Braces have come a long way since the days of metal brackets and wires. Although traditional braces are still preferred to correct some alignment or bite issues, Invisalign braces offer many of the same benefits while adding a few more. One benefit is that your dentist might be able to continue to treat you throughout the process as opposed to you needing to see an orthodontist. Your dentist can provide more information about what’s right for your condition and circumstances, but here’s an overview and a website to go to for more information from Midjersey Smiles
What Are Invisalign Braces?
They’re see-through aligners that are custom-molded to fit over your teeth, realigning them slowly through a series of successively straighter trays. The appliances are made of a hard, clear plastic that gives the results of braces in a shorter time without the discomfort and embarrassing appearance.
How Do They Work?
First, you’ll have a consultation and examination to determine if you’re a candidate for Invisalign. This is when you’ll also talk about the length of treatment and cost. Dental plans that include orthodontic care will usually cover the cost of Invisalign. If you’re paying out-of-pocket, the price range will vary by the total length of treatment.
The process can usually begin the same day as your consultation. Your dentist will take X-rays and make a mold of your top and bottom teeth. This mold will become the basis for all of the trays used over the course of your treatment. The dentist will alter the specifications of each tray to meet your goals in the shortest possible amount of time. You may also need to have tooth-colored composite resin bumps adhered discretely to a few teeth. This helps the aligners grip better, which leads to faster results.
You’ll get a call to come to the office to pick up your trays, usually two at a time. It normally takes just a few days from when the lab receives your mold until your trays are ready. The trays are changed every two weeks, with each subtly shifting the placement of your teeth by about .25mm per tray. That means you’ll probably need to visit your dentist or orthodontist once a month for a check on your progress and to receive your new trays. Invisalign for children and teens have a blue indicator built-in that turns white when it’s time to change to the next aligner.
How Long Do You Wear Them?
The duration of your treatment depends on the original condition of your teeth and the desired degree of realignment. They’re very comfortable and nearly undetectable, which is why adults and teenagers prefer them. You might feel some pressure and slight discomfort for the first few hours after you put in a new tray. As long as you wear the appliance as directed by your dentist, treatment can last anywhere from a few months to two years.
Are They Removable?
The beauty of Invisalign is that you can remove them when you need to as long as you don’t leave them out for longer than 12 hours. In fact, you should remove them when you’re eating or if you’re drinking anything that might have seeds or pulp, like orange juice or smoothies. If you forget to put them back in after a meal or when you wake up in the morning, make sure to replace them as soon as you remember. It’s recommended that the aligners be worn for at least 22 hours per day. The more often you remove them, the longer the process will take.
Make sure to brush and floss your teeth carefully before replacing the appliance to avoid tooth decay. You’ll also want to brush your aligners in the morning and at night before you go to bed. They’re made to fit over your teeth, almost like a second coat of enamel, so wearing them shouldn’t affect your speech or normal day-to-day activities.
What Happens If the Aligner Breaks or Get Damaged?
Your appliance will come with a protective case to avoid damage when you’re not wearing them. Some practices provide up to six replacement aligners for accident-prone children or teens. Adults will usually be directed to move up to their next aligner if the current one breaks or becomes damaged.
Who is a Good Candidate For Invisalign Braces?
Invisalign braces are ideal for adults or children with alignment or bite problems who have all of their permanent teeth. They’re especially desirable for professionals who wish to improve their appearance without drawing attention from colleagues or customers. This is also a good solution for children and teens who are involved in contact sports like football or wrestling. They can simply remove the appliance and replace it with their mouth guard during practice or games and meets.
If you like the idea of straighter teeth an a more comfortable bite, Invisalign may be the right solution for you. Check with your dentist or have your dental office refer you to an approved provider.