Are you considering Invisalign to fix your crooked teeth? Before taking the plunge, it’s important to understand the basics of Invisalign, including what they are and what they can do for you. With this guide, you’ll have all the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision about whether Invisalign is right for you.
Invisalign Takes Commitment
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment plan that uses a series of clear, customized aligners to gradually move teeth into their desired positions. It is becoming an increasingly popular way to straighten teeth without the use of traditional metal braces. While Invisalign may seem easier and less intrusive than braces, it still requires a significant commitment to ensure optimal results.
The most important step in achieving successful Invisalign results is being dedicated to wearing the aligners for 22 hours per day for the entirety of your treatment period. In order to get the full benefit of Invisalign, the aligners must fit perfectly on your teeth and must remain in place unless you are eating, drinking, brushing, or flossing your teeth. Skipping wear time can significantly increase the length of your treatment and can derail your progress altogether.
In addition to consistent wear time, it is important to follow all instructions from your orthodontist regarding oral hygiene practices during your Invisalign journey. Investing in specialized tools such as re-movable brushes or floss threaders can make cleaning around the aligners much easier and will help keep bacteria at bay throughout treatment. Along with taking extra care with oral hygiene maintenance while wearing aligners, you should also take extra precautions not to expose them to heat or risk warping them out of shape due to their plastic composition.
You May Have to Change Your Eating Habits
When using Invisalign, you may have to modify your eating habits. For the best results, you should remove your aligners while you’re eating or drinking anything – not only to keep them clean and free of stains but also because many foods can stick to the surface of Invisalign and make it difficult to put them back in properly. To ensure that your aligners are optimally cleaning your teeth, they must be worn for a minimum of 20 hours per day.
If stain-causing foods are allowed to sit on your aligners while they are in place, this “treatment time” will not be effective. Additionally, avoiding certain types of food and beverages is important – especially with saucy or sticky foods such as soda and candy – because these items can become lodged beneath the trays and cause problems with gum health. Therefore, it is very important that when you are wearing Invisalign you just avoid these potential problem areas as much as possible.
There Will Be Some Discomfort
It’s important to know that there will be some discomfort associated with the Invisalign aligners, especially when you first start wearing them and as your teeth start to move. You may experience a slightly sharper feeling when you first put them on, and some users have experienced soreness around their gums or teeth where the attachments are located. The level of discomfort varies from person to person, but most people find that it is tolerable and decreases over time as they get used to wearing the aligners.
In rare cases, if the pain is severe enough that it affects your ability to eat, sleep or speak comfortably, you should consult your dentist as soon as possible.
You Must Follow the Guidelines for Wear and Care
When you decide to undergo Invisalign treatment, there are certain guidelines that you must adhere to in order to receive all the benefits of this popular brace system. To ensure that your braces move your teeth in the right way and in a timely manner, it is essential that you follow these guidelines for wear and care:
- Wear your aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours each day. As they become more comfortable, you may be able to increase the amount of time spent wearing them.
- Take out your aligners when you eat, drink (except water), and brush or floss your teeth.
- Clean the trays of your Invisalign every day. To do this, gently rinse with lukewarm water—never use hot or boiling water—and scrub with a soft toothbrush using dish soap or mild hand soap without any added fragrances or deodorants. Additionally, soak your trays in denture cleaner from time to time (check with your doctor first).
- Visit the dentist every 4 to 6 weeks for progress checks and to receive new trays as needed.
- Avoid swimming with Invisalign as it can cause bacteria growth on the splints and dry mouth due to chlorine ingestion when taking them out for swimming activities.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a method of straightening teeth without the use of metal braces. It uses a series of clear, customized, removable aligners to gradually move teeth over a period of time.
How long does treatment take?
The duration of treatment depends on the complexity of your case, but typically Invisalign treatment can take anywhere from 6 months to 1 year.
Is Invisalign painful?
The Invisalign aligners may cause some temporary discomfort for a few days as your teeth adjust to the aligners. However, the discomfort should subside after a few days.
When making the decision to invest in orthodontic care, Invisalign can be a great option for many people. It’s important to understand the details of the treatment process and manage your expectations. Make sure you have education from a qualified orthodontist, maintain good oral hygiene practices, monitor your progress with regular visits, and follow all after-treatment instructions for optimal results.
In addition, ask questions about special care needs and costs associated with the process. With these tips in mind, you can determine if Invisalign is right for you and start on your journey to straighter teeth!