Invisalign is a convenient alternative orthodontic treatment to traditional metal braces. They help you achieve straighter teeth and a more beautiful smile. Read on to learn everything you need to know about Invisalign, from how the treatment works to what you can expect during your journey to a straighter smile.
- 1 What Is Invisalign Treatment?
- 2 Who Are Good Candidates For Invisalign?
- 3 Are There Any Advantages To Invisalign Treatment?
- 4 Are There Any Disadvantages To Invisalign Treatment?
- 5 Is It Possible To Stain Invisalign Aligners?
- 6 How Do I Clean Invisalign Aligners?
- 7 How Long Does Invisalign Treatment Last?
- 8 Is Invisalign Suitable For Children?
- 9 Final Thoughts
- 10 Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Invisalign Treatment?
Invisalign, or invisible aligners, are a type of treatment that uses orthodontic aligners to address crowded or crooked teeth, tooth gaps, and misalignment of teeth. These aligners are made of clear, medical-grade plastic and are virtually invisible when worn. So nobody knows you’re wearing them unless you tell them.
Invisalign treatment is custom-made for each patient, and the Invisalign trays are changed every two weeks as your teeth gradually shift to their proper positions. It works by applying gentle, consistent force to the teeth to move them into place. Your dentist or orthodontist will place attachments on your teeth before you begin treatment. These attachments help the aligners grip your teeth and move them more effectively.
You must wear your aligners for at least 22 hours per day and only remove them for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing. As you wear each set, your teeth slowly shift into place.
Who Are Good Candidates For Invisalign?
Patients with mild to moderate crowding or misalignment of teeth are typically good candidates for Invisalign treatment. If you have more severe orthodontic issues, you may require traditional metal braces instead.
In addition, you should be in good oral health before starting Invisalign treatment. This means having healthy gums and no existing tooth decay. You should also be committed to wearing the orthodontic aligners almost throughout the day, every day, and cleaning them properly.
As for age, children aged 6 to 10 can start their treatment since dentists will create a personalised treatment plan for them.
Are There Any Advantages To Invisalign Treatment?
While Invisalign and traditional metal braces both straighten teeth effectively, some advantages of Invisalign make this treatment more appealing to some patients. These include:
- They’re practically invisible
Because Invisalign trays are clear, most people won’t even know you’re wearing them. This is in contrast to highly visible metal braces. So, this may be a good choice for adult patients concerned about the appearance of metals and wires in their mouths.
- They’re removable
You can take your aligners out to eat, drink, brush, and floss. This means there are no food restrictions, as with metal braces. With traditional braces, you must be careful about what you eat to avoid damaging the brackets and wires.
- They’re more comfortable
The smooth plastic material used for Invisalign is gentle on your gums and cheeks, unlike the metal brackets and wires of braces, which can cause irritation.
- They don’t require as many dental visits
Because you switch to a new set of Invisalign trays every two weeks, you won’t need to visit the dentist as often as someone with braces. With braces, you typically need to visit the dentist every 4-6 weeks for adjustments.
- The treatment time is shorter than traditional braces
The duration of Invisalign treatment is typically shorter than that of traditional braces. This means that you can achieve your desired results in a shorter timeframe. However, this varies depending on your case.
Are There Any Disadvantages To Invisalign Treatment?
Every treatment has its own advantages and disadvantages, and Invisalign is no different. Some disadvantages to Invisalign treatment include:
- They’re more expensive
Overall, Invisalign is more expensive than traditional braces.
- You have to be diligent about wearing them
Because the aligners are removable, you must be extra diligent about wearing them for at least 22 hours per day, as prescribed by your orthodontist. If you don’t wear them enough, your treatment will take longer.
- They are not designed for severe cases
Invisalign is more suitable for mild to moderate cases. If you have severe misalignment or bite issues, you will likely require traditional metal braces instead.
Is It Possible To Stain Invisalign Aligners?
Invisalign aligners can be stained like your natural teeth. This is more likely to happen if you don’t clean them properly or if you smoke cigarettes. When you don’t clean your aligners properly, plaque and bacteria can build up on their surfaces and cause them to become yellow.
For instance, if you are a heavy coffee drinker, you will likely see some staining on your natural teeth over time. This staining will also transfer to your Invisalign aligners if you don’t practise good oral hygiene.
In addition, eating and drinking while wearing your aligners can also lead to staining. This includes dark-coloured foods and drinks like berries, tea, red wine, and soda. Remember to always take out your aligners before consuming anything other than water
How Do I Clean Invisalign Aligners?
Below are helpful tips on how to care for and clean your Invisalign aligners:
- Rinse them with water before brushing to remove any loosened debris.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and clear soap to brush the aligners at least twice daily. It’s a good idea to do this at the same time when you brush your teeth.
- Avoid using toothpaste since it can be abrasive and cause scratching.
- Rinse the aligners thoroughly after brushing.
- Soak them in Invisalign cleaning crystals or denture cleaner for at least 10 minutes, at least once a day. Avoid soaking them in hot water, as this can cause them to warp. After taking them out of the soak, rinse them, let them dry, and put them back in your mouth.
- When they aren’t in use, store them in the Invisalign case that will be provided to you.
How Long Does Invisalign Treatment Last?
Every patient is different. That’s why your dentist will create a personalised treatment plan for you. However, most patients can expect to wear Invisalign for about 12 months. If you have milder dental issues, your treatment may be shorter, while more severe cases may take longer.
Here’s a timeline of what you can expect throughout your treatment:
- First two weeks
Some patients may notice a slight change in their smile during this time. However, this is very rare, and most won’t see any major changes.
- First three months
Many patients start to observe noticeable changes in their smiles during this time.
- Six months
At the six-month mark, patients have usually completed half of their treatment. If you don’t notice any changes in your fifth month, contact your dentist, as they may need to make some adjustments.
- Nine months
By now, patients are usually close to finishing their treatment. In fact, some with mildly misaligned teeth may have already completed treatment and are just wearing their aligners to ensure their teeth don’t relapse.
- One year
This is when most patients will have to achieve their desired results. Note that some people with more complex dental issues may need to wear their aligners for longer, even after this point, such as 18 months.
After your treatment, you will be given a retainer to wear at night for another six months or a year. Sometimes dentists even recommend wearing them for at least 22 hours a day for six months and then only at night for another six months before being free of them. Remember, wearing a retainer is important as it helps to keep your newly straightened teeth in place and not return to their original position.
Is Invisalign Suitable For Children?
Invisalign has different treatment plans and products for both adults and children. For children, Invisalign offers phase 1 treatment from 6 to 10 years old. The goal is to address dental problems early on, such as crowding, deep overbites, and crossbites.
Typically, you should have your children’s teeth evaluated at age 7 to see if they require any dental intervention. While they still have growing teeth at this time, dentists can assess their teeth and gums and see if they will need any kind of dental treatment in the future.
Like the regular Invisalign aligners for adults, your child should also wear their aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours a day and change them every one to two weeks.
Invisalign aligner treatment is a great way to achieve straight teeth and improve your quality of life without wearing metal braces. Not only are they virtually invisible, but they’re also removable, which means you can take them out to eat and brush your teeth easily. Although Invisalign treatment is usually completed within 12 months. Every patient is different, and your dentist can determine this after they assess your teeth.
If you’re considering Invisalign treatment, call us to book an appointment. One of the dentists at our clinic will assess your overall mouth condition and determine if you are a good candidate for this treatment.
AP Dental is a trusted dental clinic that offers Invisalign treatment. We are equipped with modern technology to allow us to provide quality dental services to patients. When you come for a consultation, one of the dentists will create a personalised treatment plan for you. They will discuss the treatment process, including its benefits, possible complications, expectations, and an estimated cost of your treatment. This way, you will be well-informed before making a decision. This is also your chance to ask any questions you may have about the treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
While it’s possible to eat while wearing your aligners, this is not recommended because small particles of food can get stuck between your teeth and aligners, leading to tooth decay. It’s a good idea to remove them before eating and brush your teeth afterwards.
You may feel discomfort when you first start wearing your aligners as your teeth shift. However, this is normal and should go away after a few days. Also, as you switch to a new set of aligner trays, you may feel a slight pressure on your teeth. But, this should also resolve after a day or two.
Though it rarely happens, some people may be allergic to orthodontic aligners as they’re made of plastic. This is most likely to occur in people allergic to chemicals such as BPA. If you experience any irritation, redness, or swelling around your mouth after wearing your aligners, remove them and consult your dentist immediately.
On average, Invisalign treatment may cost between $6,000 and $9,000 for full treatments, while minor treatments can start at $4,500. The cost differs for every person as it will depend on the severity of your dental problem, how long you need to wear the aligners, and other factors.