The Impression

Why nighttime-only aligners are a nightmare

The evidence that nighttime-only aligners work simply doesn’t exist.

Mark Uzunian
Content Copywriter, Candid

When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. This sentiment applies doubly for nighttime-only aligners that other companies peddle. The reality of the situation is that there is no evidence that nighttime-only aligners work. In fact, no peer-reviewed study currently exists that proves they are effective in straightening teeth. 

Our Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. C. Lynn Hurst, recently explained why we at Candid refuse to offer nighttime-only aligners saying, “It’s kind of like breaking your arm and having the physician reset the fracture, but only wearing the cast at night, preventing proper healing.” 

Standard clear aligners work by applying continuous force on your teeth, gently straightening them into place over the course of 22 hours a day. Nighttime-only aligners only require you to wear them for 10 hours a day. This lack of consistent wear can cause your teeth to shift back to their original position. 

Dr. Erica Anand and Alyssa Hill at NewMouth are also worried about the damage nighttime-only aligners can do to your overall oral health, specifically when it comes to the side effects of only wearing your aligners a few hours per day. “Without a longer and more consistent wear schedule, your teeth can be left in a limbo state of inflammation,” says Hill. “Wearing aligners for less than 20 to 22 hours a day can result in poorer results and oral health issues. Every additional hour that you don't wear the aligners increases the likelihood of your teeth shifting into the wrong position.”

Until there is clear evidence nighttime-only aligners are safe and effective, we refuse to offer them as a treatment option.

Let’s get things straight.

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