One of the milestones on your smile journey is popping in a new aligner.
A new aligner is a sign of progress. It means you’re one step closer to the smile of your dreams. The new aligner is going to move them a little bit more.
But the first thought many club members have when snapping in a new aligner isn’t, “Yay! I’m one step closer to my new smile!” It’s, “Does my aligner fit?”
Sure, it was custom-made for your teeth, but it feels weird. You’re not sure exactly how it should fit or look. Here’s one of our SmileDirectClub orthodontist’s tips on how to determine if your aligner fits.
It should sit evenly across your teeth. The tips of your teeth (the edge that bites into food) should sit evenly inside the aligner. If the aligner’s sits higher or lower on one side than the other, or there’s a gap between the tooth and the aligner, chew a Movemint to push your aligner into place. Not only will you push your aligners into the proper position, but you’ll also get fresher breath. You may need to chew a Movemint a couple of times a day until your new aligners fit better.
Even if it’s fitting evenly across your teeth, you may have a little bit of space between the tips of your teeth and the aligner. As your teeth move into alignment, that space will go away. As long as your aligners are fitting snugly and not lifting up when you talk, that little bit of space is fine. If your aligners are lifting up, try chewing some Movemints to get them to fit better. If that doesn’t work, call our dental team.
A new aligner will feel tight, and that’s good. That means it’s putting pressure on your teeth and moving them. Your aligner may get looser over time as your teeth shift, or it may stay snug the entire time you’re scheduled to wear it. Both scenarios are normal.
The aligner should cover most of the teeth in the back of your mouth, known as molars. If you still have your wisdom teeth (also called third molars), your aligners may not cover them. That’s normal.
Aligners should cover your teeth from bite surface to the gum line. Ideally, you want a small amount of plastic above your gum line. If the edges of your aligners are irritating the inside of your mouth, you can use the emery board that came with them to file them down a bit.
Aligners might make your mouth water for the first few days after you put them in. Don’t worry; that’s a normal reaction to having a foreign object in your mouth.
It sounds contradictory, but aligners can also cause you to make less saliva. Everyone’s mouth is unique, so yours can react differently than others. If your mouth feels dry at first, it’s because the retainer may be irritating your gums and making them swell, leading to a reduction in saliva production. If you’re experiencing dry mouth, drink lots of water, suck on ice chips, or chew your Movemints.
You’ll go through 12 to 18 aligners during your treatment, putting in a new one every one to two weeks, depending on your treatment plan. The experience of adjusting to new aligners will be a constant.
Fortunately, we make asking questions really easy. If you’re still wondering if your aligners are fitting as they should, reach out to SmileDirectClub via phone, chat, email, or the SmileDirectClub app.