What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a customizable series of clear, plastic aligners that slowly shift misaligned teeth into a beautifully straight position. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign does not require brackets or wires. Instead, digital impressions of your teeth are taken and sent to Invisalign, where a custom set of aligners is created. It’s one of the simplest ways to straighten your teeth, and the team at SouthEnd Dentistry makes the entire process easy.
The Invisalign Process at SouthEnd
During your first appointment with Dr. Picot, he will evaluate your smile and decide if you are a good candidate for Invisalign. If you are, he will take a digital impression of your teeth and create a treatment plan specifically for you. The impressions and treatment plan are then sent to Invisalign, where a comprehensive set of aligners are made.
Once we receive your aligners, we’ll give you a call so you can come in to pick them up. Dr. Picot will ensure your first set fits correctly, and give you the first few sets. You’ll be responsible for wearing your aligners as much as possible and switching out sets every 2 weeks. Just make sure you come back every six weeks, so Dr. Picot can track your progress and give you more aligners.
WEARING YOUR ALIGNERS
As long as you wear your aligners for at least 22 hours per day, you should progress nicely through your treatment. Each set of aligners should be worn for approximately two weeks before moving on to the next set. Depending on the individual’s commitment to wearing the aligners, patients may see significant progress in a matter of months. Treatment is not always easy with a removable appliance like Invisalign, but a good way to ensure progress is to only remove them when you eat, brush and floss.
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The Finishing Touches
Once your Invisalign treatment plan is complete, Dr. Picot will fit you for a retainer to maintain the new position of your teeth. Without proper care, patients may lose some of their hard-earned progress, and find themselves out of alignment again. Retainers are worn for a majority of the day and night for the first few months, and gradually can be worn just at night as your teeth become accustomed to their new position.
How Should I Care For My Aligners?
The most important step you can take to care for your aligners properly is to avoid eating anything while wearing them, and to only drink water while they are on. Chewing food while wearing your aligner will damage it, and drinking colored beverages will cause stains.
Additionally, it’s important to always have your Invisalign case handy when you need to remove your aligners to eat or drink. Put your aligners into the case to keep them safe and avoid misplacing them or accidentally damaging or dropping them. Rinse your aligners with water whenever you take them out to reduce the buildup of plaque and dried-out saliva.
After each meal, brush your teeth to remove plaque, bacteria, and food particles, which could be held against your teeth by your aligners. If you can’t brush after a meal for some reason, we recommend at least rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash.
Finally, make sure you clean your aligners every night. Avoid toothpaste, as it is abrasive and could damage the plastic. Instead, use a toothbrush and an antibacterial soap that rinses away cleanly. Use only warm water since hot water could cause the aligner to warp.
What Are The Benefits Of Invisalign?
- Invisible when worn – This is, by far, the biggest advantage of Invisalign. When worn, your aligners will be virtually invisible. As soon as you’ve adjusted to how they fit in your mouth, they will not even affect your speech. They will be completely unnoticeable, making them a great option if you want to adjust your smile without the unsightly appearance of metal braces.
- Completely removable – You can remove your aligners to brush and floss for better oral hygiene, and to eat. This means there are no dietary restrictions with Invisalign.
- Faster overall results – Invisalign usually takes under a year for most patients, while braces typically require at least 18 months for similar results.
- Gentle treatment – Compared to braces, Invisalign exerts more gentle pressure on your teeth, and will not cause as much discomfort, compared to braces.
- Fewer visits to the dentist – You don’t need to come in for a tightening with Invisalign. Just stop by our office every 4-6 weeks for a quick oral exam and to get your next few sets of aligners.
Candidates for Invisalign
If you have a healthy mouth, but you have some minor-to-moderate orthodontic issues like crowded or gapped teeth or a crooked smile, Invisalign may be right for you. However, Invisalign is not always suitable for patients who have more serious orthodontic problems, such as severely crooked or rotated teeth, major jaw and bite malpositioning, and other such issues. In these cases, Dr. Picot may recommend traditional metal braces. To find out if you’re a good candidate, contact SouthEnd Smiles for a consultation!