is always at hand. A quick call or a short email is all that’s needed to reach out for support. Online customer support is quick and convenient, with answers to your clear aligner questions.

If your aligner provider has physical clinics, you might want to pay them a visit. Someone will be there to check your aligners if you’re worried that they’re not fitting properly, or to answer any questions you have about how your treatment is progressing.

Always remember to keep up with your routine dental appointments. Even as you go through teeth straightening at home, your dentist is a source of support. Meanwhile, for questions specific to aligners, your treatment’s backed by a professional team.