Are you unhappy with the appearance of your smile? Or does your bite affect the way you chew?
If you’ve avoided straightening your teeth because you thought metal braces were your only option, read on to learn more about how clear braces such as Invisalign can give you a straighter, healthier smile without the pain and discomfort often associated with traditional braces.
What Are Braces?
Dental braces are devices that improve the look and function of teeth by aligning them in the ideal position. They can be constructed from a variety of materials and are designed to align teeth into their ideal position.
What Are the Different Types of Braces?
Although most people associate braces with traditional metal braces, there are a variety of types of braces, including:
- Metal braces
- Clear aligners like Invisalign
- Ceramic braces
- Self-ligating braces
- Lingual braces
What Are the Benefits of Braces?
While most people assume braces just correct crooked teeth to boost confidence, a straight smile can also prevent oral health problems.
Depending on the type, braces address and correct a variety of issues, including:
- Jaw misalignment
- Bite issues
- Gaps in between teeth
- Certain speech impediments
How Do Braces Work?
Braces work by using slight pressure to adjust and move teeth in slow, small increments. This works to improve alignment and create a better environment for your teeth. When teeth are properly aligned, they are stronger and better protected against a variety of dental complications.
How Do You Know if You Need Braces?
After a thorough exam, the overall health, appearance, and function of the teeth and mouth are evaluated. Your dentist or orthodontist may recommend braces if there is crowding, too much space between teeth, or alignment issues.
Your dentist will let you know if you are a good candidate for Invisalign Clear Retainers.
Who Are Braces Not Recommended For?
An orthodontist or dentist will likely advise against braces if you have:
- Significant gum disease
- Multiple cavities
- Significant tooth decay
- Major dental procedures such as dental implants
- Easy to use
Although individuals with these issues may still be able to get braces, these conditions will need to be addressed beforehand.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a treatment that gradually straightens teeth without the use of traditional metal braces. Using clear thermoplastic aligners, Invisalign gently moves teeth into the proper position over a designated period. They can be easily removed when eating, brushing, or flossing.
Invisalign vs. Braces
Clear aligners and braces can both be used to successfully correct a variety of alignment issues with the teeth and jaw. Traditional braces use metal wires and brackets attached to the front of the teeth. An orthodontist makes subtle adjustments to the wires and brackets to slowly move the teeth into proper alignment.
Invisalign Clear Retainers are a type of clear braces that offer many of the same benefits as traditional braces but without drawbacks.
While effective, traditional metal braces can be uncomfortable, painful, and awkward to wear. They also make it difficult to brush and floss properly.
Advantages of Invisalign Clear Retainers include:
- Nearly invisible for discrete treatment
- Easy to remove so you can still floss and maintain excellent oral hygiene
- Can correct minor bite issues, minor gaps, and overcrowding
- Treatment is almost completely painless
- More aesthetically pleasing than traditional metal braces
- Treatment is fast and efficient
- Saves time (treatment generally takes less time overall and requires fewer appointments)
How Long Does Invisalign Take to Work?
Results depend on the individual, but complete treatment with Invisalign Clear Retainers generally takes between 6 and 18 months. After a thorough examination and a discussion of your goals, you’ll receive an estimate of how long treatment will take.
10 Things to Know Before You Get Invisalign
Getting clear braces can feel overwhelming, but knowing what to expect can make the experience as easy and stress-free as possible.
Here are 10 things to know before you get Invisalign Clear Retainers:
1. You Can Straighten Your Teeth At Any Age
There’s no age limit on straight, healthy teeth. Although many people associate braces with teenagers, you can straighten your teeth at almost any age.
A growing number of adults are seeking out a straighter smile. Constant pressure from the tongue and chewing can cause teeth to shift and become misaligned over time. These shifts can lead to tiny pockets in the gum line that can harbour bacteria and increase the risk of gum disease.
2. You Can Take Them Out – But Not Too Often
One big advantage of Invisalign is the ability to take your aligners out for eating, flossing, and brushing. However, it is essential to wear your aligners for the recommended amount of hours each day to ensure they can shift the teeth to their proper position.
Generally, Invisalign must be worn for a minimum of 22 hours a day to be effective. Talk with your dentist about how long you need to wear your aligners each day.
3. It May Feel Awkward for the First Few Weeks
While Invisalign Clear Retainers are undoubtedly more comfortable than metal braces, they may still feel awkward or slightly uncomfortable at first – especially when switching to a new set of aligners.
However, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll get used to wearing them. Soon, you’ll forget you even have them in.
4. They May Have a Slight Effect on How You Talk
As you are getting used to your Invisalign Clear Retainers, you may find it feels a little different to talk at first. Some wearers report having a different sound to their voice or a slight lisp during the first week or two of treatment.
While not as noticeable as metal braces, it will still take a little while to get used to talking while wearing your aligners. As you get used to talking with your aligners, remember that it is most likely only you who notices any changes to your voice.
5. You May Start Seeing Results in the First Month
Although changes are slow and subtle, you may still notice positive changes to your teeth within as little as a month. With each new set of aligners, you’ll notice continued improvement as you get closer to your new, straighter smile.
6. Treatment Time Goes Surprisingly Fast
While a year of treatment may seem like it will take forever, many patients find the process goes surprisingly fast. Once you get used to wearing your clear aligners and as you see results, the treatment time will be completed before you know it.
7. They Are a Worthwhile Investment
While both traditional braces and clear aligners can be an investment, the results are worth it. Along with increased confidence in your smile, clear aligners can also help you maintain a healthier smile and improve function.
Want to know how much Invisalign costs? The cost of Invisalign will vary depending on factors such as your treatment goals, length of treatment required, and current tooth alignment. Please feel free to enquire with us to learn more.
8. Consultations Are Free
Curious to learn more about Invisalign or want to know if Invisalign is right for you? Reach out to us for a free consultation to learn if you are a good candidate for Invisalign Clear Retainers.
9. You May Prefer to Take Your Aligners Out in Private
Although it is a huge advantage to be able to remove your clear braces when eating or drinking, you may find that you prefer to take your aligners out in private. It can take some effort to pop them out at first – and you may find that a bit of saliva comes out when you remove them.
Many patients report feeling more comfortable removing their aligners in a discreet place.
10. Invisalign Retainers Need to be Cleaned Properly
It is recommended to brush and floss any time you are putting your aligners back in after eating or drinking. This prevents food residue from getting trapped between your teeth and the aligner. Along with being uncomfortable, this can lead to discolouration on your aligners and plaque build-up on your teeth.
You should also clean the aligners themselves. However, avoid using toothpaste on your Invisalign Clear Aligners. The abrasive ingredients in toothpaste can cause your aligners to look yellow and murky. Instead, ask your dentist for a recommendation on a mild aligner cleaner to use.
What Happens After Treatment With Invisalign Clear Retainers?
Once you complete treatment, a custom post-treatment retainer is created to maintain long-term results.
Want To Learn More About Clear Braces?
If you or a loved one is interested in learning more about Invisalign Clear Retainers, please feel free to contact us with any questions or to set up a consultation.
Our team of dentists is highly experienced in successful treatment with Invisalign. Get in touch with us today to start your journey toward a straighter, healthier smile.