If you have an orthodontic issue, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about Invisalign and its potential as a likely treatment option for your condition. Currently, Invisalign is one of the most popular treatments for correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues, including underbite, overbite, crossbite, and teeth spacing issues.
But despite being so popular, many people still have a lot of questions about this orthodontic treatment and how it works. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most frequently asked questions about Invisalign treatment.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is the brand name for a type of clear aligner used for correcting orthodontic issues. This type of treatment uses a series of clear aligners that gradually adjust the position of your teeth as an alternative to traditional metal braces or ceramic braces. Note that Invisalign is not the only brand of clear aligners available. There are other brands of invisible aligners with a similar design that work the same way. However, it remains the most popular and one of the most effective orthodontic treatment options.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign treatment involves wearing a series of custom-made aligners made of transparent plastic materials. The trays are custom-made for your teeth and designed to fit snugly in place. Wearing an Invisalign tray exerts gentle pressure on your teeth, shifting it gradually to achieve proper alignment. Invisalign trays work sequentially, with each tray moving the teeth to a desired position before switching to the next one in the series, which moves the teeth gradually until the desired result is achieved.
Can Anyone Get Invisalign?
Invisalign is suitable for many individuals, including children, teenagers, and adults. However, it might not be an effective treatment option for some orthodontic issues. Invisalign works for simple alignment issues such as overbite, underbite, and crossbites. But patients with more complex orthodontic issues might not be a good candidate for this treatment. The only way to know for sure if this treatment would work for you is to consult with an experienced dentist or orthodontist who can assess your specific dental needs.
How Long Does Invisalign Treatment Take?
The duration of Invisalign treatment varies depending on the complexity of the case and individual needs. On average, treatment can take between six to 18 months. Your orthodontist will give you a more accurate estimate after evaluating the current position of your teeth and other peculiarities of your case.
Are Invisalign Aligners Comfortable to Wear?
Invisalign aligners are designed to be as comfortable as possible. They are custom-made to fit the dentition of individual patients and are crafted from BPA-free plastic, unlikely to irritate the gums and teeth. Most patients say they experience some initial discomfort after getting their first tray, and they switch to a new one in the series. But this discomfort is mild and will typically subside within a few days as your teeth begin to adjust.
How Often Will I Need to Wear My Invisalign Aligners?
Unlike braces that are fixed permanently, Invisalign is removable. But for optimal results, you need to wear the aligner for a minimum of 20 to 22 hours daily. In general, you should only remove the trays when you need to eat, drink, brush, or floss your teeth. The effectiveness of your treatment depends on how consistently you use the tray.
Can I Eat or Drink with Invisalign?
No, you should remove your aligners before eating or taking any beverages or drink apart from water. The heat from hot food and beverages can damage your plastic aligner trays and compromise their effectiveness. Food will also discolor the clear aligner tray, making it more obvious than it’s meant to be. In addition to removing the aligner before each meal, you should also brush your teeth or rinse your mouth thoroughly before putting the aligners back on.
Is Invisalign Treatment Painful?
No. Invisalign treatment is generally pain-free. Although some patients tend to experience minor discomfort when they switch to a new set of aligner trays, it is generally not painful. The discomfort is temporary and should subside after a few days. In fact, Invisalign is considered less painful compared to traditional braces. That’s because the Invisalign aligners are designed to gradually and gently move your teeth, so any discomfort is usually mild and manageable.
How Do I Clean My Invisalign Aligners?
Occasionally, you may need to clean your Invisalign aligners (usually after meals). To clean your Invisalign aligners, use lukewarm water and a soft toothbrush. Gently brush the aligners and rinse them thoroughly before putting them back into your mouth. Avoid using hot water to clean the aligner tray, as this will warp the plastic. Do not use colored toothpaste or mouthwash to clean the aligner because they can discolor the plastic tray. Additionally, you should brush your teeth after each meal before putting the aligner tray back in your mouth.
Can I Play Sports or a Musical Instrument with Invisalign?
Although they’re made from tough plastic material, rigorous activities such as contact sports can damage your aligner tray. Fortunately, Invisalign aligners can be removed temporarily when you need to play sports or a musical instrument. But bear in mind that you should use the aligner for about 20 to 22 hours per day to maintain the progress of your treatment.
What Result Can I Expect from My Treatment?
Every person’s dentition is unique. The best way to determine what Invisalign treatment can do for you is to consult a professional. During your consultation, orthodontists will examine your dentition, take scans, and conduct tests to determine how much movement can be achieved with Invisalign treatment. They might even be able to show you a digital reconstruction of your face based on the expected results of your treatment.
If you have specific questions and concerns about your Invisalign treatment, you should talk to your orthodontist. They’ll be able to answer any questions you might have and provide a clearer picture of what your orthodontic treatment might entail. Visit our dental clinic to talk to an orthodontist in Waterbury and get started with your treatment.