Invisalign, the clear trays that are removable and produce similar results to braces, is an attractive option for many people because of its unobtrusive design and discreet appearance. Traditional braces, though effective, are very noticeable and take a long time to adjust to. Invisalign provides an alternative method to correcting your smile that is particularly appealing to teenagers and adults who may be self-conscious about having metal brackets in their mouths while at work or out in public.
The basics of Invisalign
Your Invisalign trays are worn for 22 hours each day, allowing for a 2-hour period of removal for eating, drinking anything other than water, and your daily oral hygiene regimen. The clear plastic trays are BPA-free and perfectly safe. The initial aligner trays are made from an impression of your teeth. From that point on, you will change trays every 2 weeks until the desired results are achieved. Most people complete treatment within one year, but that will vary depending on your individual needs.
Invisalign as an alternative to braces
We’ve previously written more extensively about how Invisalign compares to traditional braces, so we’ll just go over a few points briefly. One major benefit of Invisalign that is especially helpful for people with busy schedules is the low number of appointments.
Other benefits that Invisalign has over traditional braces include:
- Faster treatment time, in certain cases.
- No food restrictions or annoyances like food getting stuck in brackets and wires.
- No discomfort from metal hardware in mouth.
The best candidates for Invisalign
If you find yourself wanting a better smile but not wanting braces, Invisalign might be the best option for you, but not everyone is an ideal fit. Whether it’s an option for you will ultimately depend the severity of your case, but Invisalign can easily correct the following issues:
- Gapped teeth
- General misalignment
Other issues are possible to correct with Invisalign, but will most likely require elastics and attachments (small, tooth-colored “bumps” added to your teeth to help them move):
- Bite issues (overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite).
- TMJ (Temporomandibular) Disorder.
If you think you might qualify for Invisalign, it is important to know that there are pros and cons to everything, and Invisalign is not excluded. The ability to remove the trays, while appealing for obvious reasons, is also the reason why some people do not achieve their desired results. It takes discipline to leave the trays in for the time required, as the trays are meant to give you the same results that metal braces can provide. This is only possible if you only remove the trays for eating and brushing/flossing, and this should not exceed 2 hours per day!
In addition, you must brush your teeth after every single meal, and snacking often is not recommended. Sipping on coffee for long periods of time is also not allowed, and for some people, that is a deal-breaker! If you do choose to go with Invisalign, just keep in mind that your results will entirely depend on your lifestyle and discipline level.
It’s important that you know what to expect when it comes to the various methods available for improving your smile, and there are benefits and drawbacks to every treatment option. If you are interested in Invisalign and would like to know if you are a candidate, call our office today to set up an appointment!