Nighttime aligners are a relatively new type of orthodontic treatment that provides an alternative to traditional braces and all-day aligners.
In this article, we will investigate the many facets of nighttime aligners, such as what one should expect in terms of treatment and results. We will also explore how they work at realigning teeth, the length of treatments, and which providers offer them.
If you or someone you know is interested in nighttime aligner treatment and want to know more about it, then this article is for you. Read on to discover everything you need to know about nighttime aligners before and after.
How do Night Aligners Work?
Night aligners are a type of clear plastic aligners designed to straighten teeth while someone sleeps. These low-profile devices are designed to apply gentle and constant pressure to the teeth to gradually shift them into the desired position. Traditional clear aligners are worn for around 22 hours a day, but night aligners are worn only during restful sleep, typically for 10-12 hours.
Night aligners typically consist of several sets of trays. Each set represents a different stage of tooth movement and is worn for a certain amount of time before switching to the next set. An article from the American Association of Orthodontists states that each aligner tray moves teeth a fraction of a millimeter at a time and must be replaced every 1 to 2 weeks.
The length of treatment depends on the severity of the orthodontic issue and can range from a few months to over a year. Unlike traditional metal braces, night aligners can only correct mild orthodontic issues because they are worn for less than half the day, making them less effective for more severe cases.
Often, night aligners are used to correct mild to moderate relapse after orthodontic treatment. Since teeth may shift over time due to reasons such as age, natural growth, and wisdom teeth, night aligners can help realign them without the patient having to wear braces for an extended period.
See our reviews of all-day aligners.
Night Aligners Vs All Day – Main Differences
The main differences between all-day aligners and night-only aligners are in the times of day that they should be worn. All-day aligners are designed to be worn most or all the time, normally for around 22 hours each day, while night-only aligners are intended to be worn specifically during the nighttime hours, for 10 to 12 hours.
While both types of aligners can serve their desired purpose, there’s a major distinction in the rate of progress; all-day aligners tend to offer quicker results due to their around-the-clock usage and consistent pressure on teeth. All-day aligners normally complete treatment within 4 to 6 months but night-time aligners average between 8 to 10 months. However, these long periods of wear can cause more discomfort when it comes to both gums and teeth.
While both all-day aligners and night aligners are made of very high quality, the materials used in night aligners are typically more premium than those used in all-day aligners. Both types of aligners are typically made from high-quality medical-grade plastics that are free from BPA. However, night aligners are made with a thicker material that is specifically designed to be worn for the duration of the night. This thicker material provides greater durability and ensures that the aligners can withstand the pressure applied to the teeth during sleep, resulting in more effective treatment.
In addition to the thicker material used in night aligners, another difference between aligners is that night aligners do not need to be removed when eating or drinking. This can be a major benefit for patients who find the removal and cleaning process of all-day aligners to be inconvenient. Nighttime aligners can simply be put in before bed and removed in the morning, with no interruption to the patient’s daily routine. This makes them a popular choice for patients who lead busy lifestyles and want a hassle-free orthodontic treatment option.
See our article: Night Aligners for Teeth – PROs and CONs, Night Aligner Providers.
Types of Malocclusions They Treat
Both aligner options are only suitable for mild malocclusions but nighttime aligners particularly are only suitable for very mild conditions with all-day aligners having the ability to deal with slightly more severe problems when compared to the night option.
Ultimately the choice is up to the patient; choosing an all-day aligner means faster results but more hassle when eating and drinking, whereas a night-only aligner would require longer care but provide reduced tension on teeth and gums during daily life.
See our article: Overbite Face Shape.
How Long Does the Treatment with Night Aligners Last?
The length of treatment with nighttime aligners depends on the severity of the orthodontic issue. Typically, mild to moderate orthodontic problems can be corrected within six to nine months, but more severe cases may require longer treatment times.
Since night aligners are only worn for approximately 10-12 hours a day, they tend to offer a slower and more gradual realignment of the teeth than traditional aligners worn throughout the day.
See our article: Which Takes Longer – Invisalign or Braces?
Which Providers Offer Night Aligners?
SmileDirectClub’s nighttime aligners require 10 hours of wear per night to complete treatment effectively, which typically takes between 8 to 10 months. Priced at $2,050, both the nighttime and all-day aligners come with free shipping, lifetime guarantees, and a complimentary teeth whitening kit with each purchase.
With advanced 3D printing technology and the use of medical-grade, BPA-free plastics, Smile Direct Club’s night aligners offer precision and accuracy in their fit, leading to successful outcomes within the expected timeframe.
See our review of SmileDirectClub.
Made of high-quality medical-grade materials, Byte At-Night aligners are designed to be worn exclusively at night, requiring only 10 hours of wear per day. The average treatment time with night aligners is 5 to 6 months, which is considerably faster than other treatments.
While priced at $2399, which is around $400 more than the all-day version, the package includes a free HyperByte device that helps accelerate the treatment process. The HyperByte device uses gentle vibrations to help seat the aligners more effectively, resulting in a more precise and accurate outcome. The aligners also come with a free retainer to help maintain the newly achieved alignment.
See our review of Byte.
AlignerCo offers a night aligner that costs approximately $100 more ($1460) than their all-day aligner version and must be worn for 10 hours at night. Treatment with their night aligner is expected to take 6 to 8 months. AlignerCo also offers two payment plans: NightFlex ($118/mo for 12 months) and NightFlex Easy ($250/mo for 6 months with a $485 down payment).
Additionally, each purchase (except the NightFlex Easy plan) includes a free teeth whitening kit and retainer, making AlignerCo a cost-effective and convenient option for those looking to improve their smile.
See our review of AlignerCo.
NewSmile’s night aligners offer a treatment time of 8 to 10 months, making them a convenient and comfortable option for people seeking orthodontic treatment. They come with free retainers, a teeth whitening kit, and free shipping. The price of the night aligners is $1,595, which is slightly less expensive than their all-day aligners. NewSmile also provides financing options to make their aligners more accessible to customers.
Nighttime Aligners Before and After
Nighttime aligners are becoming increasingly popular as they provide a convenient and effective way to achieve a healthier, straighter smile. Patients who have used nighttime aligners have reported numerous benefits, such as improved self-confidence, better oral hygiene habits, and overall oral health, better speech, and reduced issues related to malocclusion.
These aligners are particularly useful for treating relapse of orthodontic treatment, helping to prevent slight shifts in teeth positions or to correct mild orthodontic relapses that happen naturally over time.
Patients can expect to see results within six to nine months for mild orthodontic issues. Unlike traditional aligners, treatment is less time-intensive, and since it mostly takes place during sleep, it won’t interfere with daily activities such as school or work.
Nighttime aligners are also an affordable option as they are priced lower than traditional all-day aligners. Overall, nighttime aligners are an excellent choice for those looking to achieve a straighter smile gradually and comfortably.