See Also: Aligner Wear and Tear , Tracking Issues.

Aligners—How to Insert

Because of the tight fit of OrthoSnap clear aligners, there can be times you or your patient may experience difficulties when trying to insert them. Especially when a new patient attempts to place their first active aligner. In this article, we will discuss tips on how to insert aligners. 

We design our clear aligners to fit perfectly, but we also make them so that they will move the teeth into a new position. Therefore, when placing a new aligner for the first time, the fit will be tight and won’t match the exact current position of the teeth. This is especially true for teeth in extreme positions. But don’t worry, as this is the point. We want to change the position of the teeth. 

While aligners may fit quite snugly and be difficult to insert with each new step, they will loosen up over a few days as the teeth gently move into their new position. You will know when aligners fit perfectly on the teeth, as they will snap into place.

Troubleshooting How to Insert Clear Aligners

OrthoSnap clear aligners can fit tightly, so sometimes it can take a little finesse to get them in. Especially when the patient has factors such as inclining, flaring, or proclining teeth that can contribute to discomfort of fit issues. 

If you or your patient has difficulty inserting aligners, try some of the following techniques:

Front to Back

This technique is most helpful for excessively proclined (tipped) or crowded anterior teeth.

  • Insert the aligner onto the anterior teeth.

  • Push down on the tray over the posterior teeth.

Back to Front

This technique works best when all teeth are relatively upright.

  • First, insert the aligner onto the posterior teeth.

  • Next, push down on the tray over the anterior teeth.

Side to Side

This technique is most helpful with excessively inclined posterior teeth.

  • Insert the aligner on one side first, then come forward toward the anterior teeth and insert them.

  • Press downward on the other side.

  • Using the fingers, carefully press on the aligner. Do not use the teeth to bite it. 

Section the Aligner

With excessive posterior inclination or anterior proclination, the aligner may need to be sectioned prior to insertion.

  • Using the midline as a guide, cut the aligner in half.

  • First, insert one side. When it is fully in place, insert the other side.

  • This should not continue to be necessary after the first few steps of aligners.

Anterior then buccal or lingual

This technique is most helpful for teeth that are flared either buccally or lingually. The idea is to insert the most difficult area first, and then the remainder of the aligner should easily snap into place.

  • Insert the aligner onto the anterior teeth.

  • Push down on the tray on the flared side. If the teeth are flared buccally, push on the buccal side. If flared lingually, push on the lingual side.  

Something Else to Consider with Inserting Aligners

If a new aligner is too tight, the patient may not be ready for it. Consider having them wear the old aligner for another week or two to ensure the teeth are in the proper position for the new aligner.

Related Topics and Information:

Click to learn more about Aligner Wear and Tear and Tracking Issues.

If you have questions or need to speak with someone at Orthosnap, please reach out to us at

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