Many adults, and even teens, shy away from getting their teeth straightened because they don’t like the idea of metal braces. There are a number of reasons why the idea of wearing traditional braces may make people hesitate.
It’s true that traditional braces aren’t the most attractive-looking things. That holds true for tooth-colored or clear braces as well, even though they’re much harder to see. And, the prospect of having a “mouthful of metal” puts some people off. You may have heard complaints from braces-wearers about the insides of their mouths being irritated or even cut.
For adults, traditional braces can cause embarrassment in work or social situations. Teens may be concerned about teasing from their peers.
At Orthodontic Alliances, we know that traditional braces may be the only answer for people with severely misaligned teeth. But for many cases of overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite (where the top and bottom teeth don’t meet), crowded teeth, gapped teeth, and others, Invisalign® may provide a very welcome solution.
What is Invisalign?
Traditional braces use brackets (pads) that are affixed to the teeth with adhesive. Metal wires connect the brackets.
Instead of brackets and wires, Invisalign uses a series of customized, clear plastic aligners that fit snugly over your teeth. The aligners provide the pressure to gradually move your teeth into the correct positions. Invisalign aligners are very difficult to spot once they’re in place. That means you can smile with confidence.
You wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day for best results. You remove them to eat – both meals and snacks – and to brush and floss. That means you can eat all the foods you normally eat – there are no food restrictions like there are with traditional braces. You’ll care for your teeth as usual which avoids another potential issue with braces.
After about two weeks, you move the next aligner in your customized series. That continues the process of moving your teeth into alignment.
Invisalign Frequently Asked Questions
Do I wear Invisalign while I sleep?
For the best results, Invisalign should be worn 20 to 22 hours a day. The aligners are designed specifically for you. You needn’t worry about them popping off or coming loose. If you wear your aligners less than the recommended 20 to 22 hours each day, your treatment will take longer to complete.
How long does Invisalign treatment take?
Everyone’s circumstances are different, so there’s no firm answer. Many people find that Invisalign treatment can be completed in a year, which compares very favorably with traditional braces. Your doctor will be able to estimate the length of your treatment course.
Will Invisalign irritate the inside of my mouth?
No. The clear plastic aligners are smooth. There are no jagged edges or protruding pieces that would irritate or cut your gums, tongue, or the insides of your cheeks.
Will I have to see the dentist during treatment?
Yes. You’ll have periodic visits with your doctor to check your progress. You should also have regular dental checkups and cleanings.
What happens once I’m done with Invisalign treatment?
To maintain your teeth’s new alignment, you’ll need to wear a retainer at night. Retainers are necessary whether teeth are moved by traditional braces or Invisalign.
Are there any downsides to Invisalign?
There’s just one potential complication, and that’s if you don’t wear the aligners as recommended. Unlike traditional braces, which work 24/7 to realign your teeth, success with Invisalign depends on you following treatment recommendations.
Can kids use Invisalign?
Invisalign is designed to move permanent, adult teeth into alignment. Teens whose permanent teeth have come in and adults can benefit from Invisalign treatment. It’s not approved for use with children, though, because their “baby” teeth will naturally come out on their own.
Getting Started with Invisalign
Call our office at 219-809-6584 to schedule a consultation. We’ll take digital images and your doctor will perform an examination. After those are complete, you’ll know whether Invisalign is right for you or if you would be better served with another orthodontic solution. Your doctor will discuss every aspect of your treatment and answer any questions you may have.
Don’t live with crooked teeth any longer. All of us at Orthodontic Alliances are committed to helping you achieve your best smile and to eat without discomfort. Call our office today at 219-809-6584 to see if Invisalign is right for you. You may be able to enjoy the benefits of having straight teeth without the social or physical discomfort that can accompany traditional braces.