Invisalign is the name of an alternative orthodontic treatment. When you think of orthodontic treatments, you may think of traditional metal braces. These are still relatively popular (and necessary for some patients). However, there are other options. Rather than using brackets and metal to straighten your teeth, you use plastic aligner trays to shift your teeth gently.
How Do They Work?
Initially, you will go to your dentist for a consultation. They will thoroughly examine your teeth and likely take x-rays. They do this to get a full understanding of your teeth and how they need to shift. Additionally, your dentist will have to determine if you are a candidate for Invisalign. Some bite problems need different orthodontic treatments.
If you are a good candidate, they will take impressions of your teeth. Rather than using a gooey paste, your dentist can use technology to scan your teeth. Many patients prefer this method because biting into a mold can cause gagging. They will use the information from the scans to create your aligner trays.
Once your trays are ready, your dentist will walk you through how to take care of them. You will need to wear them nearly all the time—roughly 22 hours a day. Most of the time, your dentist will recommend that you only take your aligner trays out to eat and perform your oral hygiene routine twice a day. Otherwise, you need to wear them as often as possible. Around every two weeks, you will use the next set of aligners in your rotation. This will gently shift your teeth over time.
What are the Benefits?
Invisalign aligners are much more convenient than many other orthodontic treatments. Unlike metal braces that cement to your teeth, you can remove Invisalign aligners whenever you need. This is especially beneficial when it comes to oral health. You cannot remove metal brackets to clean your teeth and gums thoroughly. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult to remove plaque from between your teeth and underneath your gum line, increasing your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
With metal braces, it is hard not to see them—the eye is drawn to them. However, Invisalign aligners are practically invisible. This is because they are clear plastic. As a result, you don’t have to worry about your orthodontic treatment showing up in photos or important events.
Because Invisalign aligners are removable, you don’t have to change your diet. With traditional braces, you have to avoid foods that will stain your teeth or damage your braces. For example, tortilla chips or popcorn can break the metal between your brackets. If the metal breaks, it is a hazard for your cheeks and gums, and it will disrupt your alignment journey. Invisalign aligners don’t carry this same risk because you remove them to eat. As a result, you can keep eating your favorite foods.
Invisalign aligners are much more comfortable than other orthodontic treatments. You don’t have to worry about harsh brackets or poking metal hurting your cheeks or gums.