fingers holding clear, plastic aligner tray

You take a peek at some of your most memorable smiling photos over the years, and on the one hand, the moments leave you smiling some more. On the other hand, though, you feel a twinge of frustration knowing that your smile isn’t as perfect as you wish it could be.

The good news? You won’t have to peer at your future smiling pictures with frustration if you take advantage of clear aligners for straightening teeth. These types of aligners for teeth are an increasingly popular alternative to traditional braces for adults and offer cost and aesthetic benefits.

While many patients report great results, aligners are not for everyone. Here are the pros and cons of braces for adults, including their cost and other important factors.

What Are Aligners, and What Do These Braces for Adults Cost?

Aligners are removable, clear, custom-made devices designed to fit a person’s teeth. Unlike regular braces, these devices don’t feature brackets or wires. Instead, they combine quality digital planning with the physical force of plastic to move teeth gradually and precisely. You’ll receive two trays to place on your upper and lower teeth during the treatment period.

These braces for adults cost an average of around $4,000. The cost of these plastic braces for adults is a major benefit, as traditional braces for adults can easily cost an average of between $5,000 and $6,000. However, the benefits of these types of aligners for teeth don’t stop at their relatively competitive price tag.

Benefit of Invisibility

One of the top benefits of braces for adults, aside from cost, is the fact that they are virtually invisible. Other individuals will rarely be able to tell that you are using aligners when you wear them to class or the office. 

On the contrary, traditional braces come with noticeable metal brackets. As a result, you might feel less confident when wearing metal braces compared with aligners.

Benefit of Effectiveness

Yet another reason to choose clear braces for adults, outside of cost and transparency, is their incredible effectiveness when it comes to shifting teeth.

These types of aligners for teeth are perfect for fixing a variety of problems, including the following:

  • A small gap between two teeth
  • A minor overbite
  • Teeth overcrowding

With clear braces, you can easily and efficiently treat alignment problems by closing in gaps or adding the proper amounts of space where necessary.

man with smile and sunglasses after clear aligners

Benefit of Flexibility for Adults of All Ages

Plastic aligners are additionally in demand because they come with no maximum age limit. This means you can capitalize on these types of aligners for teeth whether you’re a young adult or in your golden years. As a matter of fact, even young children may qualify for aligners to improve their smiles.

Benefit of Portability

In addition to being transparent, effective, easy to qualify for, and cost-efficient, braces for adults stand out for being easy to remove.

These types of aligners for teeth, which are akin to mouthguard trays, can be taken out as needed. This means you don’t have to quit eating specific foods while undergoing orthodontic treatment with them. In addition, you can more easily keep your mouth healthy, as you can remove the trays before brushing and flossing to thoroughly clean your pearly whites each day.

The brackets of metal braces, on the other hand, do not come out till your treatment has been completed. This can unfortunately make eating and maintaining excellent oral hygiene a challenge on a daily basis.

Commitment Drawback

One of the biggest challenges of aligners is that they require a great deal of commitment on your end. 

These braces for adults may be cost-effective, but they also demand your attention. Be prepared to wear them for 20 to 22 hours per day for the best results. Unfortunately, if you tend to be forgetful or extremely busy, you might forget to slip on your aligners regularly. And sadly, this may slow your treatment down.

Limitations Drawback

As you count the cost of braces for adults, consider the fact that you won’t be deemed a candidate for aligners if you don’t currently have healthy gums and teeth. For instance, perhaps you suffer from gum disease or tooth decay. Your dentist will need to treat these issues before you can begin orthodontic treatment. In addition, if your oral health issue is more severe, like advanced gum disease, you may not be able to undergo treatment with aligners at all.

Also, note that aligners cannot fix certain alignment issues, such as the following:

  • Big gaps in your teeth
  • Severe overbite
  • Many crooked teeth

However, if you have a relatively healthy mouth and don’t have any serious alignment problems, aligners could work extremely well for you.

Oral Hygiene Challenge Drawback

Yet another consideration for those counting the cost of clear braces for adults is the fact that aligners require increased attention to oral hygiene.

For instance, after eating meals, you may want to brush or rinse out your mouth using water before putting your aligners back onto your teeth. Otherwise, you might end up trapping food particles under your trays. This debris might expedite bacterial processes in the mouth, therefore increasing your likelihood of developing gum disease or cavities.

As a wearer of aligners, you should also be prepared to brush these braces gently using a toothbrush daily. Alternatively, you can briefly soak the devices in a quality denture cleaner.

woman in robe brushing teeth

How to Decide

As you consider the costs versus benefits of plastic braces for adults, remember that aligners have helped many patients to achieve straighter teeth. In addition, because these appliances are fabricated from plastic, they are generally comfortable to wear throughout the treatment process. Treatment with aligners is also generally quicker (between half a year to 1.5 years) compared with traditional orthodontic treatment (one to three years). 

Simply put, when done under the care of a dentist, aligners can have a positive impact on your oral health and self-confidence. A reputable dentist can evaluate your oral condition and determine whether you are a candidate for treatment with aligners. Your dental office can also answer any questions you have about this type of orthodontic treatment, including whether your treatment may be covered by your dental insurance provider.

Achieve Your Dream Smile with the Help of the Experts at Definitive Dental Today

At Definitive Dental, known for dentistry done right, we are excited to be your go-to dental office for plastic aligners and other high-quality dental treatments. At our full-service dental practice, our other treatments range from dental implants to crowns, extractions, root canals, and dentures. We also provide six-month checkups for exams and cleanings to keep our patients’ teeth healthy in the long run.

When you visit our office, you can be confident that you are being treated by the best in the Dallas and Fort Worth metro area. We have earned numerous positive reviews on Google due to our matchless service and passion for providing a quality patient experience. We also pride ourselves on using leading dental technology to produce panoramic x-rays and complete digital scans of the teeth.

Ready to schedule an appointment? Call or text us at (972) 646-0660, or get in touch with us through our contact form today! You can expect a call back on the same day, typically within a couple of hours of filling out our form on the site. Contact us now!

woman smiling with white teeth

It’s one of those things, like changing the oil in your car. You’re supposed to do it every few months, but does it really matter? Many people wonder how often they should get their teeth cleaned and whether twice-a-year visits are truly necessary.

As it turns out, there’s a good reason that most dentists recommend visits every six months—and most insurance companies will pay for it. How often you should go to the dentist ultimately depends on your oral health history, but every six months is a good benchmark, even for otherwise healthy adults. Skipping a dental appointment can take a toll on your teeth and gums both now and in the future.

How Often Should You Get Your Teeth Cleaned Professionally?

To maintain stellar oral hygiene, you must make a habit of brushing your teeth twice daily. You should also floss once a day at a minimum. These are two easy tasks you can perform at home to remove food particles from your teeth and, in turn, keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. 

However, even a spectacular brushing and flossing routine will not remove all of the plaque buildup on your teeth. Some places are too hard to reach on your own, or in some cases, you will need a stronger tool than a toothbrush.

Debris Removal

If you’re wondering how often you should get your teeth cleaned, consider seeing your dentist twice yearly to ensure that all the plaque and tartar is removed from your teeth. Plaque is the soft debris that forms on your teeth after you eat. Meanwhile, tartar, which is also called calculus, is the hardened form of plaque that wasn’t removed. 

Plaque and tartar constantly accumulate along the gums and on the teeth. Even though flossing and brushing can certainly minimize such accumulation, they cannot totally prevent it. That’s where a dental hygienist comes in. He or she can perform the type of thorough and robust cleaning you need to prevent plaque and tartar from building up over the span of a few months.

toothpaste tube with toothbrush

What Happens During Your Cleaning

When you visit the dentist for a cleaning and exam, your hygienist will evaluate your teeth for signs of gum inflammation or decay. He or she will then remove the tartar and plaque present on your teeth. This is necessary for stifling the growth of bacteria, preventing the development of cavities, freshening your breath, and keeping your smile looking whiter. 

During this appointment, the dental staff might also take X-rays of your teeth to determine if you need additional treatment, such as dental fillings, crowns, or implants. In addition, your dental hygienist will likely rinse, floss, and polish your teeth. Fluoride may additionally be applied to your pearly whites to help to prevent cavities and strengthen the enamel. For those wondering how often you should get your teeth cleaned, all of these benefits demonstrate why six-month cleanings are worth the time.

Problem Prevention

Keep in mind that undergoing a cleaning every six months also offers the benefit of helping you to avoid more time-intensive and aggressive cleanings long term. These deep cleanings are known as scaling and root planing, which involves removing calculus both below and above the gumline to stop the progression of gum disease. This is important in that advanced gum disease, known as periodontal disease, can cause the gums to begin receding—a condition that might require periodontal surgery.

During your dental visit, your dentist can also pinpoint other important dental problems, such as alignment issues with your teeth. In this situation, you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment using clear aligners, for example.

Other Ways Checkups Help

Getting your teeth cleaned regularly will furthermore help with detecting problems such as oral cancer. That’s because in addition to checking your teeth, your dentist will look carefully at your tongue and gums—the soft tissues surrounding your teeth. If you’re asking, “How often should I go to the dentist,” note that six-month checkups will allow you to detect and treat this potentially serious issue early rather than waiting until it’s too late for treatment.

The reality is that not every oral health problem causes pain initially. For this reason, you might not know that you have an issue until you are evaluated at your dentist’s office. By pinpointing such problems early on, your dental team can recommend swift treatment or propose adjustments to your dental care routine at home to address these issues.

dentist looking at a man’s teeth

More Often for High-Risk Groups

Ultimately, how often you should get your teeth cleaned depends on your current oral health and overall health condition. Note that going more frequently than every six months may be necessary if you belong to a high-risk group.

For instance, let’s say you smoke or use chewing tobacco. The plaque that builds up on your teeth will be stickier than it would if you did not use tobacco. This makes the plaque more likely to absorb bacteria, which can result in quicker cavities or increase your chances of developing periodontal disease.

The frequency of getting your teeth cleaned may be higher for patients with specific medical conditions as well. For instance, the saliva of people with diabetes may carry a larger amount of sugar compared with non-diabetics, which might lead to periodontal disease and tooth decay.

You may go to the dentist every three to four months if you currently suffer from gum disease. The same is true if you tend to develop large amounts of plaque and cavities due to genetics. Even great oral hygiene at home might not be enough for you to avoid frequent dental cleanings in this situation.

Learn More about How Often You Should Get Your Teeth Cleaned from Definitive Dental

At Definitive Dental, we pride ourselves on offering top-of-the-line dental cleanings and exams to keep your teeth in tip-top shape—or to get them there. 

Known for dentistry done right, we have earned more than 375 five-star reviews due to our excellent track record of listening to patients and helping them to maximize their health through our various treatments. We use the latest advances in dental technology for all of our patients for the best results.

Our practice is additionally committed to providing top-tier customer service through a caring, friendly staff. Whether you’re wondering how often you should get your teeth cleaned or how to tackle a specific dental problem, we’re here to help. Book a dental appointment with us by calling (972) 646-0660 or filling out our contact form. Let’s take your smile to new heights today!

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