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People choose to get clear aligner therapy because they want straighter, whiter teeth and a more confident smile. Many patients are pleasantly surprised by some other benefits that they weren’t expecting when they began the treatment process. These unexpected benefits include:

  • Improved oral health
  • Instant esthetic improvement from wearing the aligners
  • Healthy weight loss from improved eating habits

Improved Oral Health

Clear aligner treatment can result in improved oral health for a few reasons:

  • Patients develop more consistent brushing habits while in treatment
  • It is harder to clean teeth well when they are misaligned. As teeth become aligned better, it becomes easier to clean the teeth
  • When teeth are misaligned, it can result in chipping and premature wear on the teeth. Effective orthodontic treatment will prevent this type of tooth damage

Instant esthetic improvement from wearing the aligners

Many patients are pleasantly surprised by how much better their smile looks immediately when they first put their aligners in. Aligners work on teeth in a similar way to how makeup works on skin; covering up the blemishes. The picture below shows a patient with and without the aligners. Both pictures were taken on the same day…

Comparison of teeth with and without aligners

Healthy weight loss

Snacking. Drinking soda. Many of us do it more frequently than we should, and our waistlines pay the price. Grabbing that salty or sweet snack is just too easy!

Clear aligners need to be removed when eating and drinking (other than water). Teeth then need to be cleaned before the aligners go back on to ensure food particles don’t get stuck in there and cause irritation. The aligner routine isn’t difficult, but it can provide a powerful disincentive to snacking. That bag of chips or that cookie all-of-a-sudden become not worth the trouble. For this reason, many patients LOVE wearing aligners because it makes it easier to be more disciplined with what you consume throughout the day. Often that results in some of those unwanted pounds being shed during the treatment process.

A successful smile transformation with clear aligners has many important components. Here are just a few:

  • An accurate digitized model of the teeth
  • An expert Orthodontist to direct the treatment
  • Best-in-class treatment design software
  • Clear, transparent communication between the treatment team and the patient
  • World-class fabrication facilities
  • Premium-quality, bio-compatible thermoplastics

At Strayt®, we strive to be the best in every single one of these areas. Each one of these components is extremely important. But the real “secret sauce” of clear aligner therapy is:

  • A diligent, compliant, informed patient

A diligent patient is the critical ingredient in a successful clear aligner therapy treatment. That is true for any type of orthodontic treatment, but it is particularly important with at-home clear aligner therapy. By analogy, a person might have a membership at the greatest gym in the world with all of the best equipment, classes, amenities, and trainers. But if they don’t follow the diet and exercise plan that has been set out for them, they won’t realize the results they want. It’s essentially the same with clear aligner therapy. Successful outcomes require a good routine, discipline, and consistency.

The Secret Sauce

The secret sauce of clear aligner therapy is a patient that is:

  • diligent about wearing their aligners
  • compliant with the treatment protocols
  • armed with the knowledge of what to do if they do get off track

Our aligner guide gives a sense of what it takes to be a good, compliant patient. DON’T BE INTIMIDATED. IT’ NOT THAT DIFFICULT. Nobody is perfect about going to the gym everyday and always eating healthy. Similarly, it is expected that patients will slip up with wearing their aligners. The key is what the patient does when that happens.

How to avoid getting off track:

  1. Realize that it’s okay to wear the aligners for longer than planned! Sure, it will prolong the overall treatment time a little bit. But that’s better than getting to the end of the treatment and discovering that all your teeth didn’t come along for the ride.
  2. Pay attention to the fit of the aligners. It is the best indicator of how the teeth are progressing. If you advance to the next set of aligners and they don’t quite fit as well as they should, that is an indicator that the teeth have not fully completed the previous movement(s). If this happens, continue wearing the previous trays a little longer and use the “chewies” (aligner seaters) regularly to make sure the aligner is grabbing the tooth well.

An example of how space between the aligner and the teeth can indicate that teeth are not tracking

  1. Give your teeth the time they need to move and stabilize in each tray. If your teeth fall behind, it is unlikely that they will catch up.
  2. Unsure about something? Communicate with your treatment support team. They’re there to help.

Our teeth move throughout our lifetime. When teeth shift after orthodontic treatment it is called orthodontic relapse. It is normal and expected that teeth will shift after orthodontic treatment if retention is not used. Unfortunately, many people learn the “retention lesson” the hard way. Once you’ve experienced orthodontic relapse at least once, it tends to make you more motivated to use retainers.

If you’ve recently completed clear aligner therapy but gotten off track with your retainers, it may be tempting to re-use your old aligners. Should you?

During treatment, we instruct patients to keep their last set of aligners when they move on to a new set. The only time you should re-use an old aligner is if you lose or break your current set. Going back to the previous set will as least ensure you do not lose the progress you have made while replacement trays are being fabricated.

Clear aligners are precision medical devices. Each aligner tray moves the teeth between 0.1mm and 0.25mm. Anything more aggressive than has the potential to damage the tooth by applying too much force too quicky. Pressures are applied very specifically to accomplish certain movements, including:

• Tipping
• Torquing
• Translating
• Rotating
• Intruding
• Extruding
• Distalization

With movements this precise, the aligner must fit the tooth perfectly to accomplish the desired movement. The problem with re-using old aligners trays is that we have no way to know:
• Which teeth have moved
• How have they moved
• How far have they moved

The only way to know with certainty is to take a new model of the teeth and essentially start the treatment process over.

There are two main dangers associated with re-using old trays:
1. They may apply too much force to a tooth, causing damage
2. They likely won’t fit properly which could cause teeth to move in unexpected – and unwanted – ways.

Your best option to avoid shifting teeth is to get in the habit of wearing retainers. If your teeth do shift, clear aligners are a great way to get that smile back where you’d like. But re-using old aligners is never a good idea. The sooner you address it, the easier and quicker your treatment is likely to be.

If you have been researching clear aligner therapy to straighten your teeth, you would be justified in wondering: are at-home clear aligners safe?

First, let’s be clear about what we mean by “at-home” aligners. Clear aligner therapy can be:

  • delivered and monitored by the doctor directly in an office setting, OR
  • delivered and monitored by the doctor remotely via a teledentistry platform.

The teledentistry version is commonly referred to as at-home aligners, or sometimes at-home invisible braces. Neither of these treatment delivery methods should be confused with the dangerous trend of do-it-yourself orthodontics which does not involve doctor oversight or the use of prescribed orthodontic appliances. Do-it-yourself orthodontics is extremely risky and is not recommended under any circumstances.

Second, there are certain risks associated with all forms of orthodontic treatment. An informed consent document will typically outline the common risks. Like any other medical procedure or treatment, it is impossible to eliminate all risk. Regardless of the treatment delivery method, there are three main things that will minimize the risks of adverse effects during treatment:

  1. A thorough oral exam
  2. Patient compliance with treatment protocols
  3. Maintaining good oral health during treatment


Before beginning orthodontic treatment, patients should receive a thorough oral examination and professional cleaning from their dentist. Your dentist needs to determine that your teeth, bone, and gum tissue is healthy enough for orthodontic treatment. Permanent damage could result from attempting to move teeth when there is an underlying oral health issue.


All orthodontic treatment modalities require the patient to follow the treatment protocols provided by their doctor. This is particularly true for clear aligners because the patient can remove them completely which creates the possibility of:

  • Not wearing the aligners consistently enough which is more stressful on the teeth
  • Wearing the aligners out of order (very dangerous)
  • Advancing in the treatment before the teeth have had a chance to stabilize
  • Skipping check-ins

At-home treatment is essentially exactly the same as in-office treatment in the sense that a doctor can only help if the patient upholds their end of the deal. That means showing up to check-ins and diligently following treatment protocols.


Just as it is important to receive a thorough exam from your dentist before beginning aligner therapy treatment, it is equally important to keep up routine dental visits during treatment.

All orthodontic treatments involve a degree of risk. And all orthodontic treatments require the patient to follow treatment protocols. Of all the treatment modalities, clear aligner therapy is particularly reliant on patient compliance to minimize the risk of potential adverse effects.

Clear aligners are a terrific solution for mild to moderate alignment issues. Advanced, bio-compatible thermoplastics make clear aligners more discreet and comfortable than any other type of orthodontic appliance. Direct-to-patient platforms leverage technology to deliver expert treatment at a fraction of the cost of in-office alternatives. But clear aligners aren’t the silver bullet of orthodontics like some marketers would have you believe. The limitations of clear aligners include:

  • Underlying bite issues
  • Intrusion and extrusion
  • Severe rotation
  • Patient compliance

Underlying Bite Issues

Bite, or occlusion, is the relationship between the upper (maxillary) teeth and the lower (mandibular) teeth. When the lower jaw sits too far back relative to the upper it is called an overbite/overjet. When the lower jaw sits too far forward relative to the upper it is called an underbite. A person may not experience any ill-effects from an underlying bite issue, but severe instances will distort the face shape and can cause one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Advanced tooth wear
  • Poor bite function
  • Joint pain
  • Speech issues
  • Sleep apnea
  • Severe tooth crowding

While aligners can improve mild underbites or overbites, they cannot alter the way the lower jaw relates to the upper jaw. Severe cases will require more advanced treatments such as traditional braces or surgery.

Intrusion and Extrusion

Small intrusion and extrusion movements can be accomplished with aligners but the success of these movements can be unpredictable with aligners alone. When a treatment plan includes mild intrusion or extrusion it is critical that the patient use aligner seators to give the tooth the best chance to comply. Aligners alone will not be effective in producing significant intrusion and extrusion movements.

Severe Rotation

Teeth can rotate out of alignment for a variety of reasons. The move common reason is overcrowding. While aligners are very effective at de-rotating teeth, there is a limit how much de-rotation can be predictably accomplished with aligners alone.

Patient Compliance

All orthodontic treatment modalities require some amount of patient compliance. Because aligners can be removed by the patient, patient compliance is particularly important when it comes to clear aligner therapy. If the patient does not wear the aligners for the prescribed amount of time the teeth may not progress as expected. Once teeth stop tracking with the treatment, it is unlikely that they will catch up.

Ultimately, when considering orthodontic treatment options, patients should first clearly define their treatment objectives and then work with their doctor to select a treatment approach. Traditional wire braces are still the best option to correct a variety of more severe conditions.

Teeth straightening has never been more convenient or accessible. With clear aligner technology, doctors can now deliver quality orthodontic treatment directly to patients without the need for in-person office visits.

When wearing clear aligners around the clock, there are some basic guidelines you need to follow. For example, you have to remove the aligners each time you:

  • Eat
  • Smoke
  • Drink anything (other than water)

And you must clean your teeth each time before putting the aligners back in. These minor lifestyle adjustments are typically no big deal for someone that is motivated to improve their smile. Night-time-only treatment options provide the pinnacle of convenience for those that don’t like the sound of having to remove their aligners and brush their teeth each time they eat or drink. Most night-time plans require the patient to wear the aligners for a minimum of 10 consecutive hours each evening. Nothing could be easier.

Why doesn’t everyone choose a night-time-only option?

Because the added convenience does come at a cost:

  1. Time: Night-time-only treatments typically take at least twice as long. If you want results quickly, an all-day treatment is the way to go.
  2. Healthy teeth: Teeth prefer to move continuously. When moving forces are applied to teeth a process occurs wherein the bone is broken down on one side of the tooth and built up on the other side. It is essentially a healing process. Stop-start movements make it harder for the body to heal and are more stressful on the teeth and bones.
  3. Predictable outcomes: Continuous, mild pressure is the healthiest way for teeth to move. So around-the-clock treatment has the greatest likelihood of teeth will complying with the prescribed movements. Inconsistent aligner wear increases the possibility of teeth not tracking as predicted.

Night-time aligner therapy is a viable treatment option that has pros and cons. Many patients have achieved excellent outcomes with night-time-only treatment. Ultimately, the decision comes down to what you value most as a patient. If convenience is your main hot button, a night-time-only plan may be right for you. We typically recommend around-the-clock treatment options wherever possible. When around-the-clock wear isn’t possible, we encourage patients to wear their aligners as much as they can – not just the minimum 10 consecutive hours each day.

At Strayt® our primary goal is to make sure our patients are fully informed and understand all their treatment options. Complete this short dental assessment form for a no-cost consultation on your treatment options.

Everyone wants to have a smile that they love and are proud to show off. A straight smile helps boost confidence, achieve better oral health, and more. Today many adults are looking to straighten their teeth but think they are too old to wear braces or have their teeth straightened. So how old is too old for straightening your teeth?

How Old Is Too Old to Straighten Your Teeth?

Simple answer - you are never too old! Straightening your teeth isn’t limited to adolescence, and no matter your age, there is the opportunity to improve your smile. We have had patients as old as 75 straighten their teeth!  As long as you have healthy bones, gums, and teeth, it's never too late to straighten your teeth. As a child, you may not have needed teeth straightening or may not have had the opportunity. Adults are great candidates for clear aligners or invisible braces because of the following:

1) Affordability - It is now cost-effective to have clear aligners, and some insurances accept this treatment option. By cutting out office visits, we help customers save around 65% of the typical cost of orthodontic treatment.

2) Motivation - As a kid, you may not have had wanted to wear a retainer or have braces. They didn't want to be made fun of or may have just not understood the benefits of a healthy smile. However, as an adult, you are motivated by wanting a straighter smile and willing to put in the time to wear the clear aligners to get the results you want. With options like nighttime aligners, even those who don’t want to wear aligners during the day can experience the benefits of straight teeth.

3) Correct Adult Teeth Shifting - You might have worn braces as a teenager, but as an adult, there is a good chance your teeth have shifted over time. This commonly happens to adults regardless of their dental habits, resulting in gaps, misalignment, or crowding. Luckily as an adult, you can still correct your smile.

4) Convenience - You don't have to go to an orthodontist's office for regular check-ups and get braces adjusted. The treatment is customized from start to finish and will take you through each straightening stage. The best part is how discreet clean aligner technology has become. No one will know you are wearing your aligner, and it’s all done without pesky wires, metal attachments, or rubber bands.

No matter your age, if you have healthy gums and teeth, your smile is ready to be straightened. Many men and women, just like you, are looking to straighten their teeth. Strayt is making it easy for everyone giving you confidence and convenience with every order. We send everything right to your door, and you can do your FREE scan at home, or you can check to see if you live in an area where we offer convenient mobile scanning. Our Clear Aligners are easy to use and start showing results fast. View our clear aligners, find the best aligner pricing plan, and start showing off your confidence with a smile!


Teeth aligners are a popular choice for those looking to straighten their teeth or correct a different orthodontic problem to achieve a better smile. They work just as well as braces in many cases and offer the advantages of being more discreet, convenient, and affordable. The better fitting the aligners, the better the results. If the initial model of the teeth isn’t accurate, the aligners won’t properly fit the teeth, and the teeth may not move as expected. If you want better-fitting aligners, 3D teeth scans are the best option.

Treatment Design Software

3D teeth scans provide an incredibly accurate digital model of your mouth and will lead to better-fitting aligners every time. When it comes to your teeth, do you really want to roll the dice by trying to make your own impression using a kit?  Not only is the impression process annoying with the putty that has to be mixed and then removed from your teeth after hardening, but impression trays can be too big or too small, and impressions don’t capture your bite alignment.

The superior fit aligners made from a 3D teeth scan will produce better results – fixing crowding or a gap, straightening teeth, aligning teeth, et cetera – because their fit is much tighter. You may think that a tighter fit means they’re not comfortable to wear, but that isn’t the case. Better fitting aligners will be more comfortable and virtually invisible, thanks to the accurate fit.

Once an orthodontist has the digital image from a 3D teeth, scan they can begin to start planning treatment immediately and improve your smile sooner.

To deliver a comfortable and perfect fit, Strayt clear aligners are made from a state-of-the-art, high-quality transparent plastic material that’s molded onto sequential printed models of your teeth. To make the process convenient for you, we offer mobile scanning units that will come right to your home for an appointment! Get better fitting aligners from us and see if we offer mobile scanning in your area today!

"I only need to straighten my upper teeth. How much does it cost if I just do one arch?" We are frequently asked some version of this question, along with the inevitable follow-up question: "If I'm only treating half my teeth, it should be half the cost, right?" On the surface, that seems like a reasonable and logical supposition. In this post, we go a little deeper to explain why it doesn't exactly work that way. (more…)

Anyone that has spent time researching the efficacy of clear aligners has probably come across the 1-star reviews and patient horror stories that are out there. A common theme in these horror stories is “they messed up my bite.”  These stories can really freak you out if you are considering home clear aligner therapy.  Should you be worried?


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