Around 20% of orthodontic patients get Invisalign. This innovative treatment is great for anyone who doesn’t want visible braces because they are worried about their appearance or have to look professional at work. Clear aligners are not only invisible, but they can also be removed for several hours per day. At Brodie Bowman Orthodontics in Fort Walton Beach, FL, we offer this option to teenagers and patients over the age of 18.
How Visible Are Invisalign Clear Aligners?
The main reason why hundreds of thousands of patients choose clear aligners each year is that they aren’t as visible as traditional braces. The trays are made out of transparent plastic, so they don’t affect the patient’s appearance. Most people don’t even notice when someone wears clear aligners. It’s also worth knowing that patients adjust to wearing their trays quickly, and their speech isn’t affected in the long run.
There are several things you can do to make sure you have a good experience with your aligners. Never drink coffee and tea while wearing them because they could become stained. Clean your aligners thoroughly every night to keep them in good condition. Your trays are replaced once every week or two weeks, so it’s highly unlikely that they will become discolored during the short time you’re wearing them.
When Can the Aligners Be Removed?
Invisible aligner treatment is only effective when you wear your trays for at least 20-22 hours per week. This means that you’ll sleep with them, and you’ll keep them in your mouth throughout the day. Before we allow you to take part in treatment, we’ll discuss your lifestyle to determine whether this is possible for you. Your aligners can be removed if you have an important presentation or whenever you participate in a high-impact sport.
You also have to take them out when you eat or drink something other than plain water. Simply take the trays out of your mouth, eat your meal, brush your teeth, and replace the aligners. Good oral hygiene is extremely important during treatment because bacteria can grow under the aligners if you’re not careful. We’ll give you detailed instructions before you receive your first set of trays.
How Does the Treatment Work?
The treatment process starts with a consultation at the clinic, during which we discuss your orthodontic issues and determine whether you’re a good candidate for invisible aligners. If so, we take pictures of your teeth and create a digital model, which is sent to the company that manufactures the trays. They then produce your first set of aligners, which is fitted at the clinic.
Every week or two, you receive new trays that are slightly more aligned than the previous set. Over time, your teeth adjust to the new position. People with minor orthodontic issues might only need 15 to 20 trays, so their treatment takes six to nine months. Those with significant issues might need up to 50 individual aligners, and they might wear them for one or two years.
What Are the Additional Benefits of Clear Aligners?
Aside from being invisible, clear aligners are also extremely convenient when compared to traditional metal braces. Patients generally report that the treatment isn’t very painful, and it is easy to adjust to. Because the teeth can be brushed like before, it’s less likely that the patient will develop dental problems. The diet isn’t restricted during treatment, which is important for patients who have allergies or strong food preferences.
Invisible aligners typically don’t need to be worn as long as braces. They can address a wide range of orthodontic issues. However, some people might need to get metal braces first, especially if they have rotated teeth or a severe problem with their bite.
They Aren’t Painful
Braces are fixed to the teeth, and they sometimes cause patients discomfort. After getting aligners, most people feel a slight pressure in their mouth for a day or two, but this is less severe and passes more quickly than the irritation associated with regular braces. It’s easy for patients to keep their aligners in their mouths all day because they barely notice them.
Another reason why clear aligners are easier to deal with is that there are no wires and metal bits that can irritate the soft tissues in the mouth. The trays are made out of clear plastic, and there are no jagged or pointy edges.
They Cause Fewer Dental Problems
When patients get braces, they have to learn how to clean in between the wires and their teeth. This is often hard, and it takes up a lot of time. It’s easy for food to get stuck and cause a buildup of plaque and harmful bacteria. For this reason, many people with braces end up suffering from cavities and gum disease. Fortunately, this isn’t the case after Invisalign treatment.
Patients simply take the trays out whenever they eat, brush their teeth thoroughly, and replace the aligners. In the evening, patients floss their teeth and clean their aligners with a special solution we provide. The whole oral hygiene routine only takes a few minutes, and it doesn’t involve special gadgets.
You Can Eat Everything
Sometimes, patients are hesitant to get braces because they know their eating habits will have to change. When wearing metal braces, people can’t eat chewy, crunchy, and very hard foods because they can get stuck or damage the wires. This is a big problem for patients who have allergies, intolerances, or strong food preferences and can therefore only eat a limited number of dishes. It is also an issue for those who have eating disorders.
Invisible aligners are the perfect solution because they don’t affect the diet. Since the trays are removed whenever the person is eating, their food choices aren’t restricted. As long as they brush their teeth after their meal, there’s no reason why they can’t stick to their regular diet.
Treatment Doesn’t Take Long
Many people are surprised to find out that invisible aligner treatment is often quicker than braces. On average, patients have to wear their metal braces for one to two and a half years. Clear aligners can yield excellent results after six to twelve months. This is partly because they are often used to treat mild to moderate orthodontic conditions, but it is also due to the efficient process.
When you first come to the clinic, we’ll examine your teeth and ask you about your desired outcome. Then, we’ll come up with a treatment plan. We’ll tell you exactly how many trays you’re getting and how long you have to wear each one. As long as you stick to our guidelines, you’ll almost certainly achieve your desired results.
A Wide Range of Conditions Can Be Addressed
The most common reason why people get invisible aligners is that their teeth are crooked or spaced too far apart. But these aren’t the only issues that can be treated with the trays. This method can address many orthodontic issues like overbite, underbite, and crossbite.
It is appropriate for anyone who doesn’t have a bridge or implant. Some conditions like severely rotated teeth and large gaps between the teeth can’t be fixed with this method. Patients have to get braces first, but they can often switch to invisible aligners once their teeth are no longer rotated or too far apart. Those with gum disease and weak bones might have to look for an alternative.
What Happens After Treatment Is Over?
After you’ve completed your invisible aligner treatment, we invite you to the clinic to discuss your results. If you’re happy with the new shape of your teeth, you can stop wearing the trays. However, you’ll need retainers for several years. At first, you might wear them more or less all the time to prevent your teeth from shifting back into their old position.
Over time, you can reduce the number of hours you have to use your retainers until you eventually only wear them at night. Most patients wear retainers for five to ten years after orthodontic treatment. However, not everybody has to use them every night. After small corrections, patients might only need them four or five nights a week.
Achieve the Perfect Smile Now
Invisible aligners are great for people who don’t want others to see their braces. The trays are clear, so they are hard to spot, and they can be removed during mealtimes and important presentations. Patients love their aligners because they aren’t painful or restrictive, and the outcome of the treatment is almost always excellent. Send us a message at Brodie Bowman Orthodontics in Fort Walton Beach, FL to find out more about Invisalign.