Invisalign is the clear alternative to traditional braces. Instead of those uncomfortable metal brackets, this orthodontic treatment supplies a series of 3D-printed, removable trays that you, the patient, would wear for at least 22 hours per day. This treatment plan has become more and more popular over the years, as many people prefer a less visible method than traditional braces. That said, there are a few things every patient should know before beginning the Invisalign journey.
Invisalign is much less noticeable than traditional metal braces, which are placed on the outer surfaces of your teeth. Invisalign is often preferred by patients for aesthetic reasons. Both adults and teens that might otherwise feel self-conscious of the appearance of braces can benefit from these discreet, clear aligners. As an added bonus, the plastic trays tend to be more comfortable than metal braces.
However, it is important to note that Invisalign is not 100% invisible. Many patients require “buttons,” or small attachments that stick out from the tray to help facilitate the movement of your teeth. Before a patient begins to wear Invisalign aligners, an orthodontist will place a button directly on the tooth where additional pressure is needed from the aligner to create optimal movement of your tooth. Don’t worry, though: buttons are white, and depending on the number of attachments and their placement, many patients find that they are not noticeable.
Eating and Brushing
One of the biggest benefits of choosing Invisalign is that they are removable. Time and time again, patients are pleased with the fact that they can still eat whatever they want! In fact, with metal braces, sticky food can become lodged in the bracket or arch wire. It can even damage the braces, affecting treatment time if not repaired right away. With Invisalign, it is simple to remove the trays and enjoy your meals and brushing as normal.
What’s the catch? Invisalign really can be taken out whenever it is time for eating, drinking, and brushing. However, optimal wear for Invisalign is 22 hours a day. Treatment may not work properly if a patient neglects to do so. Liquids other than water can stain the aligners, so it is important to stick to the cool water only rule when wearing Invisalign. Hot liquids can also warp the trays, so they will not work properly, so be sure to take them out whenever you plan to drink your morning cup of coffee!
The beauty of Invisalign is that all the aligners are pre-planned and molded in advance. And with fewer consultations required to ensure that treatment is working properly, you get to skip the lengthy office visits and save those personal days!
What if, during a consultation, the orthodontist finds that an Invisalign tray is not working properly? This can happen. Sometimes it is an easy fix, such as the orthodontist recommending using “chewies,” which are soft devices that patients chew on to create a tighter fit with the aligners. However, if an orthodontist finds that it is a bigger issue, such as a “difficult tooth” that doesn’t want to move, subsequent aligners may need to be ordered and worn for a longer length of time.
Choosing an orthodontia plan that is right can feel overwhelming, but our orthodontists are here to help. Do not hesitate to book a consultation with one of our qualified specialists to choose the option best for you!