Invisalign® in Webster & Houston, TX
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.
Invisalign® 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.
Who’s A Good Candidate For Invisalign® In Webster, TX?
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.
Invisalign aligners are practically invisible, and do not draw attention to the mouth; it is extremely hard to identify whether or not someone is wearing them. In addition, Invisalign offers many other benefits including:
- They are cosmetically appealing
- Little-to-no impact on daily life
- They are not painful
- Greater flexibility than traditional braces because aligners can be removed at any time
- Easy to maintain over time.
- No dietary restrictions
What Are Invisalign® Clear Aligners Made of?
Invisalign® aligners are made out of a strong, clear thermoplastic material, which is customized to fit each patient’s mouth and progressively move the teeth. The aligners are virtually undetectable when worn and may appear similar to custom teeth whitening trays.
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How Does Invisalign® 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.
The Invisalign® Treatment
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.
Caring For Your Clear 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.
Invisalign® Vs. Traditional Metal Braces
While traditional metal braces come with pesky brackets and wires that are bonded to your teeth, Invisalign straightens your teeth using clear aligners that resemble a retainer. No one will be able to tell that you are having orthodontic treatment, and cleaning your teeth will be much easier! Cleaning your teeth will be easier because you’ll be able to remove your Invisalign aligners to eat and clean your teeth.
Invisalign® Vs. Invisible Braces
Some people think that Invisalign and invisible braces are the same thing. They aren’t. Invisalign uses clear acrylic aligner trays to move the teeth. They are worn just like a sports mouth guard. They can be removed for eating and cleaning the teeth. They are very comfortable and do not rub the gums or lips in any way. They are completely clear and very difficult for anyone to detect even when talking with you at close range.
Invisible braces are simply traditional braces that use ceramic for the bands/brackets. These can either be transparent or made to match the color of your teeth. Wires connect the bands to create pressure to move the teeth. These brackets are more visible than Invisalign, as are the wires connecting them.
Invisible braces cause the same tongue, lip, and cheek irritation as traditional braces. They are also more painful when adjusted once every month.
Invisible braces can be used for more severe orthodontic movement than Invisalign. Invisalign is designed for moderate movement. Invisible braces can treat severe crossbites, malocclusions, very crooked teeth, and flaws with the jaw.
What are Invisalign® Chewies?
Chewies are used twice a day, or whenever you take out your aligners (such as when eating) and put them back in. You move the chewie from one side of your mouth to the other, biting down on it in each place, to fully seat the aligner trays. The chewie is small enough to fit into your Invisalign case, making it easy to carry with you throughout the day.
What Happens If I Forget To Wear My Invisalign® For Over A Day?
Can I Eat With My Invisalign® Aligners On?
Can I Drink With My Invisalign® Aligners On?
You can drink plain water with your aligners in. You can’t drink anything else — no juices or soft drinks.
Will Invisalign® Change The Shape Of My Face?
Invisalign will not change your face shape in a detrimental fashion. However, if you had protruding teeth, your lips were likely pushed outward. This will be changed after Invisalign brings the teeth backward and straightens them. If you have an overbite, an underbite, or a crossbite, there will be some change, as well. These are typically cosmetic improvements thanks to your new aligned teeth and smile.
Will I Need To Wear A Retainer After Invisalign®?
Those who’ve had regular braces know that a retainer is needed after your bands are removed to keep your teeth from drifting back. The same is true with Invisalign. But instead of retainers that uncomfortably click onto the roof of your mouth, Invisalign uses Vivera retainers made of the same material as Invisalign aligners. The retainers are similar to the aligners but are thicker and more durable because they need to be worn for longer periods than the two-week aligners. Patients receive four Vivera retainers, as well, so they replace them over the course of their retention to keep them from becoming less-than-hygienically appealing.
Can Invisalign® Affect My Speech? Will I Develop A Lisp?
You may have heard rumors of an “Invisalign lisp.” It is true that some patients develop a temporary lisp when wearing their aligner trays. A lisp is a speech defect that causes “s” and “z” sounds to be pronounced as “th.” Lisps are caused by improper tongue placement inside the mouth during speech. This affects airflow and pronunciation.
Some patients with Invisalign (and with traditional braces, by the way) develop lisps because the aligner trays alter the space within their mouth, causing the tongue to move a little differently, and altering some pronunciation. The vast majority of patients simply adjust to the thin plastic trays and the temporary lisp is just that… temporary.
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.
What To Expect After Your Invisalign® Treatment
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.