If you’re interested in an effective unobtrusive method of realigning your teeth, Invisalign® clear aligners may be a good choice for you. Before you get started, here are 10 things you need to know!
1. You must be disciplined in wearing your aligners
The first thing you should know about Invisalign® is the time investment it requires. Expect to have them in your mouth at least 20 hours every day, with 22 hours being the recommended length of time.
2. You must remove the aligners when you eat
It’s important to remember that you cannot eat with the aligners on your teeth. You can drink water while wearing them, but you can’t drink hot beverages as the heat can distort the shape of the plastic aligners.
3. Remember to clean your aligners
One of the best perks of Invisalign® is that people can’t see them. They come as crystal clear solutions that fit over your teeth and go completely unnoticed when you wear them. But, if you forget to clean them properly, you can expect yellowing and discoloration in your aligners. Cleaning them regularly is critical to maintaining their transparent nature.
4. Treatment length varies for each person
On average, it can last about a year for most adults. This all depends on the state of your teeth and how much work needs to be done. If you have slightly misaligned teeth, it may last less than a few months. On the other hand, if your teeth aren’t in great shape, treatment can last longer.
5. It may come with attachments
Sometimes, dentists add attachments to the aligner trays that speed up the process. These are in the form of small buttons and they are not visible. Not all patients need them, but your dentist will inform you if you do.
6. You will need a retainer afterward
Your treatment doesn’t always stop at your last aligner. At the ‘end’ of the process, your teeth will be in perfect position. But, there’s nothing stopping them from reverting to their old positions if you suddenly remove the aligners. To prevent this, you might have to wear a post-treatment retainer at night to keep everything in place.
This may seem disappointing, but it is worth the extra steps to protect the time & money you invested in perfecting your smile.
7. Set aside some extra time for daily dental care
Normally, you can get away with a short dental care routine that lasts a couple of minutes. But, with Invisalign® you need to set aside an extra minute or two because daily dental care takes a little longer.
You must brush & floss your teeth more often than you would without aligners. Every time you eat, you should brush & floss. This is because the aligners will cover your teeth and keep them covered in the food particles from whatever you just ate. You could have sugar stuck to your teeth for hours on end if you don’t brush before putting the aligners back on.
8. You may experience slight changes in speech
You may experience a slight lisp until you get used to wearing your aligners. It’s important to prepare yourself for this so that it won’t shock you as much when you speak. This will not last the entire time you’re wearing aligners – just in the first few days as you get used to the change.
9. Invisalign® is not for everyone
Invisalign® is excellent for many reasons, but it cannot treat all cases of orthodontic problems. Minor over/underbites, gaps, and crooked teeth are all good candidates for Invisalign®. For patients with more complicated issues or further misaligned bites, it may be preferable to choose traditional metal braces. Your consultation with your dentist will reveal the best option for you.
10. You may have to avoid certain foods & drinks
Certain foods & drinks have a habit of staining your teeth. Unfortunately, they can stain your aligners, too. Coffee, tea, and red wine are just a few examples. Unless you want to clean your teeth multiple times a day, you might find yourself avoiding stain-inducing foods & drinks.
Interested in learning more?
If you have any questions or think that Invisalign® may be the right treatment plan for you, give us a call! Our team at All in the Family Dental will help you decide on the best option for your smile.