Having straight teeth can not only boost your confidence and give you a smile you will want to show off, but it can also improve your general oral health. Crowded and crooked teeth make it difficult to properly clean away harmful bacteria, making cavities and gum disease more likely. Also, an improper bite can lead to issues with tooth grinding, jaw pain and even bone loss around your teeth.
Many people would like to have straight teeth but do not want to have the look or inconvenience of braces. This is where Invisalign can help.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that uses a series of clear plastic aligners to straighten your teeth, no brackets or wires involved.
Is Invisalign right for you?
This will be important to discuss with your orthodontist since they will know your individual needs. Here are some general pros and cons to consider:
- With Invisalign, it is easier to clean your teeth. Just remove your aligners and floss and brush as you normally would. Braces have much more surface area for food and bacteria to cling to, and the brackets and wires make flossing and brushing more difficult.
- There is generally less discomfort since there are no brackets or wires to dig into the insides of your cheeks and lips.
- Many foods like popcorn, whole apples, corn on the cob, hard nuts, bagels and caramels need to be avoided when you have braces on.With Invisalign, you don’t have these restrictions since you will be removing your aligners to eat.
- Traditional braces are better at fixing complex orthodontic cases. Not everyone will be an ideal candidate for Invisalign treatment.
- Braces are fixed on your teeth and Invisalign is removable. This isn’t an issue if you are dedicated to your following your treatment plan and wearing your aligners as instructed. Leaving your aligners out more than recommended will result in delaying or even reversing your progress.
What is the treatment process?
Consultation – The first step is having a consultation with a dental professional that is specially trained to do Invisalign.
Treatment plan – You will be presented with a plan that will explain your treatment, including costs and how long your treatment will take. You will get the choice to approve of your plan before moving forward.
Starting with your aligners – You will be wearing your custom aligners for 20-22 hours every day. How often your set of aligners will change will be explained in your treatment plan. Typically you would start wearing a new set of aligners either weekly or biweekly. These aligners will gradually move your teeth into their optimal position.
Office appointments – Your dental professional will want to see you for regular appointments to track your progress. These appointments are usually once every six to eight weeks.
After Invisalign – After you complete your treatment, you will want your teeth to stay in their new positions. This usually requires wearing retainers. You can talk to your dental professional about how you can maintain your new smile.