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Invisalign: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you cringe whenever you look at your smile in the mirror? Crooked teeth can make you hesitate to smile or speak in public for fear of people judging you. If you’re worried about getting braces at your age, don’t worry. Invisalign offers an inconspicuous way to straighten your teeth or close gaps in them so you can smile with confidence.

What Are Invisalign Aligner Trays?

Invisalign is an alternative to braces for straightening teeth, although some people call Invisalign invisible braces. They are not braces though, as they don’t use brackets and wires to move teeth. Instead, Invisalign uses a series of transparent aligner trays that look like retainers to shift teeth slowly and gently into alignment. The aligner trays are removable, so users can eat and take care of their dental hygiene needs.

There are other clear aligner trays on the market, but Invisalign is the oldest and they have the most satisfied customers. Their aligner trays, which are BPA- and latex-free, are made from the company’s patented SmartTrack material. It makes the trays highly efficient at moving teeth quickly. You’ll switch out your trays every two to three weeks and visit the dentist about every month.

Which Patients Are Appropriate Candidates for Invisalign?

Invisalign’s technology is constantly evolving; today it can treat crowded teeth, gaps between teeth and correct most bite issues. Severe or very complex misalignments of the teeth may require metal braces to correct. The typical Invisalign user is an adult or a teen whose teeth are no longer growing.

If you’re wondering if you or your teenager should get Invisalign, ask yourself:

  1. Am I or is my teenage child disciplined enough to keep the aligners in long enough each day? The most difficult part of having a removable orthodontic appliance is keeping it in as many hours as required. This can range from 20 to 22 hours a day.
  2. Will my teenager brush after every meal, even at school? A travel toothbrush is essential. Sometimes, it can be embarrassing to brush your teeth at work or at school, but if you don’t, plaque and bits of food will stay on your teeth. Then, the aligner tray traps them and saliva can’t wash them away, leading to decay and cavities. You don’t want cavities or gum disease once your teeth are straight.
  3. Can I keep track of an aligner tray and not lose it? Aligners often get lost on food trays or at friend’s houses. It must go in the case your dentist provides whenever it’s out. Dentists can replace a lost aligner, but if you lose them repeatedly, it will delay your treatment.

What Do I Have to Do to Get Invisalign?

  1. You have to see an Invisalign qualified dentist first. He or she will examine your teeth and take x-rays to determine if you’re a suitable candidate. If you are, the dentist will explain how Invisalign works and what your responsibilities are to make sure your treatment goes as planned.
  2. Your dentist will take a digital scan of your mouth so the Invisalign lab can fabricate a series of aligner trays to shift your teeth into the desired position. You’ll learn how long treatment will take and what results you can expect.
  3. You’ll receive your first sets of aligner trays. You will also make an appointment for your next visit for more trays, usually in six to eight weeks. Your dentist will also explain how to clean your aligner trays so they remain crystal clear and inconspicuous.

How Will Invisalign Affect My Life?

Invisalign shouldn’t have a major effect on your life. Little should change in your daily routine except:

  1. You will brush your teeth after every meal and snack. This is essential to prevent cavities and gum disease. Brushing your teeth at least three times a day is a good habit to get into. A travel toothbrush and toothpaste kit will become your best friend.
  2. You may lisp for a day or two after getting your first aligner tray. Practice speaking with a friend until you get used to wearing the tray.
  3. You may feel slight discomfort when you change aligner trays. It’s usually less than patients feel when they have their conventional braces adjusted each month. Many of our patients change their aligner trays out at night so they sleep through the discomfort.
  4. You have to learn how to clean your aligner trays properly. If you brush them with a toothbrush and toothpaste, they can scratch, ruining their near invisibility.
  5. You can still kiss with Invisalign in. They fit tightly against your teeth so they won’t slip or move, although the first kiss will feel different.
  6. If you play a wind instrument, you may need to take your aligner out to play.
  7. If you play contact sports, you have to remove your aligner tray and put in a sports mouth guard. An aligner tray cannot protect your teeth from a blow to the mouth.

Most patients feel Invisalign is 100 percent worth it, despite any slight inconveniences during treatment.

What Happens After Invisalign Treatment?

After you wear your last aligner tray, you can admire your newly straightened teeth. Unfortunately, they will shift back to their original position if you don’t wear a retainer. Your dentist will determine how many hours a day you need to wear the retainer after treatment. It’s longer at first, and then decreases over times. We can supply you with a comfortable, clear retainer similar to your aligner trays, but longer lasting.

Where Can I Find Invisalign?

You may find many local dentists offering orthodontic work, but not all dentists can offer Invisalign. Dentists have to go through a rigorous training program before they can offer Invisalign. Call us to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Invisalign dentists to see if you are a good candidate for the teeth straightening technology. Our team strives to offer the personalized service you deserve so you can make the best decision about your orthodontic care.

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