Metal braces have been straightening people’s teeth for decades. While traditional braces do a fine job, they draw a lot of unwanted attention to your teeth because of the metal brackets covering your smile. With Invisalign®, you will have an orthodontic treatment performed with clear aligners that won’t be distracting to your smile.
What is Invisalign®?
Instead of wires and brackets that cover your teeth in metal, Invisalign® offers a new method. It incorporates removable, clear, mouthguard-like aligners to properly straighten your teeth. Patients can easily slide the aligners over their lower and upper teeth as well as remove them at any time including special or business events.
Why Choose Clear Aligners
Dr. Darcey explains why Invisalign is a great orthodontic treatment to start today!
Benefits of Invisalign®
- Comfort – The aligners are made of durable plastic that is easy on your mouth. There will be some discomfort when putting in your aligners for the first time, but it is only temporary.
- Easy cleaning – Cleaning your teeth is much easier because you can remove your aligners while eating. Since you can take them out during meals, you can clean your teeth and make sure all food is removed before you put your aligners back in.
- Virtually invisible – No one can even notice that you’re wearing them, making Invisalign a seamless fit with your smile and lifestyle. When you straighten your teeth using traditional metal braces, the pesky brackets and wires can distract from your smile.
- Removeable – For the best results and a timely outcome, aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day. You have the flexibility to remove your aligners while eating, drinking, normal brushing and flossing. This allows for fresh breath and good oral hygiene.
- Virtual realignment plan – Invisalign allows you to view your virtual results and treatment plan before you start so you can see how your straightened teeth will look when your treatment is complete. Instead of imagining how much better it can be, you’ll be able to see it for yourself.
- No teeth grinding – Your Invisalign® aligners will also protect you against clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth in your sleep.
- No metal – Unlike traditional braces, there are no metal brackets or wires that could cause irritation or pain to your mouth.
While it’s tempting to tell everyone they can avoid the embarrassment and hassle of traditional braces and use Invisalign, not everyone is a good candidate for the clear acrylic aligners. The severity or changes you want to make is the main determinant of eligibility. If the issues are too severe, such as a large overbite or serious jaw alignment problems, advanced orthodontic procedures are needed to shift the jaw. However, your aligners can handle moderate changes including crowding, gaps, overbites, underbites or crossbites.
Age and discipline are additional factors to consider when deciding on Invisalign. Candidates such as teenagers and adults are ideal since their teeth are finished growing. If a younger patient requires early intervention the problems are likely too severe for Invisalign aligners. Additionally, aligners are removable but must be worn at least 22 hours a day to be effective. Patients need to have the dedication and diligence about wearing the aligner trays to achieve a great smile.
Clear Braces vs Traditional Braces
Dr. Darcy explains the benefits of clear braces in contrast to traditional braces.
The Invisalign® Process
After a consultation to determine patient eligibility, Clear Lake Dental Care will work on a unique treatment plan. This plan includes a schedule for a series of Invisalign® trays that are unique to each patient and will perfectly align their teeth. Each tray will cater to specific teeth readjustments and once the aligners are set in place, they gradually shift the targeted teeth. Approximately every two weeks you will receive a new set of aligner trays to continue the teeth straightening process. The length of treatment is specific to each patient and depends on the severity of your case. However, the average case takes about 12 months for adults.
How Invisible Braces Work
Through the use of their patented thermoplastic design, Invisalign aligners are designed to move your teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force. Invisalign is not only able to control the applied force, but also the timing of the force. During each new stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move. As we map out your unique Invisalign treatment plan we will determine these movements.
Does Invisalign Hurt?
While Invisalign is able to move your teeth without the same pain and anxiety metal braces can cause, some people do experience temporary discomfort. This slight discomfort usually lasts for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This sense of discomfort is normal and patients typically describe it as a feeling of pressure. This is a great sign that Invisalign is working, as it moves your teeth to their final destination. Most patients explain that the discomfort typically goes away in a couple of days.
caring for my aligners
When removing your aligners for hygiene, use a soft bristle toothbrush with water and a small amount of toothpaste and brush them lightly. Clear Lake Dental Care recommends cleaning the outside of the aligners while they are on your teeth and removing them to clean the inside. It’s a good idea to use the Invisalign aligner cleaning products once a week to keep the aligners from developing any odors. Do not use denture cleaners to clean your aligners, and don’t soak them in mouthwash. Both of these cleaners can damage the surface of the aligners, making them dull and more visible, which defeats the purpose.
After Treatment Retainer
Our dentists will sit with you after your Invisalign treatment and assess your teeth realignment. We often recommend to our patients, whether braces or Invisalign treatment to use a retainer. They help prevent teeth from gradually shifting back towards their initial position.