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Is At-Home Teeth Straightening Safe? Experts Weigh In

By Kyle Kirkland
At-home teeth straightening is safe when you use programs that provide professional supervision.

With a rise in the popularity of online, direct-to-consumer orthodontic options, you might be wondering if it's safe to straighten your teeth outside of the orthodontist's office. Online aligner programs are both safe and effective when you choose the right provider. 

Clear Dental Aligners

One option to for at-home teeth straightening is clear dental aligners. Clear dental aligners are thin, plastic-like mouthpieces that are custom-designed to fit over your teeth. A series of aligners gradually brings your teeth into alignment. Aligners are a great alternative to braces for some, and they are most successful for the correction of mild-to-moderate alignment issues. 

Some benefits of clear dental aligners are:

  • They’re removable and easy to maintain.
  • They’re discreet and don’t look like traditional metal braces.
  • There are no restrictions on what food you can eat, since they can be taken out for every meal.

“Clear dental aligners are safe and effective, provided [that they are] used when indicated,” Asifa Iqbal, DDS, an oral surgeon, tells WebMD Connect to Care.

Iqbal stresses the importance of following the treatment plan of your supervising dentist or orthodontist for the best results. “Patients may not need to visit the dentist for a long period, but the dentist will need to keep in contact with patients for any issues,” Iqbal says.

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