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How to Insert Aligners
How to Insert Aligners
And what to do if the aligners don't seem to fit
Dr. Alex Molayem avatar
Written by Dr. Alex Molayem
Updated over a week ago

Because of the tight fit of Orthosnap clear aligners, you and your patients may experience difficulties when trying to insert them, especially if it's their first time or if the teeth are flaring or proclining.

If you have difficulty inserting the aligners, try the following:

1. Check the origin tray on the origin model

This will demonstrate the best path of insertion. The Origin Aligner has no movements and is just a thermoform of the patient's base model. So if it fits properly on the origin model, then you can assume that aligner step #1 will fit.

If the aligner doesn't fit the model, there may be an issue with manufacturing.

If the aligner fits the model but not the patient, there may be an issue with the impression.

2. Try a path of insertion fitting techniques:

Front to Back

Most helpful for excessively proclined (tipped) or crowded anterior teeth.

Back to Front

Best when all teeth are relatively upright.

Side to Side

Most helpful with excessively inclined posterior teeth. Do not use the patient's teeth to bite the aligner into place.

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.

3. Time and Pressure

If you are able to seat the aligners but not fully, remember that aligners move the teeth into position within the first 20-60 minutes of insertion. This means that while they can be tough to fit immediately and can cause a pressure sensation, be patient. This is normal. Instruct the patient to say in the waiting area and give them a chewie or tell them to bite every few minutes, and explain to them that this is perfectly normal will often do the trick!

Check out this article from Dr. Melissa Bailey (unrelated to Orthosnap, we just like her content!) where she discusses chewing exercises and chewies.

5. 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 origin aligner, or if they've already started treatment, wear the old aligner for another week or two to ensure the teeth are in the proper position for the new aligner.

While aligners may fit quite snugly and be difficult to insert with each new step, they will loosen up over a few hours 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.

If you have further issues, please contact us immediately.

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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