What is Invisalign?
Invisalign® clear aligners serves as an alternative method to traditional metal braces. It has become a very popular method over the years.
Invisalign Treatment As the name implies, Invisalign clear aligners are made of almost invisible polyurethane plastic. Rather than being cemented or bonded to the teeth as metal or clear braces are, clear aligners are entirely removable. If you have some important social occasions, for eating, and, most importantly, for tooth-brushing and flossing, you don’t have to keep them on. This advantage can also be a disadvantage: It means you must resist the temptation to take your aligners out more than is advised. Here are some other advantages of the Invisalign system:
- Improved Oral Hygiene — With an orthodontic appliance that is removable, you will be able to clean your teeth much more easily than if you were wearing metal braces.
- A Subtle Look — If you envision your orthodontic treatment to be a private matter, or simply feel that metal braces don’t fit with your self-image, a nearly invisible form of orthodontic treatment could suit you.
- More Dietary options — To help protect metal wires and braces, some diet alterations are necessary. With clear aligners, you can still bite into an apple or a crispy pizza crust.
- Comfort — Invisalign is made with a thin, flexible material that will not irritate the soft tissues of the mouth, as metal wires and braces can.
- Teeth-Grinding Protection — If you have a teeth-grinding or clenching habit, clear aligners can function as thin night guards that will protect your teeth from excessive wear.
Clear aligner technology has been improving over the years and can correct many malocclusions that once would have been too complicated for this form of Invisalign Treatment. That being said, there are still some situations for which traditional braces would be a better method. The dentist will discuss this in detail with you.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign clear aligners work the same way traditional braces do, they softly apply controlled forces to the teeth to move them into a better position. But they are not made of metal; instead, they are made of clear, flexible plastic.
A specialized computer software is used to design a plan for moving your teeth from their current positions into the best possible alignment. This movement is broken down into many stages. For each stage, the Invisalign Treatment will manufacture two plastic mouth “trays” or “aligners,” one to fit over your top teeth and one for the bottom. You will wear this first set of trays for two weeks, with a minimum of 20 hours per day. You will then move on to the next set of aligners in your series to accomplish the next stage of gradual movement. You will keep doing this until your teeth are correctly aligned. The process will all be explained in detail by our dentists.
In the past several years, two features have been added to make Invisalign a more suitable orthodontic treatment method for teenagers. Special “eruption tabs” hold the appropriate amount of space open for molars that have not fully grown in. Invisalign for teens also comes with “compliance indicators” built into the aligner material, which fade with wear. This allows parents, dentists, and the teens themselves, to make sure the trays are being worn as prescribed. Treatment with Invisalign can only be successful if this is the case.
Caring for Your Teeth During Invisalign Treatment
As previously mentioned, one of the core advantages of the Invisalign treatment system is that the trays are easily removable and very easy to clean. It is very important to do this and maintain consistently! You’ll need to brush your teeth after every meal or snack so that food and plaque do not get trapped in the aligners, which could promote tooth decay and gum disease. We also recommend that you clean your aligners regularly; that can be done by brushing them and rinsing them with lukewarm water.
Also, please keep in mind that while wearing clear aligners is very different from wearing braces, the importance of retaining your post-treatment results is exactly the same. You’ll want to be sure to wear your retainer(s) exactly as prescribed after your treatment is completed to protect your investment in a beautiful new smile.