During a recent visit to your dentist, they recommended using Invisalign to straighten your teeth or correct an issue with your bite. Invisalign has several benefits over traditional braces for straightening teeth. Learn more about how it works and if it’s the right choice for you.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a system that uses clear, plastic aligners, rather than metal brackets and wires, to push the teeth into alignment. These aligners are custom made to fit your mouth.
When you decide to get Invisalign, the first step is for your dentist to take an impression or scan of your teeth. Some dentists use rubber putty to take the impression while others use a digital scanner. The scanner captures a 3-D image of your teeth, which your dentist then uses to develop your treatment plan.
How Does Invisalign Straighten Teeth?
The clear aligners help to straighten your teeth or correct an issue with your bite by putting pressure on the teeth. The pressure pushes the teeth into a new position in your mouth. Over time, the aligners close gaps between the teeth or create space between teeth that are too close together. If you have a slight under or overbite, the aligners will move your teeth back or forward to make your bite more even.
Since the aligners make small changes to your teeth’s position over time, you need to switch out the aligners every few weeks for the process to work. How often you need to change your aligners can vary. It can be every week or two, or longer. During treatment, you’ll see your dentist regularly to check on your progress. If they think you should keep wearing the same aligner for longer, they’ll let you know. They’ll also let you know when it’s time to switch.
How to Use Invisalign
Invisalign is a relatively straightforward way to correct misaligned teeth. Since the aligners are clear, they’re much more difficult to see than braces. Most people won’t be able to tell that you’re wearing the aligners unless you mention it.
For treatment success, it’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions. That means wearing the aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours daily. You should take them out to eat and drink and when brushing your teeth.
You also want to keep your aligners clean. Brush them with a wet toothbrush before you brush your teeth. When you remove the aligners to eat or drink at mealtimes, rinse them out before putting them back in your mouth.
During your treatment, you’ll see your dentist every few weeks. Your check-ins allow you to monitor your progress. You can also talk to your dentist about any concerns you have during your check-ins.
How Long Does Invisalign Take?
Treatment time with Invisalign varies from person to person. Some people see full results in just six months. Others need to wear their aligners for a year or longer. Following all directions and wearing your aligners for the recommended time each day will help speed up the process.
No matter how long the process takes, you can expect to see some visible changes to your smile after a few weeks. Once the aligners come off, wearing a retainer will help you keep your smile looking good.