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Invisalign: Frequently Asked Questions
Do crooked teeth or gaps between your teeth bother you? It’s embarrassing, but it’s also unhealthy to have crooked teeth because they are hard to brush and floss. If you didn’t get braces as a teenager, or you did and didn’t wear your retainer and your teeth shifted back, you can still get orthodontic work as an adult. Invisalign makes it possible to fix your teeth without getting very noticeable braces.
What Dental Problems Is Invisalign Used to Fix?
Invisalign is clear aligner tray technology which repositions teeth. Unlike braces that use brackets and wires to align teeth, Invisalign uses retainer-like trays, changed every two weeks. They’re custom-made to move misaligned and crooked teeth gradually, but most importantly, discretely. The aligner trays are transparent, so they are virtually invisible. Many people prefer not to announce to the world that they are having orthodontic work done. Unlike braces, where brackets are glued to the teeth, Invisalign trays are removable. You must wear them 22 hours a day, so they can only come out when you eat and brush your teeth.
Patients change their aligner trays about every two weeks for between six to 18 months, depending on the custom treatment plan they receive. You’ll see your dentist approximately every six to eight weeks for new trays and to check your progress.
Who Is a Suitable Candidate for Invisalign?
Adults and teens who want a less visible way to correct misalignments are usually good candidates for Invisalign since the technology has improved so it can correct more issues than before. Overbites, underbites, gaps and crooked teeth are not a problem for Invisalign as long as the issue isn’t severe.
Disciplined individuals are usually the ideal candidates. If your teen wants Invisalign instead of braces, consider discussing these questions with them before committing.
- Has your teen’s jaw and teeth stopped growing?
Your dentist can help you decide if he or she is ready for Invisalign. It won’t make sense to try and correct an alignment when your child’s teeth are still moving.
- Will your teen wear the aligner trays 22 hours a day?
It may be tempting for some teens to leave their aligners out longer than necessary to eat and brush their teeth. If your teen is tempted to take them out for other activities, they must plan their time carefully. Patients who don’t comply will significantly lengthen their treatment time.
- Will my teen follow the teeth brushing guidelines?
If you wear Invisalign, you must brush after every meal. Plaque and bits of food build up on everyone’s teeth after eating, but if you’re wearing an aligner tray, saliva can’t rinse most of it away. Your teen will have to take a travel toothbrush with them to school and when they go out to the mall or anywhere else they will eat or drink anything but water.
- Does your teen care about the invisibility aspect of Invisalign?
There are many teens that may not be that concerned with the visibility aspect of braces, and in fact, may even enjoy the colored rubber bands that go around the brackets. However, other teens may be adamant against the use of traditional metal braces. It will be worth having a conversation with your teen about their preference and making a decision after speaking with your dentist as well.
What Are the Steps to Get Invisalign?
- Your first step is an initial appointment with a dentist. He or she will evaluate your jaw and teeth and ask you about your smile goals. He or she will assess your teeth, jaw, mouth and orthodontic needs, and you’ll have the opportunity to explain your end goals.
- Your dentist will either take a putty impression or digital scan of your teeth to create the aligner trays for the course of your treatment and to monitor your progress. He or she will send them to the Invisalign lab so they can create your aligner trays and send them to your dentist.
- You’ll wear your aligners as directed, returning for office visits to pick up new aligner trays.
- After you wear your last tray, your dentist will talk to you about how to maintain your results.
Can Invisalign Fit in My Life Easily?
Invisalign will make your life easier than if you had chosen braces. Its advantages include:
- You can eat what you want, as long as you brush your teeth after each meal or snack. With braces, certain foods are forbidden.
- You can take Invisalign’s trays out to brush your teeth, so you won’t need to use floss or a pick to clean the brackets associated with conventional braces.
- You can remove your aligner tray for special occasions, such as photographs, as long as you leave them in for 22 hours each day.
- You will lisp for a few days after getting your first aligner tray. This would happen with braces as well, since your mouth is getting used to a foreign object.
- Aligner trays from Invisalign are comfortable; there are no wires that can break and poke the inside of your mouth.
What Happens After I Wear My Last Aligner Tray?
To maintain the results, you’ll need to wear a retainer for a period determined by your dentist. He or she will talk to you about the types of retainers available and recommend the one best in your case. Most retainers are clear and as discrete as aligner trays. After the first few months, you’ll most likely only wear it at night anyway.
Where Is the Best Place to Get Invisalign?
You should look for a qualified local dentist who makes you feel comfortable since you will return to the office every six to eight weeks for a progress check and new trays. Our Invisalign trained dentists and the rest of our team are caring and compassionate. Call our practice to schedule a consultation. We look forward to showing you an example of the personalized care we offer all our patients.