If you’re considering getting braces to correct teeth alignment and other related issues, clear aligners might be your best choice. However, like every form of dental treatment, there are certain things you need to know about getting Invisalign. These clear aligners can help you achieve your dream smile without many of the issues associated with conventional braces. However, there are certain things you need to know and follow to get the results you desire. The following are 7 things you need to know about Invisalign and how it works.
Don’t rule yourself out!
A lot of people end up not getting Invisalign because of what they’ve heard about it. You’ve probably been told that clear aligners only work for certain teeth conditions or that your case is too complex for Invisalign braces to work for you. Regardless of what you think, the only person that can tell you if Invisalign treatment will work great for your case is an Invisalign doctor.
Instead of worrying about your treatment or ruling yourself out completely, the best thing to do is talk to an orthodontist about it. The assumption that Invisalign only works for minor imperfections is no longer as valid as it used to be. These days, Invisalign treatment is now so advanced that you can achieve major teeth movement with the braces. In addition to straightening crooked teeth, Invisalign may also work for underbites, overbites, teeth gaps, and overcrowding.
The effectiveness of your Invisalign treatment is up to you
Unlike braces that are installed permanently and can only be adjusted by dentists, you can remove and replace Invisalign trays on your own. However, for the treatment to work, you still have to wear the braces consistently to achieve desired results.
Experts recommend wearing your Invisalign tray for at least 20 hours and as much as 22 hours per day. While you’ll still have to remove the braces occasionally (when you want to eat or brush your teeth), you only get a 2-hour window for this all day. Your treatment will progress very slowly if you fail to wear the braces as often as you need to.
Also, note that you’ll have to switch to the next aligner in the series after a couple of weeks of using a particular tray. How quickly you can move on to the next tray depends on whether or not your teeth have moved to the desired position. Be sure to attend your scheduled consultation to track the progress of your treatment and get the dentist’s recommendation.
Some discomfort is normal
Invisalign is custom-made for your mouth and it is typically more sleek and comfortable compared to metal braces. But that doesn’t mean it is all rain and sunshine either. You’re likely to experience some degree of discomfort especially right after getting the Invisalign braces. However, this does not apply to everyone.
The amount of discomfort associated with getting Invisalign braces often varies from one person to the other. You may also find it difficult to talk at first. Having braces in your mouth takes some getting used to. You might notice a little mumbling or lisping in your speech for the first few days. This may also happen each time you switch to a new aligner in the set. Of course, the pain should only be minor. You should report any major or persistent pain you feel to your orthodontist right away.
Clear aligners Invisalign can get stained
Clear aligners are made from smooth, translucent plastic. As long as the aligner is clean and unstained, people will hardly notice that you have braces on. However, the plastic material can get stained if you’re not careful enough. Simply failing to brush your teeth or clean the aligners can lead to discoloration over time. Also, eating food with your aligners on or taking drinks that can cause discoloration can stain the aligners. Other things you have to watch out for include:
- Brushing the aligners with abrasive toothpaste
- Using colored cleaning agents
- Using dishwashing liquid or any other harsh chemicals to soak your aligners
Doing any of these can change the color of your aligners. This will make it more noticeable when you have it on. That’s not to mention all the bad oral health implications of wearing dirty or poorly cleaned aligner trays.
You need to brush after every meal
After you get aligners, one of the things you’ll have to do regularly is to make sure you brush your teeth each time you eat. When you eat, food particles are stuck on your teeth. If you do not brush or floss after each meal, these particles will become trapped under the aligners. This will allow bacteria to grow and spread on your teeth. This can cause a wide range of dental issues including tooth decay and bad breath. To avoid issues like this, it is best to always brush your teeth after each meal before putting the aligners back in.
You’ll still need regular dentist visits
Although patients undergoing Invisalign treatment can remove, replace and switch their aligner plates on their own, they’ll still need to attend appointments with their dentists on schedule. The purpose of these visits to a dental office is usually to check the progress of your Invisalign treatment. Usually, you’ll need to go in to see your orthodontists every 4-6 weeks.
Visits are typically short since the goal is just to assess your teeth to ensure everything is progressing as planned. The duration of the entire treatment usually depends on the complexity of your case. Many people complete their treatment in as little as 6 months but it could also take as much as 18 months in some cases.
You’ll need to wear a retainer after invisalign treatment
After concluding your Invisalign treatment, your teeth can still move back to their original positions without proper follow-up care. Dentists often recommend wearing orthodontic retainers after the prescribed Invisalign treatment. For the first few months after your treatment, you’ll have to wear retainers about 3 to 5 times per week. With time, the schedule might become more relaxed and you may only need to wear the retainer at night. Because each patient is different, the exact duration of your post-treatment care depends entirely on your case. You should speak to an orthodontist to learn more about the follow-up treatment you’ll have to undergo for your case.
If you have any other questions about your Invisalign treatment, you should speak to your orthodontist for advice. The experts at Sbenati Dentistry will be able to provide in-depth information about your treatment and specific recommendations based on your condition.