Frequently Asked Questions

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SureSmile® Aligners are an aesthetically pleasing alternative to braces, especially for minor tooth movements that improve your smile. Specifically, they are for use with teens and adults, from simple to complex cases such as: crowded teeth, spaces and over/underbites. A SureSmile dental professional can assess your needs and recommend the best treatment plan for you. Take our patient assessment to see if you are a SureSmile candidate today.

Choose SureSmile Aligners for 3 main reasons:

  1. Your Confidence – In partnership with your dental professional, SureSmile delivers your ideal smile with state-of-the-art, tailor-made aligners, individually quality checked by our clinical lab specialists
  2. Your Comfort – With precision-made fit, you can easily wear our aligners comfortably throughout the day
  3. Your Convenience – Minimize your time in the dental chair with fewer in-office appointments and shorter check-ups

Learn more

While there are several similarities between popular clear aligner brands on the market, SureSmile uses proprietary software paired with our Digital Lab experts to support your dental professional in crafting your unique treatment plan for a straighter smile. Check out some additional differentiators below:
  • Unique Essix® ACE aligner plastic material designed to stay comfortable and clear throughout use
  • Uses industry leader in dental plastics for aligner fabrication
  • Rigorous 6-step quality check reviewed by clinical experts for every case
  • One-on-one consults with dental professionals providing expert clinical advice and answers to your questions
  • Digital Data Stream shortens time from planning to treatment
  • Uses digital scan to produce images in place of impression trays
  • Laser trimmed aligners with polished edges allow for more precise fit and comfort
Interested in the science behind SureSmile aligners? Learn more about the SureSmile difference.

SureSmile® is an orthodontic treatment that works to gradually straighten teeth through the wearing of a series of clear, custom-fit, removable aligners. There are no brackets or wires like traditional metal braces.

There are 3 easy steps: the first 2 steps swiftly prepare you for your custom-made aligners; the last step is your transformation, beginning when you put on your first set of SureSmile aligners.

STEPS:

  1. Consult: Make an appointment for an initial SureSmile consultation with your dental professional. Check to see if your dental professional, or others in your zip code, offer SureSmile.  If you are a candidate for SureSmile® Aligners, a 3D digital impression and pictures of your face and teeth are taken and the treatment process begins – no fuss, no mess, just a few minutes in the dental chair.
  2. Scan, Plan & Fabricate: Your dental professional and knowledgeable SureSmile specialists at our Digital Lab plan and design your case using advanced digital software, orchestrating each step of your smile transformation with precision. Using just the right number of custom finished clear aligners, your dental professional partners with our Digital Lab to make your perfect smile one step closer. Once ready, your dental professional schedules a quick visit for you to review your new smile plan!
  3. Treat: Congratulations! Your journey to a fabulous smile begins back in the dental office when you try on your first set of SureSmile aligners. By wearing your clear aligners and following your custom treatment plan, you will quickly notice your clear aligners are not only comfortable and easy-to-wear, but virtually invisible … your friends and family won’t even notice you’re wearing them!

Learn more

Here’s some simple, easy-to-follow tips to best care for your aligners:

  • Do not store aligners near a heat source such as warm stoves, hot dashboards, hair dryers/curling irons and anything hot in your mouth like hot water or soup. This may cause them to distort, resulting in improper fit in your mouth.
    • Use one case to store your “current stage” of aligners when they are not in your mouth. This can help you remember not to throw them away when you clear your lunch tray.
    • Use the other case to store your “backup” aligners. These are the previous set of aligners that you just finished wearing. If your “current stage” aligner is lost or broken, your doctor may recommend that you temporarily use your “backup” aligners while a replacement for the “current stage” is made.
    •  To keep aligners invisible and well fitting, avoid using toothpaste/toothbrush, mouthwash, scented or colored soaps, and hot water that can soften, deform, scratch and discolor them.
    • To safely and effectively clean, use Retainer Brite® products on your SureSmile aligners, follow the specific instructions for use provided with each Retainer Brite product. Never put Retainer Brite Cleaning Tablets or tablet solution in your mouth.
    • Always clean your aligners before each insertion. Be sure to choose the Retainer Brite® cleaning method that fits your daily routine. SureSmile Aligners can be quickly cleaned while you shower, eat meals, or while you are out on-the-go.
    • Keep brushing and flossing your teeth per your normal routine.
  • As a rule of thumb, remove your aligners to eat meals or snacks, drink liquids or chew gum. This helps keep them virtually invisible, retains their fit and helps reduce the risk of tooth decay.
  • Do not wear aligners when drinking hot, sweet or colored liquids, like red wine. Hot liquids like coffee or soup can result in melted or distorted aligners.
  • One exception – you can leave your SureSmile aligners in to drink plain, unflavored, non-sugared cool water.
  • After eating or drinking, always brush your teeth before putting your clean aligners back in place.

For the shortest time to your perfect smile, wear them 20-22 hours each day, including while asleep.

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Make sure you use the correct aligner.

  • Each aligner is engraved with the first four letters of your name, a “U” for upper teeth or an “L” for lower teeth, followed by the stage number.
  • When it is time to switch to your next aligner stage, shift the aligners in the cases. Clean and place the aligners that you just finished wearing into one case. Clean and place your new “current stage” aligners into the other case.
  • Don’t use your aligners if they are cracked or broken. Broken pieces can be accidentally swallowed or aspirated and may be harmful.

Insert your aligners using a Chewies™ Aligner Tray Seater:

  1. For removal, on one side of your mouth, use your fingertip on the inside of your back molar and slowly pull the aligner or retainer from your molars.
  2. Place the Chewies Aligner Tray Seater between your upper and lower arches.
  3. Gently bite down on the Chewies Aligner Tray Seater and work your aligner into place until it’s fully seated. Insert only one aligner at a time. Trying to seat two at once or using excessive pressure may damage your aligners.

Removing your aligners:

  1. Gently grasp the edge of your aligner near the back of your mouth and pull away from your gumline.
    Be gentle: Using excessive force may damage your aligner. Using your fingers is the best technique.
Since each person’s treatment plan is different, it’s hard to generalize how long your unique case may take. Treatment generally lasts anywhere from 6 to 18 months. What to expect:
  • On average, plan on about 2-4 weeks from your initial scanning appointment to wearing your first aligners, depending on how quickly the case is submitted by your dental professional and when your follow-up appointment is available.
  • Expect to wear each set of aligners for one to two weeks, as prescribed by your dental professional.
  • The office will schedule your office visits which will vary depending upon the complexity of your case. Quite often you can expect to visit every 3 months. You may schedule short dental visits approximately every four weeks to check progress and pick up the next two sets of aligners.
  • When you start wearing each new set of aligners, you can experience a snugger fit for a few days, which is normal.
  • Retainers will be prescribed once your treatment plan is complete.

Preventative steps can be taken to reduce or eliminate yellowing.

These include:

  • Removing your aligners to eat and drink; dark liquids such as coffee, tea, and red wine are the worst stain offenders
  • Brushing your teeth after eating and drinking, before putting your clean aligners back in
  • Using a straw to drink
  • Cleaning your aligners regularly using Retainer Brite® products, and as your doctor instructs
  • Routine teeth cleaning during your dental visits
SureSmile Aligners are made of clear and comfortable plastic, free of phthalates.

For your healthiest smile and best results, SureSmile® Aligners are only available from certified dentists and orthodontists. Please check our Find a Doctor link for the provider nearest you.

Find a Provider

Because each case is different–some patients require more or less treatment–the total cost of your new smile will depend on the treatment plan you and your dental professional agree upon. Be sure to discuss cost, insurance options and payment plans with your dentist during your initial consultation appointment.

Learn more

Check your insurance plan, call your insurance company or talk to your employee benefits manager to understand your orthodontic treatment coverage – many plans cover SureSmile® Aligners just like they do traditional braces.  Your dental and/or health plans may cover orthodontic treatments, so check both.

At your initial consultation, be sure to ask your dental professional which insurance plans they accept and inquire about payment plans they may offer. Your dental office may also have helpful insurance information or insights.

Be aware that you may be able to pay your dental professional and be reimbursed from your HSA or FSA accounts. Again, speaking with your company’s benefits or Human Resources specialist can give you all the information you need.

Learn more

A retainer should be recommended at the end of orthodontic treatment. Please consult with your dental professional for the best option after your SureSmile Aligner treatment is complete.
 

Learn more

SureSmile® is a great option for adults who are looking for a virtually invisible way to improve teeth that are crowded, crooked, have gaps, and are generally misaligned to name a few.

This should be determined on a case by case basis by your doctor. No two treatment cases are ever the same; however, our digital lab specialists are available to help your doctor determine the best course of care through our technology capabilities and custom plastic appliances to find the best solution for unique treatment cases.

No, clear braces are actually another name for ceramic braces. Clear and ceramic braces have a bracket that mounts to the tooth and is similar in color to a tooth. The wire that traditional braces uses may also be visible on clear braces. Invisible aligners fit snuggly and tightly over your teeth and are made of clear, firm but flexible plastic. SureSmile® clear aligners are made using a durable, well-known plastic in the industry, Essix ACE plastic.

When initially wearing clear aligners, patients may experience some or none of the following:

  • Initially, your speech may be affected for a couple of days and it may sound like you have a lisp.
  • As clear aligners gradually straighten your teeth and move them to their proper position, your gums are reforming around each tooth as it moves, causing a feeling of “looseness” or pressure.
  •  
  • Yes, unfortunately, smoking, coffee, wine, and any other food and/or beverages can potentially damage the color of your clear aligners. Remove them anytime you are eating or drinking anything other than cool water.
  • You cannot chew gum with your aligners in. Remove your aligners for all meals and snacks.
SureSmile® Aligners are an aesthetically pleasing alternative to braces, especially for minor tooth movements that improve your smile. Specifically, they are for use with teens and adults, from simple to complex cases such as: crowded teeth, spaces and over/underbites. A SureSmile dental professional can assess your needs and recommend the best treatment plan for you. Take our patient assessment to see if you are a SureSmile candidate today.

Choose SureSmile Aligners for 3 main reasons:

  1. Your Confidence – In partnership with your dental professional, SureSmile delivers your ideal smile with state-of-the-art, tailor-made aligners, individually quality checked by our clinical lab specialists
  2. Your Comfort – With precision-made fit, you can easily wear our aligners comfortably throughout the day
  3. Your Convenience – Minimize your time in the dental chair with fewer in-office appointments and shorter check-ups

Learn more about why SureSmile is the clear choice for you

While there are several similarities between popular clear aligner brands on the market, SureSmile uses proprietary software paired with our Digital Lab experts to support your dental professional in crafting your unique treatment plan for a straighter smile.
SureSmile aligners Other clear aligners Traditional Braces
Technology:
Patented SureSmile software powers precise treatment plan
Uses Essix ACE® Plastic, an industry leader in dental plastics, for aligner fabrication
Variable trimlines for optimal comfort and movement
People:
One-on-one consults with dental professionals providing expert clinical advice and answers to your questions
Process:
Uses digital scanning to produce images in place of impressions with paste
Uses traditional brackets and wires
Easily removable for eating, drinking and flossing
Covered by many orthodontic insurance plans
Interested in the science behind SureSmile aligners? Learn more about the SureSmile difference.

SureSmile® is an orthodontic treatment that works to gradually straighten teeth through the wearing of a series of clear, custom-fit, removable aligners. There are no brackets or wires like traditional metal braces.

There are 3 easy steps: the first 2 steps swiftly prepare you for your custom-made aligners; the last step is your transformation, beginning when you put on your first set of SureSmile aligners.

STEPS:

  1. Consult: Make an appointment for an initial SureSmile consultation with your dental professional. Check to see if your dental professional, or others in your zip code, offer SureSmile.  If you are a candidate for SureSmile® Aligners, a 3D digital impression and pictures of your face and teeth are taken and the treatment process begins – no fuss, no mess, just a few minutes in the dental chair.
  2. Scan, Plan & Fabricate: Your dental professional and knowledgeable SureSmile specialists at our Digital Lab plan and design your case using advanced digital software, orchestrating each step of your smile transformation with precision. Using just the right number of custom finished clear aligners, your dental professional partners with our Digital Lab to make your perfect smile one step closer. Once ready, your dental professional schedules a quick visit for you to review your new smile plan!
  3. Treat: Congratulations! Your journey to a fabulous smile begins back in the dental office when you try on your first set of SureSmile aligners. By wearing your clear aligners and following your custom treatment plan, you will quickly notice your clear aligners are not only comfortable and easy-to-wear, but virtually invisible … your friends and family won’t even notice you’re wearing them!

Learn more about how clear aligners work

Here’s some simple, easy-to-follow tips to best care for your aligners:

  • Do not store aligners near a heat source such as warm stoves, hot dashboards, hair dryers/curling irons and anything hot in your mouth like hot water or soup. This may cause them to distort, resulting in improper fit in your mouth.
    • Use one case to store your “current stage” of aligners when they are not in your mouth. This can help you remember not to throw them away when you clear your lunch tray.
    • Use the other case to store your “backup” aligners. These are the previous set of aligners that you just finished wearing. If your “current stage” aligner is lost or broken, your doctor may recommend that you temporarily use your “backup” aligners while a replacement for the “current stage” is made.
    •  To keep aligners invisible and well fitting, avoid using toothpaste/toothbrush, mouthwash, scented or colored soaps, and hot water that can soften, deform, scratch and discolor them.
    • To safely and effectively clean, use Retainer Brite® products on your SureSmile aligners, follow the specific instructions for use provided with each Retainer Brite product. Never put Retainer Brite Cleaning Tablets or tablet solution in your mouth.
    • Always clean your aligners before each insertion. Be sure to choose the Retainer Brite® cleaning method that fits your daily routine. SureSmile Aligners can be quickly cleaned while you shower, eat meals, or while you are out on-the-go.
    • Keep brushing and flossing your teeth per your normal routine.
  • As a rule of thumb, remove your aligners to eat meals or snacks, drink liquids or chew gum. This helps keep them virtually invisible, retains their fit and helps reduce the risk of tooth decay.
  • Do not wear aligners when drinking hot, sweet or colored liquids, like red wine. Hot liquids like coffee or soup can result in melted or distorted aligners.
  • One exception – you can leave your SureSmile aligners in to drink plain, unflavored, non-sugared cool water.
  • After eating or drinking, always brush your teeth before putting your clean aligners back in place.

For the shortest time to your perfect smile, wear them 20-22 hours each day, including while asleep.

Make sure you use the correct aligner.

  • Each aligner is engraved with the first four letters of your name, a “U” for upper teeth or an “L” for lower teeth, followed by the stage number.
  • When it is time to switch to your next aligner stage, shift the aligners in the cases. Clean and place the aligners that you just finished wearing into one case. Clean and place your new “current stage” aligners into the other case.
  • Don’t use your aligners if they are cracked or broken. Broken pieces can be accidentally swallowed or aspirated and may be harmful.

Insert your aligners using a Chewies™ Aligner Tray Seater:

  1. For removal, on one side of your mouth, use your fingertip on the inside of your back molar and slowly pull the aligner or retainer from your molars.
  2. Place the Chewies Aligner Tray Seater between your upper and lower arches.
  3. Gently bite down on the Chewies Aligner Tray Seater and work your aligner into place until it’s fully seated. Insert only one aligner at a time. Trying to seat two at once or using excessive pressure may damage your aligners.

Removing your aligners:

  1. Gently grasp the edge of your aligner near the back of your mouth and pull away from your gumline.
    Be gentle: Using excessive force may damage your aligner. Using your fingers is the best technique.
Since each person’s treatment plan is different, it’s hard to generalize how long your unique case may take. Treatment generally lasts anywhere from 6 to 18 months. What to expect:
  • On average, plan on about 2-4 weeks from your initial scanning appointment to wearing your first aligners, depending on how quickly the case is submitted by your dental professional and when your follow-up appointment is available.
  • Expect to wear each set of aligners for one to two weeks, as prescribed by your dental professional.
  • The office will schedule your office visits which will vary depending upon the complexity of your case. Quite often you can expect to visit every 3 months. You may schedule short dental visits approximately every four weeks to check progress and pick up the next two sets of aligners.
  • When you start wearing each new set of aligners, you can experience a snugger fit for a few days, which is normal.
  • Retainers will be prescribed once your treatment plan is complete.

Preventative steps can be taken to reduce or eliminate yellowing.

These include:

  • Removing your aligners to eat and drink; dark liquids such as coffee, tea, and red wine are the worst stain offenders
  • Brushing your teeth after eating and drinking, before putting your clean aligners back in
  • Using a straw to drink
  • Cleaning your aligners regularly using Retainer Brite® products, and as your doctor instructs
  • Routine teeth cleaning during your dental visits
SureSmile Aligners are made of clear and comfortable plastic, free of phthalates.

For your healthiest smile and best results, SureSmile® Aligners are only available from certified dentists and orthodontists. Please check our Find a Doctor link for the provider nearest you.

Find a Provider

Because each case is different–some patients require more or less treatment–the total cost of your new smile will depend on the treatment plan you and your dental professional agree upon. Be sure to discuss cost, insurance options and payment plans with your dentist during your initial consultation appointment.

Learn more about SureSmile payment options

Check your insurance plan, call your insurance company or talk to your employee benefits manager to understand your orthodontic treatment coverage – many plans cover SureSmile® Aligners just like they do traditional braces.  Your dental and/or health plans may cover orthodontic treatments, so check both.

At your initial consultation, be sure to ask your dental professional which insurance plans they accept and inquire about payment plans they may offer. Your dental office may also have helpful insurance information or insights.

Be aware that you may be able to pay your dental professional and be reimbursed from your HSA or FSA accounts. Again, speaking with your company’s benefits or Human Resources specialist can give you all the information you need.

Learn more about SureSmile payment options

A retainer should be recommended at the end of orthodontic treatment. Please consult with your dental professional for the best option after you SureSmile Aligner treatment is complete.
 

Learn more about how clear aligners work

SureSmile® is a great option for adults who are looking for a virtually invisible way to improve teeth that are crowded, crooked, have gaps, and are generally misaligned to name a few.

This should be determined on a case by case basis by your doctor. No two treatment cases are ever the same; however, our digital lab specialists are available to help your doctor determine the best course of care through our technology capabilities and custom plastic appliances to find the best solution for unique treatment cases.

No, clear braces are actually another name for ceramic braces. Clear and ceramic braces have a bracket that mounts to the tooth and is similar in color to a tooth. The wire that traditional braces uses may also be visible on clear braces. Invisible aligners fit snuggly and tightly over your teeth and are made of clear, firm but flexible plastic. SureSmile® clear aligners are made using a durable, well-known plastic in the industry, Essix ACE plastic.

When initially wearing clear aligners, patients may experience some or none of the following:

  • Initially, your speech may be affected for a couple of days and it may sound like you have a lisp.
  • As clear aligners gradually straighten your teeth and move them to their proper position, your gums are reforming around each tooth as it moves, causing a feeling of “looseness” or pressure.
  •  
  • Yes, unfortunately, smoking, coffee, wine, and any other food and/or beverages can potentially damage the color of your clear aligners. Remove them anytime you are eating or drinking anything other than cool water.
  • You cannot chew gum with your aligners in. Remove your aligners for all meals and snacks.