What Teeth Aligners Does Walmart Carry?

What Teeth Aligners Does Walmart Carry?
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What Teeth Aligners Does Walmart Carry?Clinical Content Reviewed by Dr. Jay Khorsandi, DDS
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Table of Contents

  1. What Are Over-the-Counter-Aligners
  2. Inexpensive Dental Trays
  3. Are They Safe?
  4. Dentist-Monitored Aligners
  5. References

Walmart doesn’t carry professional teeth aligners. Instead, they carry more generic mouthguards and night guards.

Over-the-counter orthodontic treatment with clear plastic aligners is extremely popular since consumers have a lot of control over their treatment. Some big-box stores like Walmart now offer devices that allege to be orthodontic aligners, but they are more like generic mouthguards, night guards, or devices that can help you to stop tongue thrusting.

These devices are not designed to treat your misalignment specifically, and in some cases, they can do more harm than good.

What Are Over-the-Counter Aligners?

Over-the-counter aligners make up a booming industry. Several brands now allow you to place an order online for a kit to create impressions. An orthodontist will examine and use these impressions to create a set of clear plastic aligners to improve the alignment of your teeth.

These aligners will arrive on your doorstep with instructions. Typically, between four and nine months later, you will have a smile you love.

Although many of these mail-order aligners are inexpensive, some people seek out even less expensive options to take care of their dental health. For example, the big-box store Walmart carries several brands of clear plastic aligners that promise to straighten your teeth; however, these products are not supervised by an orthodontist, nor are they tailored to your specific dental needs. This can cause more problems with your dental alignment over time.

Walmart Carries Inexpensive, Generic Dental Trays

Walmart carries several inexpensive clear plastic dental trays, which claim to straighten or realign your teeth. Many of these also train mouth position by reducing clenching or grinding, preventing tongue thrusting, and helping you stop mouth breathing — all habits that can cause misalignment of the teeth. While these clear aligners may help to reduce some misalignment problems, they are more like night guards for your mouth than actual orthodontic devices.

These are some of the brands Walmart carries:

The average cost of orthodontics, even online over-the-counter clear plastic aligners, is close to $2,000 at least. If you think the prices listed above are too good to be true, you are correct.

These aligners may claim to be braces, and they will likely put some pressure on your teeth, but they are much more like night guards to stop you from grinding your teeth or devices to train you to stop tongue thrusting. They are not overseen by an orthodontist, so they are not going to produce the correct dental alignment you want.

Are Walmart’s Clear Aligners Safe?

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) has issued a warning regarding some inexpensive brands of over-the-counter teeth aligners, like the extremely low-priced ones sold by Walmart. AAO states that:

  • There is no one-size-fits-all approach to orthodontic treatment, which is why any aligners must be designed for your mouth by a professional. The devices sold by Walmart have no medical supervision and are generic.
  • Any kind of orthodontic device, from traditional braces to clear aligners, can increase plaque and tartar buildup, damage your gums (causing some gum recession), and cause some damage to your tongue or cheeks. With dental supervision, these issues can be addressed, but without this help, your teeth and gums may suffer permanent harm.
  • You may have serious underlying diseases like periodontitis that caused your teeth to become misaligned. If this goes untreated, using an orthodontic device can cause further harm.
  • Your teeth might not be aligned properly. Even if they are in line, they might be shifted to the wrong side.
  • This approach to orthodontic treatment does not comply with US laws, either at the federal or state level. Consumer protection may not apply, but you are also not receiving appropriate care from a generic company.
  • Your orthodontic needs might exceed the ability of even professional clear plastic aligners. When you work with a company that offers a consultation, they can tell you this. If you do not work with dental professionals, you might accidentally worsen your alignment.

Work With a Dentist for the Best Aligner Treatment

When you want more control over your orthodontic treatment, there are many online companies that offer excellent, professional service that meets state and federal health and safety requirements. The first step for many over-the-counter aligner companies is for you to take an impression of your teeth and send it to their on-staff orthodontist. Many companies also offer periodic check-ins throughout the treatment process, ensuring your teeth are moving in the right direction.

If you have severe misalignment issues, you can ask your dentist for a referral to an orthodontist. You can discuss over-the-counter options to see if these might suit your needs, but if you have significant crowding, spacing, or other malocclusion problems, you may be better suited to traditional braces or other treatments.

If you opt for at-home aligner treatment, maintain regular visits with your dentist to keep your teeth healthy throughout the treatment process. Your dentist can assess sensitivity or pain, gum health, and enamel health. Let them know about your aligner treatment so they can look for potential problems associated with orthodontics during your regular visits.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to serve as dental or other professional health advice and is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition or symptom. You should consult a dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.