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Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re interested in straightening your teeth, but don’t want to commit to a highly visible orthodontic treatment like traditional braces, Active Aligners may be right for you. We get a lot of questions about clear aligners, so here are a few answers that should keep you informed about this popular orthodontic treatment:

What are Active Aligners?

Active Aligners are known in the dental industry as clear aligner therapy, which are custom trays worn in sequence that move your teeth in stages. Think "invisible braces". They work by gradually shifting teeth into their optimal position, making your teeth straighter. This is achieved through wearing a series of aligners, each for 22 hours a day, 2 weeks at a time (one stage), which move the teeth up to 0.3mm per stage until their optimal alignment has been reached. Often Active Aligners are referred to as transparent braces, or clear braces, as they are made from transparent FDA Approved material. This means you will be able to wear them without people noticing.

What materials are Active Aligners made of and what do they look like?

Active Aligners are made from clear high quality FDA Approved dental materials. Active Aligners are smooth, clear, transparent, BPA and gluten free. When worn, Active Aligners are virtually undetectable.

How does the process work?

It's as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1) Scan or impression: Visit an Active Aligner Dental Provider to have a 3D scan or impression of your mouth done.
2) Align: Wear your Active Aligners for 22 hours a day until the end of your treatment.
3) Retain: At the end of your treatment, wear your retainers to maintain your straight new smile.

How long will my Active Aligner therapy be?

The average treatment time is between 6 and 7 months, however each Active Aligner case is different and treatment times may vary between 2 to 12 months.

How old do I need to be to undergo Active Aligner treatment?

By default, the minimum age for Active Aligners is 16 years of age. However, exceptions may be made by your provider on a case-by-case basis (young teens usually do not qualify until all their adult teeth have fully erupted).

What do I do if there is an issue with my Active Aligners once I have received them?

If you discover an issue with any of the Active Aligners please return to your provider with your faulty Aligner(s) as soon as possible.

What happens if I do not wear my Active Aligners for long periods of time?

If you do not wear your Active Aligners for the minimum recommended time each day, your treatment may not track correctly and the length of treatment may be extended.

What do I do once I have completed my Active Aligner treatment?

Retainers are critical to keeping your new smile. Please wear your retainer to keep your teeth in their new positions. If you would prefer a fixed lingual retainer kindly contact your provider to book an appointment.

Are Active Aligners covered by medical aid / health insurance?

Depending on your medical aid / health insurance: None, a portion, or the full amount may be claimed back for your Active Aligner therapy. Kindly contact your medical provider to see if you are covered for clear aligners.

I have had my scan/impression but no longer wish to proceed, am I committed?

No, if for any reason you have decided that you do not wish to proceed with Active Aligner therapy after your 3D scan or impression, kindly let your provider know and no charges will be made.

Will the Active Aligners affect my speech?

Most patients report no effect on speech. However, some patients find that they have a slight lisp when they first start using Active Aligners. This is only temporary while the tongue adjusts to having the aligners in the mouth. 

Can I remove my Active Aligners?

Yes, you are able to remove your Active Aligners whenever you’d like. However, it is recommended that you wear your Active Aligners for a minimum of 22 hours per day. Only removing your Active Aligners to eat, drink, brush your teeth and floss.

Am I restricted from eating certain foods while undergoing Active Aligner therapy?

No, you may remove your Active Aligners to eat whatever you please! It is recommended that you brush your teeth afterwards, before reinserting your Active Aligners, when you finished eating.

Will my Active Aligners begin to smell?

No, your Active Aligners will not smell if you take proper care of them and practice good oral hygiene. Proper care means brushing the inside and outside of your Active Aligners twice a day and rinsing with water each time before you put them back into your mouth. It is recommended that you brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day to maintain good oral hygiene. 

Can I chew gum while wearing Active Aligners?

No, chewing gum may stick to the ActiveAligner and therefore is not recommended. If you would like to chew gum, you may remove your Aligners. However, make sure that you wear your Active Aligners for at least 22 hours each day.

What do I do if I lose my Active Aligners?

If you lose an Active Aligner within seven days of your new stage you will need to have a replacement one made as soon as possible. If you have been compliant for the first 7 to 8 days, it may be possible to switch to your next stage (consult with your Provider to see if you will need a replacement or if you will be able to move on to the next stage). There will be additional costs associated with replacing Active Aligners.

How do I know which set of Active Aligners to wear next?

Your Active Aligners are numbered in sequential order at the back left of each Aligner so you will always know which Aligner to wear next.

I keep forgetting to change my Active Aligners. Any advice?

A great way to remember the day you need to change your current aligners for your next set is to set a reminder on your phone or mark it on a calendar. You may also write the date to change on each aligner pack to help you remember.

Will I experience any pain or discomfort while using Active Aligners?

You might experience temporary, minor discomfort at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This is normal and is usually described as a feeling of pressure, rather than pain. It means that your Active Aligners are working – moving your teeth gradually, helping you to achieve the desired results. The discomfort should go away after a couple of days. 

Will wearing Active Aligners disrupt my romantic life?

Not at all! There should be no interruption to your romantic life because of Active Aligners. We’ve never had a patient complain about kissing while wearing Active Aligners. The key to keeping bad breath away is regular brushing and daily cleaning of your Active Aligners. Also, one of the best features of Active Aligners is that they are removable. You can always take them out when you need to.

Can I smoke while wearing my Active Aligners?

Smoking may stain the Active Aligners’ clear plastic and is therefore discouraged.

Can I eat with my Active Aligners?

No, remove your Active Aligners to eat and drink. It is important that you brush and floss your teeth after each meal and prior to re-inserting your Active Aligners, to maintain proper hygiene.

Can people tell I am wearing Active Aligners?

Active Aligners are clear, transparent and virtually undetectable when worn.

What are Aligner Chewies?

Aligner Chewies are used to help seat your Active Aligners against your teeth. They are small soft cylinders made out of spongy plastic-like material (Styrene Copolymer). This is especially important when you start a new set of Active Aligners.

How do I use my Aligner Chewies?

Position the Aligner Chewie between your teeth (either “long way” or “short way” is fine) and bite down. Move it from one end of your mouth to another, continuing to bite up and down, until you have bitten on it with all of your teeth. Please use your Aligner Chewies daily for 15 seconds per side once per day.

I can’t remove my Active Aligners, what do I do?

Sometimes the viscosity of your saliva may cause a seal between the Active Aligners and your teeth. Try using your cheeks to vigorously swish some water in your mouth and break the seal. If you are still struggling to remove your Active Aligners after doing so, we recommend that you contact your Provider as soon as possible.

How many hours a day will I need to wear my Active Aligners?

You will need to wear your Active Aligners for a minimum of 22 hours per day to ensure your most optimal outcome. Remove your Active Aligners when eating and drinking.

What happens if I do not wear my Active Aligners for 22 hours per day?

If you do not wear your Aligners for the prescribed minimum of 22 hours per day, your ActiveAligner treatment time may be extended.

How do I clean/care for my Active Aligners?

Clean your Active Aligners every morning and night when you clean your teeth. Use a soft bristle toothbrush with cold water and a small amount of soap.