Whether you are just looking or have officially decided to get Invisalign, congratulations on your process to a better and more confident smile! If you have crooked teeth or an improper bite, you will need orthodontic help to correct your teeth. You will have the option to choose between traditional braces or Invisalign. Invisalign is a speedy and discreet solution to fixing a smile.
Some of the most popular benefits of Invisalign are the ability to remove your trays to eat and their clear, discreet design. These discrete trays are virtually invisible, and this means that no one will notice you are wearing them! Invisalign also fits in your lifestyle and offers you confidence that braces can’t.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a brand of orthodontic appliance that uses a series of clear removable aligners to straighten your teeth over time. The aligners are entirely different than traditional braces. Braces use brackets, wires, and uncomfortable mechanisms to straighten your teeth. Invisalign is made of a patented thermoplastic material that is thin and clean but also durable. Your custom-made aligners are easy to use and have minimal interference with your life.
Is Invisalign as effective as braces?
Invisalign can be just as effective as braces if worn correctly. If you are a forgetful person, traditional braces may be a better option for you. Invisalign patients must be diligent with their use of aligner trays, or the treatment won’t be as effective. Invisalign can treat crowded, crooked, gapped or spaced teeth, overbites or underbites, open bites, and crossbites.
How does Invisalign Work?
Once you meet with an orthodontist, they will create a treatment plan for you that will predict how the aligners can move your teeth with each set of trays. The treatment plan and aligners are designed digitally to apply the perfect amount of pressure to gradually move each tooth over the course of 12 – 18 months. Once the aligners are physically in hand, it is critical to wear the aligners for 20-22 hours per day.
Each aligner will typically need to be used for two weeks, to adjust and position the teeth adequately. Every two weeks, the aligners will be switched, and the correction process continues. Patients can usually go through 20-30 trays or more to get to their perfect smile. Throughout this entire process, your orthodontist will monitor your progress to make sure everything is running smoothly.
The following timeline is considered a typical Invisalign treatment process:
- A 3D mold of your teeth is computer-generated.
- A series of 20-30 aligners are digitally designed step by step to correct your smile over time.
- Thin clear plastic aligners are given to you.
- You wear the aligners over your teeth for 20-22 hours a day.
- You must switch to your next set of aligners about every two weeks.
- Invisalign takes under a year to correct a smile.
What are the benefits?
There are many benefits to choosing Invisalign besides it being nearly invisible. Most Invisalign regimens take between 12 and 18 months where braces can take a minimum of two years or more. Some Invisalign plans for minor issues can be completed in only three months. The length of your treatment depends on your situation. Many factors tie into treatment time, and your orthodontist will be able to give you a proper estimate of the time length.
Since Invisalign aligners are removable, it is easier for patients to maintain good oral hygiene. You can thoroughly brush and floss your teeth without maneuvering around brackets or wires. You are also able to use whitening toothpaste since you do not have to worry about brackets.
Comfort plays a significant role in deciding how to straighten your teeth. As previously mentioned, braces have brackets and wires and can be bulky and uncomfortable. The wires and brackets can scratch and cut the inside of your mouth, which can lead to having to use dental wax on your braces continually. Invisalign is made of a thin material that is molded to the mouth which patients generally find more comfortable.
Brushing, flossing, and eating with Invisalign
With Invisalign, aligners need to be removed to eat, brush, and floss. Oral hygiene does not have to suffer with Invisalign. You must remove your aligners to eat, and then brush and floss your teeth after every meal. Even though you do not have braces for food to get stuck into, it is still beneficial to cut down on sweets and high sugar foods.
When it comes time to clean your trays, you will need to add a few extra steps to your regular oral care routine. Toothpaste is excellent for your teeth but can potentially stain or scratch your trays. Toothpaste often contains whitening ingredients which can leave your clear aligners cloudy. To prevent this, use an antiseptic rinse or soak. When you brush your trays, make sure to use a different toothbrush than the one you use on your teeth. Soft-bristled brushes are better for your trays.
Invisalign for athletes
If you are an athlete and are in the process of straightening your teeth, Invisalign is a good option for you. For those who play high impact sports such as; gymnastics, basketball, baseball, or football, injury to your mouth can be a high probability. If you have braces and get hit in the mouth with a ball, the brackets and wires can become damaged and can injure your mouth, lips, and cheeks if a mouthguard isn’t worn.
During a game, you can remove your aligners and replace them with a sturdy mouthguard. Mouthguards offer the highest level of protection and can save your teeth and mouth from potential damage.
Who Qualifies for Invisalign?
Invisalign is a viable orthodontic treatment for both adults and teens who have all their permanent teeth. Invisalign can be a solution for adults and teens who have fully erupted, permanent teeth with no major skeletal malocclusions, severely rotated teeth, missing teeth, or open bites that need to be closed. There are some patients with complex cases that can be candidates for Invisalign. If you have a history of gum disease, the orthodontist may recommend that you see a periodontist before getting Invisalign. If you have more extreme issues regarding your teeth, traditional braces may be a better option for you. To see if you qualify for Invisalign, please feel free to make an appointment!
We hope you found the Invisalign information useful to your teeth straightening process. If you have any questions about Invisalign, please let us know! If you’d like to learn more about Invisalign, schedule a consultation today!