You’ve probably heard of Invisalign, but you may not fully understand how it works.
Is getting Invisalign the right choice for you or your child?
The clear aligners offer an alternative to traditional metal braces with many advantages. It’s worth learning the pros and cons to understand if they’re the best choice for you.
Keep reading to find out what to expect when getting Invisalign.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a treatment designed to gradually straighten your teeth. The goal is to slowly shift the positioning of your teeth with steady pressure from the aligners. It works in a similar way to braces, but it doesn’t use the traditional brackets and wires.
How Does It Work?
The aligners consist of a clear flexible plastic material. It’s an FDA-approved material and is free of latex, BPA, and BPS.
The aligners are custom-made to fit your teeth snugly. When you slip the thin aligners on your teeth, they’re almost invisible because of the clear material and custom fit.
Gentle, consistent pressure from the retainers pushes your teeth into the correct position over time. You’ll switch out the retainers every two weeks, with each new set slightly different than the previous one to keep your teeth moving.
Because the aligners are removable, they’re much more flexible than traditional braces. You can take them out for certain activities to make your life easier.
Who Is Eligible?
Both teens and adults can get the Invisalign treatment. It works for most types of teeth straightening situations as well as bite issues.
Some cases are too complex for Invisalign and are better treated with traditional braces, but most cases can work with Invisalign. You’ll need a consultation with a dentist who performs the treatments to find out for sure if you’re eligible.
Benefits of Getting Invisalign
The clear retainers top the list of benefits for most people, especially adults who want to straighten their teeth discretely. You can’t really see the aligners when they’re in place, so it’s not obvious that you’re undergoing treatment.
Being able to remove the retainers any time is another big plus. It’s much easier to brush and floss your teeth with Invisalign than braces because you don’t have to work around the brackets and wires.
It also eliminates food restrictions. With traditional braces, you can’t eat anything that’s too hard, crunchy, chewy, or sticky because it can damage the braces.
With Invisalign, you take out your aligners when you eat. That means you can eat and drink anything you want without restrictions.
For athletes, Invisalign works well because you can remove them when you play. With metal braces, contact sports are dangerous. If you take a hit to the face, the metal from the braces can cause damage in your mouth.
Check out these reviews to learn more about what patients think of Invisalign.
Your Invisalign treatment starts with three-dimensional scans of your teeth to get an accurate map of where they are now. Your dentist then creates a digital treatment plan to gradually move your teeth where they should be for a straight smile.
You’ll wear your aligners 20 to 22 hours per day. They need to stay on that long to move your teeth effectively. The longer you can keep them in, the better they’ll work.
If you’re getting Invisalign for your teen, you can make sure they’re wearing them enough with a handy built-in feature. The teen aligners have a small blue dot on them. This indicator tells you if they’ve been worn long enough.
Each set of aligners is usually good for one to two weeks. Your dentist will let you know how long to wear each set based on your treatment plan. You’ll then move on to the next set to shift your teeth even more.
Your dentist typically gives you several sets of retainers per visit. You’ll swap them out at the right time. Most patients go back for checkups every four to six weeks to make sure everything is going smoothly and to get the next sets of aligners.
The total treatment typically lasts 12 to 18 months, but each case is unique and may take longer. You’ll notice improvements in your smile much sooner since the aligners are continuously shifting your teeth. Invisalign is usually faster than traditional braces.
Some people have extra attachments to help support the process. They’re called buttons, and they’re small attachments that go onto your teeth.
The point of the buttons is to help those teeth move a little faster. They may be used on certain teeth that need a little more help getting into alignment. No one will notice them when your aligners are in.
The aligners need regular cleaning to keep them clear and fresh-smelling, but the care is easy.
Rinse them in lukewarm water each time you take them out of your mouth. Store the aligners in their case if you leave them out for more than a few minutes. This protects them from damage and keeps them from getting dirty.
You can also clean them with clear antibacterial soap without any abrasive additives or fragrance. Dye in the soap can tint your retainers, so they’re no longer clear. Rinse well to avoid a soapy taste in your mouth.
Use a toothbrush to clean the nooks and crannies in the aligners. Be careful not to scrub too hard. Avoid using toothpaste, as it can be too abrasive and cause little scratches that make the trays more noticeable on your teeth.
You’ll also want to soak your trays daily. You can get Invisalign cleansing crystals or use denture cleaner. Never soak your aligners in mouthwash, as it can also tint the plastic.
Another important aspect of keeping your mouth clean is brushing and flossing your teeth. Clean your teeth each time you eat.
If you leave any food remnants on your teeth, they get pressed against them when you put your aligners back in. This can increase your chances of plaque and cavities.
Getting Invisalign could be the perfect fit for your teeth-straightening needs. The clear, removable straighteners let you live your life without as much disruption as regular braces. Keep reading our blog to learn more great information.