What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that uses a series of clear, removable aligners to straighten teeth. Compared to traditional braces, Invisalign is much less noticeable and can be removed for eating and cleaning. Invisalign is a popular choice for adults who want to improve their smile without having to deal with metal braces. Surveys have shown that greater than 90% of patients who used Invisalign clear aligners were satisfied with the results and would recommend them to others. Many adults are taking steps to correct their teeth alignment because Invisalign is so discrete. Traditional braces do not fit into the boardroom meetings as well as Invisalign; most people will not notice you are wearing them as opposed to the mouthful of metal that braces bring. Teens also appreciate the less noticeable aspect of Invisalign treatment vs. traditional braces. Being a teenager is difficult enough without metal braces to contend with on top of all the other challenges teens face.
What is it like to use Invisalign?
The Invisalign aligners are clear and removable, which makes them much less noticeable than traditional braces. In addition, Invisalign can be removed for eating and cleaning, making it more convenient than braces. Being removable means that the food and beverage restrictions that come with traditional braces are not something you have to worry about with removable alignment trays. Simply remove your Invisalign trays and eat whatever your heart desires. Remember to brush your teeth after eating every time because food and beverages can adhere to the teeth and be trapped by the Invisalign tray, leading to decay. The best practice is to brush your teeth, so at least rinse well with water after eating. Chewing a dentist-approved gum that contains Xylitol for a few minutes before attaching your Invisalign tray also works to help keep teeth healthy when you are on the go, and brushing your teeth is not convenient. Chewing Xylitol gum is acceptable because Xylitol has properties that inhibit bacteria that cause tooth decay. If you choose to chew Xylitol gum, only do so for a few minutes before putting the Invisalign trays back in place. Never chew gum with the trays in place.
Improved comfort during treatment is also a benefit of Invisalign treatment over metal braces. The Invisalign trays are made of smooth BPA-free plastic. Because the plastic is smooth, you avoid the irritation to cheeks and gums that metal braces cause. If you have ever known someone who has experienced the discomfort of metal braces, you will know this is a game changer. Most patients experience slight discomfort when the trays are exchanged for the next set due to the nature of the treatment, which is to move your teeth. Over-the-counter medications such as Advil are commonly used for a day or two during transitioning to a new set of trays.
Your home dental hygiene routine when using Invisalign remains the same as it has always been, brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. See your dentist regularly during the Invisalign treatment so your progress can be monitored and any issues that may arise are detected early and corrected immediately. Regular dental visits are a huge component of successful Invisalign treatment; a virtual appointment and check-in with a dentist are not substitutes for an in-person exam; there are too many limitations on what can be assessed virtually.
Satisfaction surveys of patients who used the mail-in version of plastic teeth aligners fall to half that of those who used Invisalign. That is a significant difference! Be aware of slick advertising; a little investigation will reveal the difference between mail-in straightening trays and in-person dentist-supervised treatment. You deserve the best treatment, which always leads to the best outcome. You are worth it!