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
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,