With so many options on the market for orthodontic treatment, there is a lot of research to do before you make any final decisions about your treatment! Of course, your orthodontist will be able to review all of your best options for your individual situation with you when you go to their office for your consultation. As you consider seeking orthodontic care or make the decision about which treatment plan is right for you, we wanted to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Invisalign.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a series of clear dental trays that are molded to fit your teeth and are switched out for new ones approximately every two weeks. While other brands produce similar products, Invisalign is most commonly known clear aligner system. In order to stay on track with your treatment plan, Invisalign trays must be worn for 22 at least hours per day, and must be removed for eating. Invisalign treatment plans often include additional clear attachments to the trays that are designed to help specific teeth move where they need to be. These attachments are slightly more visible than the trays themselves, and look like clear braces when you are wearing them.

What kind of issues can Invisalign fix?

Ultimately, your board-certified orthodontist will be the one to determine whether or not Invisalign may be an effective treatment option for you. In general, Invisalign may be a viable choice if you only have minor issues to fix, such as crowded teeth, gapped teeth, minor overbite, underbite, or open bite. Invisalign can move your teeth horizontally, but is not as effective when teeth need to be shifted vertically.

Invisalign appeals to different patients for different reasons. Invisalign may be the right choice for you if you are frequently involved in contact sports, as the aligners offer more protection for teeth than traditional metal braces do. Invisalign may also be a less conspicuous orthodontic option for patients who are concerned about the visibility of braces.

How do I know if Invisalign isn’t the right choice for me?

Invisalign can be great and effective for some patients, but it is not the only awesome orthodontic treatment out there. Invisalign cannot address some issues as well as traditional metal braces can. Your orthodontist will know if your situation is too severe to be corrected with Invisalign, or if your specific needs cannot be met by Invisalign.

Another aspect of treatment to consider is the frequency of orthodontic office visits you are able to commit to. Your Invisalign trays need to be changed out every 2 weeks, as opposed to traditional braces which only need adjustments every 4-6 weeks. Sometimes orthodontists are able to give their patients multiple trays at a time, reducing the frequency of their visits. This is something you will want to ask your orthodontist about because factors like insurance and your specific treatment plan will affect your appointment frequency.

In some ways, Invisalign requires more responsibility from the patient than traditional braces do. Invisalign trays are removable, which many patients find appealing and convenient. However, the trays need to be worn for at least 22 hours per day in order to be effective. If the patient is not able to stick to this commitment due to scheduling or forgetfulness, then traditional braces may be a better option for them.

How do I take care of my Invisalign?

Keeping your teeth and Invisalign trays clean is extremely important to ensure effective treatment and a bright, healthy smile at the end! It is important to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth before you put your trays back in each time. Any food particles or residue left over on or between your teeth can easily stain or damage your clear aligners. In addition, because the trays create a kind of seal over your teeth, your teeth may be more likely to suffer damage and cavities from leftover food.

You’ll also need to thoroughly clean your Invisalign aligners every day. Keep a separate toothbrush on hand just for your aligners, and avoid using whitening toothpaste directly on them as it can leave a dull residue. Soak your trays in solution at least once per day, and keep your case with you when you leave the house so you always have a safe, clean place to store your trays.

We hope the answers to these questions helped you learn more about Invisalign. If you have any questions or are ready to begin your orthodontic journey with us, schedule a consultation today!