Invisalign uses a series of custom-made, clear plastic aligners designed to exert a gentle yet effective force on your teeth, moving them into new positions and gradually straightening them. These positions are predetermined in your treatment plan, and every set of new aligners helps to move your teeth further towards their final location.
You simply wear each set of aligners for two weeks before swapping them out for a brand-new set until treatment is complete. By this stage, you should have a healthy and beautifully straight smile. You probably have lots of questions about treatment and some of the most frequently asked are listed below.
How Often Must I Wear My Invisalign Aligners?
It’s essential to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours each day, as this is the time required to ensure you complete your treatment plan as predicted. Ideally, you should only take them out whenever you want to brush and floss your teeth or for meals and when you have a drink.
Do I Need to Avoid Foods When Wearing Invisalign Aligners?
The beauty of Invisalign aligners is that you don’t need to make any dietary changes whatsoever. Because you remove the aligners whenever you eat or drink, you can have whatever you want. If you opt for conventional fixed braces, it’s necessary to change your diet substantially, avoiding foods that are very crunchy, sticky, or hard as these could easily damage the brackets and wires and you’d need an emergency dental appointment to mend them. Also, certain foods can easily become stuck around fixed braces and are tricky to remove. The longer food remains trapped between your teeth, the greater the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Will the Aligners Interfere with Speech?
Even though the aligners are made from very thin plastic, it still takes a little time to become accustomed to wearing a new dental appliance. Any form of orthodontic treatment requires a few days adjustment, and initially, you may notice you have a bit of a lisp. As your tongue becomes accustomed and acclimated to your aligners, the lisp should quickly disappear, and you will be able to speak normally.
Does Treatment Hurt?
Because your teeth are being repositioned, it’s perfectly normal to find they feel a little more sensitive than before or that you have some level of discomfort when you first begin to wear a new set of aligners. Usually, this should be relatively mild and means that treatment is working as predicted and your teeth are moving into their new locations. The discomfort should go away very quickly.
Can I Chew Gum with My Aligners?
You can certainly chew gum, but you shouldn’t chew it while wearing your aligners. If you do try chewing gum with your aligners still over your teeth, there’s a risk the gum will stick to the aligners and it could be very tricky to remove! When you do want to enjoy some gum, take out your aligners first.
Can I Smoke During Treatment?
If you smoke, you will already know it can stain your teeth, and it will do exactly the same thing to your aligners. Having yellow-colored aligners in your mouth can look unsightly, and one of the major points of Invisalign treatment is that it is virtually invisible. If you do want to smoke, take out your aligners first or preferably try to use this opportunity to quit entirely. You probably know smoking is bad for overall health, but did you realize it’s terrible for oral health too? Smokers are more than twice as likely to develop gum disease and are more likely to have bad breath, and the risk of oral cancer is higher.
How Should I Clean My Aligners?
Cleaning your aligners is very straightforward, but it is an essential task. When you take out your aligners for eating and drinking, you need to clean them thoroughly before replacing them. Invisalign sells a proprietary cleaning kit or you can brush them gently using a little toothpaste and water. Alternatively, you can soak them in denture cleaner or use a solution of one part vinegar to one part water or one-part hydrogen peroxide to one part water.
How Frequently Should I See My Dentist During Treatment?
Your dentist will tell you how often you need to see them, but usually, it’s approximately every six weeks. Unlike fixed braces, there is no need to have any adjustments, but your dentist will want to check your teeth to make sure treatment is progressing as predicted. They can also supply you with extra sets of aligners as needed.
How Long Is Treatment?
This is a question for your dentist during your initial consultation, as treatment times can vary considerably. Some people only have cosmetically oriented problems with the position of their front teeth and treatment is very quick. Cosmetically oriented Invisalign treatment may only take a matter of a few weeks or months to complete and relatively few sets of aligners. As a rule of thumb, most people need about a year to complete treatment, but you will get a much more accurate time frame when you see your dentist and they begin to plan your treatment.
Will Invisalign Work for Me?
Another question for your Invisalign provider! When you first see them for a consultation, your Invisalign dentist will examine your teeth and gums and review your dental history with you. They can determine the bite or alignment problems requiring correction and can quickly decide if Invisalign is the right solution. Although Invisalign is excellent in most situations, there are occasions when fixed braces will be a better option. This is because fixed braces are designed to correct more complex orthodontic problems and can, in certain situations, provide a more precise treatment outcome. You can rest assured they will only suggest Invisalign if it is right for you.
How Much Does Treatment Cost?
Invisalign costs can vary considerably, and it all depends on the problems that need treating and the length of your treatment plan. The length of the plan determines the number of sets of aligners required and the overall costs. If you only require a few sets of aligners and have cosmetically oriented problems, the cost is lower. Even if you require more sets of aligners, it’s worth considering Invisalign because it’s an investment in your smile and potentially your dental health. Straighter teeth are often healthier teeth because they are easier to keep clean and free from disease.
Do you have any questions about Invisalign aligners in Brooklyn? Would you like to schedule an appointment with the leading Invisalign dentists? Please contact our office.