Do you want straight teeth without the hassle of brackets, metal, and wires invading your mouth? Invisalign is an excellent alternative to traditional braces, but are you familiar with the process that uses this device? Everything you need to know about Invisalign will be listed below; browse through this article to better understand how this process works and how it could benefit you in your journey to a straighter smile.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic device that consists of clear, plastic trays that fit over your teeth, like a mouthguard, to help straighten them. Typically, a patient will use multiple aligners throughout their treatment for the best results. This is an alternative option dentists offer when a patient might prefer Invisalign over traditional braces.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Each tray of Invisalign you receive from your dentist will be slightly different from the previous tray you were wearing. This is because instead of tightening the wire on traditional braces, the plastic trays are molded differently to gently push your teeth into a straighter alignment. Slowly over a schedule determined by your dentist, you will swap out trays to slightly alter your teeth alignment until everything is in position as the orthodontist sees fit.
For example, the first week, you wear the initial plastic tray; then, maybe, two weeks later, you will switch out the tray for one that is straighter than the previous one. This goes on for an extended period of time until your teeth are where they should be.
How Are the Aligners Created?
On your first appointment with an orthodontist, they will take an impression of your teeth as a starting point for your Invisalign. A professional will then create the aligners in-house or through a third-party vendor. A 3D printing process will take place to make each individual aligner you’ll wear throughout your treatment.
Is Invisalign the Better Option Over Traditional Braces?
While Invisalign is not necessarily better than traditional braces, it could be better for you. Speak with your dentist and orthodontist to better determine which type of braces would be best for your lifestyle. However, there are a few advantages to this type of treatment. Invisalign may be more comfortable to wear, they will look invisible on your teeth, you can remove them, and they work quicker at straightening your teeth than traditional braces.
On the flip side, traditional braces may be more affordable. Plus, your treatment might require the aid of traditional braces depending on the type of work you need to be done. For example, when your teeth are severely crowded, traditional braces work better than Invisalign.
Remember that your situation could call for one option or the other—the best way to know which is more beneficial is to speak with your dental provider.
Who Can Benefit the Most From Invisalign?
The typical candidates for Invisalign treatmentare usually teens or adults. The most crucial factor in determining who can benefit from Invisalign is if the patient is willing to stick with their treatment plan and wear the trays as recommended. If a patient never fits the trays over their teeth and refuses to wear them, their treatment will not be successful, and they’ll defeat the purpose of these aligners. Additionally, individuals with mild orthodontic issues such as over or under bites, crooked teeth, or gaps will benefit more from Invisalign treatment than those with more severe orthodontic issues.
Can You Eat With Invisalign In?
One thing you need to know about Invisalign is that you should never eat food while wearing your trays. If you do this, food particles could lodge between your teeth and the tray, leaving your gums and mouth vulnerable to bacteria. Instead, remove the tray and place it on a clean napkin before eating. You can fit the clean tray back over your teeth once you finish your meal.
How To Care for Your Oral Hygiene During Treatment
Due to the fact that you can remove these aligners from your mouth whenever you want, you can easily manage your regular oral hygiene. However, because the trays completely cover your teeth, you must be mindful and do a great job of brushing to remove as much plaque and bacteria from your mouth as possible. This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day—we recommend brushing and flossing after each meal to rid your teeth of as many food particles as possible. If a toothbrush is unavailable, chew on sugar-free gum and swish water to clean your teeth as best as possible.
Furthermore, before you place the tray back into your mouth after a meal, rinse the aligner to ensure no bacteria are lingering. You never want to cover your teeth with a dirty tray, or you could be inviting bacteria to marinate on your teeth and gums.
How Should You Clean the Aligners?
We touched on this subject above, but using clean aligners is critical to your treatment. Keeping a sanitary aligner will benefit your oral health and create better results once treatment is done. Generally, you can use toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently clean the tray daily. To note, you must never use mouthwash or denture cleaner for this process because it can make the Invisalign appear more visible in the mouth.
If You Remove the Trays, How Long Can They Stay Out?
We recommend that you only remove the trays to eat and brush your teeth. However, if a particular aligner is tight and bothersome, don’t leave it out for longer than two hours a day. Your treatment cannot be successful if you don’t wear the aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours daily. If you want to achieve the best results, leave the trays in for the entire day—even while you sleep!
Will You Need a Retainer After Treatment?
After finishing your treatment with Invisalign, your orthodontist might recommend wearing a retainer. You may be wondering why you need to wear a retainer after you just spent an extended period of time wearing a similar type of device. Retainers help prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original position. Wearing a retainer can help your teeth and mouth stay aligned as they should be.
Invisalign is a stupendous alternative to traditional braces, but you must ensure they’re suitable for you after consulting with your orthodontist. If you have any questions regarding treatment, do not hesitate to contact Cal Dental Group. Our team of professionals would love to answer any questions or concerns regarding the process of straightening your teeth with Invisalign.