Common Misconceptions About Clear Aligners Debunked

Dentist in Kirkwood, MO

Clear aligners have revolutionized orthodontic treatment, offering a modern and discreet way to straighten teeth. However, despite their growing popularity, there are still many misconceptions surrounding their use. At St. Louis Dental West, we aim to provide our patients with accurate information to help them make informed decisions about their dental health. In this blog, we’ll debunk some common misconceptions about clear aligners.

Misconception 1: Clear Aligners Are Only for Minor Adjustments

Fact: Clear aligners are highly effective for a wide range of orthodontic issues, not just minor adjustments. They can correct overcrowding, gaps, overbites, underbites, and crossbites. Advanced treatment plans and technology allow clear aligners to handle complex cases that were once only manageable with traditional braces. At St. Louis Dental West, we create personalized treatment plans to address each patient’s unique dental needs, ensuring optimal results.

Misconception 2: Clear Aligners Are Less Effective Than Braces

Fact: When used correctly and under the supervision of a qualified dentist or orthodontist, clear aligners can be just as effective as traditional braces. The key to their effectiveness lies in patient compliance. Aligners must be worn for the recommended 20-22 hours per day to achieve the desired results. They gradually move teeth into their proper positions using a series of custom-made trays, each designed to make slight adjustments. Regular check-ups with your dentist ensure the treatment progresses as planned.

Misconception 3: Clear Aligners Are Only for Adults

Fact: Clear aligners are suitable for both adults and teenagers. Many teens prefer clear aligners over traditional braces due to their nearly invisible appearance and the ability to remove them for eating, drinking, and oral hygiene. At St. Louis Dental West, we assess the suitability of clear aligners for each patient, regardless of age, to ensure the best possible outcome.

Misconception 4: Clear Aligners Are Painful

Fact: Clear aligners are designed to be comfortable and minimally invasive. While some patients may experience slight discomfort or pressure when switching to a new set of aligners, this is typically temporary and a sign that the aligners are working. Unlike traditional braces, clear aligners do not have metal brackets or wires that can irritate the inside of the mouth, making them a more comfortable option for many patients.

Misconception 5: Clear Aligners Are High Maintenance

Fact: Clear aligners require regular cleaning, but they are not high maintenance. It’s essential to brush and rinse aligners daily to prevent bacteria buildup and discoloration. Additionally, patients should continue to brush and floss their teeth regularly. The removable nature of clear aligners allows for easier maintenance of good oral hygiene compared to traditional braces, which can trap food particles and make cleaning more challenging.

Misconception 6: Clear Aligners Are Expensive

Fact: The cost of clear aligners can be comparable to that of traditional braces. At St. Louis Dental West, we offer various payment plans and financing options to make orthodontic treatment accessible to all patients. The long-term benefits of improved oral health and a confident smile can outweigh the initial investment in clear aligners.

Misconception 7: Clear Aligners Can Be Purchased Online Without a Dentist

Fact: While some companies offer mail-order clear aligners, it’s crucial to have orthodontic treatment supervised by a licensed dentist or orthodontist. Professional supervision ensures that the treatment plan is tailored to your specific needs and that any issues are addressed promptly. At St. Louis Dental West, we provide comprehensive evaluations and ongoing monitoring to ensure the success of your clear aligner treatment.

Misconception 8: Clear Aligners Are Noticeable

Fact: Clear aligners are designed to be nearly invisible when worn. They are made from a clear, medical-grade plastic that fits snugly over the teeth, making them much less noticeable than traditional metal braces. Most people won’t even realize you’re wearing them, allowing you to straighten your teeth discreetly.


Clear aligners offer a convenient, comfortable, and effective way to achieve a straighter smile. By debunking these common misconceptions, we hope to provide you with a clearer understanding of how clear aligners work and their benefits. At St. Louis Dental West, we are dedicated to helping you achieve your orthodontic goals with personalized care and attention.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about clear aligners, contact us today. Our team is here to guide you through your journey to a healthier, more beautiful smile.

By understanding the facts about clear aligners, you can make an informed decision about your orthodontic treatment and enjoy the many benefits of a straighter smile.