Everyone deserves a smile they are proud of. If you’re worried about the way your teeth look, come see us at Brodie Bowman Orthodontics in Fort Walton Beach, FL. We offer Mini Diamond braces, clear braces, SmartClip braces, and invisible aligners, like Invisalign. The latter option is extremely popular with patients who are concerned about hygiene or their appearance. Read on to find out whether you’re a good candidate for invisible aligners.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Invisible Aligners?
Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are treated with invisible aligners. This method is suitable for most patients over the age of 13 who have mild or moderate orthodontic conditions. Invisible aligners are more hygienic than braces because they can be taken out during mealtimes, but they require some care. Only people who are dedicated to the treatment process will see good results.
Certain conditions make the use of invisible aligners more difficult. Patients who no longer have all their natural teeth or those whose gums are unhealthy might not be good candidates. We don’t usually recommend invisible aligners to young children who don’t yet have all their adult teeth. However, the method is suitable for both teenagers and adults.
A wide range of orthodontic issues can be treated with invisible aligners. The most common reason why people get treatment is that they have crooked teeth. However, we also prescribe invisible aligners to people who have underbite, overbite, crossbite, gaps between their teeth, crowded teeth, and an open bite.
If your orthodontic issue is severe, you might need to get a combination of metal braces and invisible aligners. Sometimes, aligner treatment isn’t possible, and Mini Diamond braces or clear braces are a better treatment method. Before determining which option is right, we’ll take scans of your teeth and evaluate your dental issues.
You’re Dedicated to the Treatment Process
Braces are usually fixed to the teeth, and they can’t be removed. This means that the patient doesn’t have much control over their treatment, and they need to wear their braces 24/7. Invisible aligners are very different. They are removable, so patients can take them out before eating or drinking anything except plain water.
The trays need to be worn for at least 20-22 hours each day. If they are removed for many hours a day, it’s unlikely that the teeth will change shape, and the patient won’t see the desired results. For this reason, we always check that people are dedicated to the treatment process before prescribing invisible aligners. Those who aren’t willing or able to follow our guidelines are better off with braces.
Your Gums and Teeth Are Healthy
Gum disease is caused by bacteria that form plaque on the teeth. It starts with an inflammation of the gums called gingivitis. Some of the symptoms are bleeding when brushing or flossing the teeth, swelling, and pain. When treated early, gingivitis can be reversed, but if left untreated, it causes permanent damage to the teeth and gums.
Patients who have gum disease aren’t good candidates for invisible aligners because this condition can make the supporting structures of the teeth and the jaw weaker. Orthodontic treatment is unsafe under these conditions because it accelerates bone loss. Similarly, cavities and other dental issues need to be addressed before invisible aligners are worn because they could cause pain and get worse throughout treatment.
You Are Concerned About How Braces Affect Your Life
Many people resist getting braces because they are worried about how their lifestyle will be affected. Teenagers and adults who need to appear professional at work often don’t want to get metal braces, since they don’t want their appearance to change. Invisible aligners are hard to spot, so they are the perfect solution.
Most people won’t even realize you’re wearing your aligners. The trays are removed during mealtimes, so you don’t risk embarrassing situations when having lunch with your friends or colleagues. You can also remove your invisible aligners when you’re giving an important speech or presentation. This makes it much easier for you to lead a normal life.
You Want to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
When patients get braces, they have to learn new ways of brushing and flossing their teeth. It’s often difficult to access the space between the braces and the teeth, so people commonly experience a buildup of plaque. This isn’t a problem with Invisalign because the trays are removable and easy to clean.
Every time you eat or drink, you take out your aligners. After your meal, you brush your teeth before replacing them. That way, no food particles get trapped between your teeth and the trays, and the risk of cavities is very low. The invisible aligners have to be cleaned in a special solution once or twice a day, and they are replaced every two weeks.
You Are an Adult or a Teen
Invisible aligners are sometimes used to treat children, but most dentists agree that it’s best to wait until the patient is in their teens and has all their adult teeth. Treatment is more effective at that age, and older teenagers are more likely to stick to the guidelines than younger people, who might struggle with the daily oral hygiene routine.
Contrary to popular belief, invisible aligners are suitable for adults of all ages. As long as the patient’s gums and teeth are healthy, they can take part. However, many people in their 50s and beyond have had other dental treatments that might make the use of invisible aligners more challenging. That’s why it’s often easier for us to treat patients in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.
What Is the Treatment Process Like?
When you come to see us about orthodontic treatment, we’ll start by taking images of your teeth to determine what corrections are necessary. If we believe that invisible aligners are a good idea, we’ll make a digital model of your teeth. This is sent to the manufacturers, who precision cut your trays.
The first trays are fitted at the clinic because we want to make sure you know how to use them. However, future aligners are sent to your home, and you don’t need to visit us every time. You’ll receive a new set of trays every two weeks or so.
How Long Does It Take?
One of the biggest advantages of invisible aligner treatment is that it isn’t very time-consuming. You’ll only need to come to the clinic for a quick check-up once every month or two.
The duration of treatment depends on your orthodontic issues. People who need a minor correction might only wear 15 sets of trays. Those who need major changes might have 40-50 aligners, and they need to be treated for at least 18 months. We’ll let you know how long you need to wear your invisible aligners during your initial consultation.
How Does Treatment Affect Daily Life?
Most patients find that invisible aligner treatment doesn’t affect their daily life significantly. They can still participate in all their activities, and the oral hygiene routine only takes a few minutes every day.
Invisible aligners are an excellent option for people with special dietary requirements because patients don’t have to change their eating habits to accommodate treatment. With braces, it’s impossible to eat chewy, crunchy, or hard foods, so the patient’s diet is limited. For those looking to lose or gain weight and people with food intolerances, invisible aligners are much more suitable.
Are the Results Permanent?
Invisible aligner treatment has a success rate of 96%. As long as you follow all our instructions, it’s likely that you’ll have an excellent experience. Once you’ve achieved your perfect smile, the results are permanent, and you won’t need to take part in more orthodontic treatments.
However, you might have to wear retainers for several years. In the first few weeks, we ask most patients to wear them full-time. Then, the number of hours can slowly be reduced, until the retainers are just worn only at night. Some patients only have to use them three or four nights a week. After around ten years, most people can stop wearing retainers because their teeth are permanently aligned.
Achieve Your Ideal Smile Now
People who have healthy gums and teeth, mild to moderate orthodontic issues, and are dedicated to the treatment process are good candidates for Invisalign. The aligners are suitable for both teens and adults, and they are ideal for people who don’t want others to know about their orthodontic treatment. Call us at Brodie Bowman Orthodontics in Fort Walton Beach, FL to book your initial consultation.