What Everyone Should Know About Invisalign

You’ve no doubt heard about Invisalign, the relatively new teeth-straightening system available for adults (and perhaps older children and teens).

But what is that you know of it? Probably that, unlike traditional teeth straightening tools such as braces, Invisalign is “invisible:” people can’t see that you’re using it.

  • In a nutshell, Invisalign is a way to straighten your teeth without using wires (as used in traditional braces). If you choose to use Invisalign, your Plano dentist will use smooth and clear plastic moulded to your particular teeth. These are called “aligners” and they snap easily into place over your teeth.
  • You wear a set of aligners for two weeks and then exchange that set for a new one that is molded slightly differently so that your teeth slowly straighten to their correct position.
  • You need to remove the aligners whenever you eat anything. You also need to remove them when you drink any liquid other than water. That means you take the aligners out when you drink coffee, tea, wine, colas – anything that could possibly stain the aligners, rendering them visible.
  • You also remove them when you brush or floss your teeth; but you do need to wear them while sleeping. In other words, you wear the aligners pretty much 24/7 except when eating or drinking anything but water.
  • You will have checkups with your dentist every six weeks or so to check on your progress.
  • Invisalign isn’t recommended for young children (they may not remove the aligners when eating/drinking and they “forget” to remove them when they brush their teeth). Mature children ages 12 and up, and particularly responsible teens, can and do use invisalign .
  • Traditional braces almost always require that you wear a retainer for a few months or a year or so after your teeth-straightening procedure is complete; the same may hold true for Invisalign.
  • Traditional braces can handle a wide variety of tooth straightening issues; so can Invisalign. The treatment can work with cases of crooked and even protruding teeth. Even patients with serious malocclusion, overbite/underbite, who have widely gapped teeth, very crowded teeth, etc. can see results with Invisalign.

The main thing you should remember about Invisalign? While traditional braces never leave your mouth, Invisalign requires that you remove the aligners every time you eat or drink anything but water. So it’s a bit more “demanding” than traditional braces.

For more information on Invisalign, call Dr. Darren Dickson by phone.

Image courtesy Will (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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