If your teeth are currently misaligned, you may be weighing your orthodontic options. Nowadays, you don’t have to settle for traditional braces in order to have perfectly straight teeth. Additional orthodontic devices, such as the Invisalign system, are available.
Even if you have seen commercials about Invisalign, you may still know little about the system and what it entails. Here is a bit of information to help you better understand this orthodontic option.
Invisalign Uses Plastic Aligners
The Invisalign system consists of multiple sets of smooth, clear, plastic aligners that fit over your teeth. Each set of aligners is worn for two weeks and then exchanged for the next set in your treatment plan. As you progress from one set of aligners to the next, your teeth are increasingly straightened. After your last set of clear aligners is worn, your teeth should be in their proper positions.
Your Teeth Must be Assessed
If you believe that Invisalign is the right option for your needs, you still need to have your teeth assessed by your dentist. The provider will review your teeth to determine the degree of misalignment. If your teeth are excessively crooked or you have severe bite problems, traditional braces may be a better option. Invisalign is usually reserved for people with moderate misalignment issues.
Once the dentist determines that Invisalign is suitable for your needs, an impression of your mouth is obtained. In addition, 3D imagery is used to determine how your teeth will likely change throughout the course of your treatment with Invisalign.
Invisalign Aligners Are Customized
The Invisalign aligners are created from a mold of your teeth to precisely fit the custom contours of your mouth and ensure that your dental alignment progresses as it should. Your Invisalign treatment will only work for your mouth specifically.
Aligners Are Removable
In order to hold the aligners in place, your orthodontist attaches small devices to your teeth that connect to the aligning trays. Still, the plastic aligners remain removable.
Invisalign Aligners Must Be Worn Regularly
Although you can remove your aligners at will, in order to successfully straighten your teeth, you must wear your Invisalign trays for at least 22 hours per day. This means that Invisalign aligners are even worn as you sleep. Nevertheless, the aligners can be removed to make eating and cleaning your teeth easier.
No Dietary Restrictions With Invisalign
With Invisalign, you can continue to eat the foods that you enjoy. The trays are often removed during meals and snacks. In addition, there are no wires or brackets that can be damaged by sticky substances.
Invisalign Aligners Can Stain
A new set of Invisalign aligners is practically invisible when worn. However, the aligners can become stained. Substances, such as cigarette smoke and coffee, can cause the aligners to yellow. As a result, it is best to refrain from smoking or drinking large amounts of coffee while your aligners are in place.
Your Dentist Will Check Your Progress Periodically
Approximately once every four to six weeks, your dentist will assess your teeth to ensure that you are making steady progress. During your last Invisalign appointment, the fasteners that were applied to connect the aligners can be removed.
Invisalign Has Advantages
Invisalign does have advantages when compared to traditional metal braces. Here are a few of them:
- Invisalign is discreet. When you wear Invisalign, the aligners are barely noticeable. With metal braces, the brackets can make it difficult for others to focus on the features of your face or what you are saying as you speak.
- Invisalign is only mildly uncomfortable. Although you will need to become accustomed to wearing your aligners, any discomfort associated with the Invisalign system is generally mild. Many people find the aligners to be much more comfortable than metal braces. The brackets and wires of braces often cause cuts and abrasions to the soft tissues of the mouth.
- The trays are removable. With Invisalign, the ability to freely eat and care for your teeth offers a large advantage over traditional metal braces. No special devices are needed to clean your teeth throughout your treatment process. In addition, you can eat without the embarrassment of having food caught in your brackets.
Invisalign Is for Teens and Adults
Invisalign is usually only prescribed for teenagers and adults. The system is not typically suitable for children because it requires the patient’s palate to be fully grown.
For more information about Invisalign, contact our office to schedule an appointment.