Invisalign® clear aligners are a popular alternative to traditional metal braces. Invisalign involves using a set of clear aligners that are made of almost invisible polyurethane plastic. The aligners are completely removable since they are not cemented or bonded to the teeth allowing you to remove them for important social occasions, eating, and, most importantly, for tooth-brushing and flossing.
Here are some other upsides of the Invisalign system:
- Improved Oral Hygiene — During your treatment, you will be able to continue to clean your teeth as you normally would.
- A Discreet Look — Invisalign clear aligners are virtually invisible which means most people won’t even notice you’re in orthodontic treatment.
- More Dietary Choices — Since your clear aligners are removable, you will be able to continue to enjoy all of your favorite foods.
- Comfort — Invisalign clear aligners are made soft, flexible material which will not irritate the soft tissues of the mouth.
- Teeth-Grinding Protection — If you have a teeth-grinding or clenching habit, your clear aligners will function as thin nightguards to protect your teeth from excessive wear.
To find out if Invisalign is right for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Reddy & Dr. Haverkos.
How Invisalign Works
Invisalign clear aligners to the same type of work as traditional metal braces which are applied carefully controlled forces to teeth to move them into the desired position. However, Invisalign aligners are made of flexible plastic instead of metal like traditional braces.
Here’s how it works: Specialized computer software allows us to custom design a plan for moving your teeth from their current positions into the best possible alignment. This movement will be broken down into perhaps several dozen stages. For each stage, the Invisalign company will manufacture two plastic mouth “trays” or “aligners,” one to fit over your top teeth and one for the bottom. You will wear this first set of trays for two weeks, for a minimum of 20 hours per day. You will then move on to the next set of aligners in your series to accomplish the next stage of gradual movement. You will keep doing this until your teeth are correctly aligned.
This treatment option was previously only available to adults. The manufacturer has added important features to accommodate the needs of teenagers. Special “eruption tabs” were added to hold the appropriate amount of space open for molars that have not fully grown in. Invisalign for teens also comes with “compliance indicators” built into the aligner material, which fade with wear. This feature allows parents, dentists, and the teens themselves, to verify the trays are being worn as prescribed.
Caring for Your Teeth During Invisalign Treatment
One of the main advantages of the Invisalign system is that the trays can be removed for easy cleaning. It is very important to do this! During treatment, you’ll need to brush your teeth after every meal or snack so that food and plaque do not get trapped in the aligners. Your aligners will also have to be cleaned regularly which can be achieved by brushing them and then rinsing them with lukewarm water.