If you’re considering braces to straighten your teeth and enhance your smile, then the Invisalign system is one you should take a long look at as an option. Invisalign clear aligners feature custom-made sets of trays that slowly move your teeth into the desired position.
Unlike traditional braces, which feature lots of metal and are VERY noticeable, Invisalign clear aligners are nearly invisible. They fit nice and snug over your teeth, slowly shifting your teeth in whichever direction they need to go to straighten out – vertically or horizontally. In fact, Invisalign clear aligners can even rotate your teeth into the proper position. They can accomplish that seemingly impossible goal because they are designed to use just the right amount of force in the right place at the right time.
The Invisalign clear aligner system works by having you change regularly (usually weekly) to a new set of aligners. At Personal Care Dentistry, each set of aligners is part of a custom treatment plan developed and mapped by Dr. Andrew Heinisch, our Invisalign expert.
If you think the Invisalign clear aligner system might be an option for you, we have answers below to the questions we most often get from patients about the system.
Why Choose Invisalign?
For many people, it’s the way Invisalign clear aligners look when they are wearing them. Called “invisible braces”, they are computer-manufactured and slide comfortably over your teeth for optimal fit. You remove them when you eat, drink, brush or floss. And unlike wire braces, there isn’t a need for regular wire tightening, and you can avoid the irritation to your teeth and cheeks that you get from wire braces.
Invisalign is a Serious Commitment
Like all braces, Invisalign is a big commitment. You should ideally be wearing your Invisalign clear braces 22 hours a day, every day. That means you’ll have two hours a day to remove them for eating, drinking and cleaning (unlike wire braces which are permanent).
Issues with Invisalign Braces
There are a a couple of areas of concern that patients sometimes mention when they use the Invisalign system. These include a slight lisp for some people, which generally goes away after a week or two. Kissing can be problematic, say some patients, but it’s often a bigger deal to the person wearing the braces rather than their partner. Finally, you will have to change your eating and drinking habits while using Invisalign clear braces, since you should remove them before eating or drinking. You need to brush before you put them back in your mouth.
How Long Does the Invisalign Treatment System Take?
Treatment duration varies by patient, but it usually takes between 22 and 30 aligner variations to achieve the desired result. This generally takes from six months to a year, but you’ll begin to notice results as soon as several weeks after you start.
Caring for Your Aligners
We usually recommend brushing your aligners with the toothpaste you are already using. You can also use cleaning tablets offered by Invisalign, or a mild denture cleaner. If you have wire braces, keeping your teeth clean is much more difficult.
Whiten While Using Invisalign
If you want whiter teeth while straightening your teeth with the Invisalign system, go for it! You can do both at the same time – just ask your dentist for the details.
Once you finish your course of treatment with the Invisalign system, you’ll need to wear a retainer at night to keep your teeth in place.
Sources: Colgate.com, WebMD, YourDentistryGuide.com, RealSelf.com