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. The aligners look like transparent mouthguards that slide over your lower and upper teeth. They are nearly impossible to see, so there’s nothing to take away from your beautiful smile. Because Invisalign® aligners can be removable, you are able to eat the foods that you enjoy. You can also brush and floss without the worry of food getting caught in your braces. You can also remove your aligners for special events or business events.
Why Choose Invisalign
Dr. Darcey explains why Invisalign is a great orthodontic treatment to start today!
Benefits of Invisalign®
- Invisalign® is comfortable.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.
- Cleaning your teeth when using Invisalign® is a huge benefit. Cleaning your teeth is much easier because you can remove your Invisalign® aligners. You can also remove your aligners when you eat to make sure that food doesn’t get caught in them. Because 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.
- Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible. No one can even notice that you’re wearing them, making Invisalign a seamless fit with your smile and overall lifestyle. When you straighten your teeth using traditional metal braces, the pesky brackets and wires not only distract from your smile, but they also can get caught on your lip or cheeks, causing pain.
- Invisalign aligners are removable. 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 to eat and drink what you want during treatment. Removable aligners allow you to brush and floss as normal, for fresh breath and good oral hygiene.
- Invisalign allows you to see your realignment plan virtually. 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.
- Your Invisalign® aligners will also protect you against clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth.
- Unlike traditional braces, there are no metal brackets or wires that could cause irritation to your mouth.
Who is a Good Candidate for Invisalign®
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. Of course, a visit to the team at Clear Lake Dental Care will tell you for sure if you’re right for Invisalign, but short of that, here are key questions to ask.
What do you want to fix, and how severe is the condition?
This is the main determinant on eligibility for Invisalign. If the issues are too severe, such as a large overbite or serious jaw alignment problems, Invisalign isn’t meant to move teeth to that degree. More advanced orthodontic procedures are usually required to shift the jaw in these cases.
Invisalign can handle moderate changes, such as these:
- Gaps between teeth
What is your age?
Invisalign is perfect for older teenagers and adults, not because it is cosmetically so much easier to deal with, but because the teeth are finished growing. In most cases the teeth need to be finished growing for Invisalign to be an option. Usually, if problems merit early intervention the problems are too severe for Invisalign anyway.
How disciplined are you?
This isn’t a disqualifier for Invisalign treatment, but it is something to consider. Traditional braces don’t involve the patient doing much of anything. It’s not as though you can take off the bands if you don’t want to deal with braces that day. With Invisalign, however, you can remove the clear aligner trays anytime you want. You do remove them to eat and to clean your teeth, but it’s up to you to wear them the rest of the time. For Invisalign to be effective, the aligners need to be worn 22 hours per day. You need to be dedicated to having a great smile and be diligent about wearing the aligner trays.
Invisalign® vs Braces
Traditional metal braces have been the orthodontic standard for years, and people have just had to deal with the negatives that come along with them. With Invisalign®, you’ll no longer have to deal with the inconvenience of cleaning out food that is stuck in the brackets of your braces. Also, the days will be gone where a wire comes loose or a bracket falls off and you have to make unexpected trips to the dentist’s office! With Invisalign®, you can pleasantly and invisibly straighten your teeth!
How Invisalign® Works
A scheduled series of Invisalign® trays are uniquely designed for each patient, catering to their individual needs to perfectly align their teeth. This specific sequence will be determined by your doctor during consultation visits. Over the course of the treatment, each tray will cater to specific teeth readjustments. This schedule is created in advance by your doctor to acquire the most effective results. Once the aligners are set in place, they gradually shift the position of the targeted teeth. After approximately two weeks, you will received a new set of Invisalign® trays, continuing the teeth straightening process.
How does Invisalign move teeth?
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. These movements are determined by our dentists as we map out your unique Invisalign treatment plan.
Invisalign treatment time
The length of treatment is specific to each patient and depends on the severity of your case. During your consultation, we will take a closer look at your teeth and we will determine your specific treatment duration. The average case takes about 12 months for adults. The length of time necessary for a teen patient may vary and can be determined by your doctor.
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 is typically described 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.
Invisalign Eating Tips
The removable nature of the aligners allows for our patients to eat and drink whatever they like while on treatment. In fact, all patients are required to remove your aligners to eat and drink. This is different in comparison to traditional treatment that uses wires and brackets, in which there are restrictions to certain foods and drinks. For invisalign treatment, there is no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favorite foods and snacks unless instructed otherwise by your doctor. It is highly important that you brush your teeth after each meal and prior to reinserting your aligners to maintain fresh breath and proper hygiene.
How do I care for my aligner trays?
You remove your aligner trays when eating or drinking (except water), and to clean your teeth. When you remove them for hygiene, use a soft bristle toothbrush with water and a small amount of toothpaste and brush them lightly. It may be easier to clean the outside of your aligners by brushing them while they are still on your teeth. Then remove them to clean the inside surfaces. 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 Retainer After 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.