If your teeth are crooked or misaligned, you probably already know that the best way to straighten them is with orthodontic braces. But there are several different types of braces. One particular type that gets a lot of attention is the invisible style of braces. If you are thinking about tooth straightening methods, you may want to know more about these invisible braces, known by the brand name Invisalign. Take a look at the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Invisalign.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign braces aren’t attached to your teeth the way that metal braces are. They’re clear plastic devices that fit over your teeth, and they can be removed when you want to eat or brush your teeth. They’re made of a thermoplastic material, and each set of aligners is custom made to fit your teeth and the shape of your mouth.
When you wear the Invisalign braces, they exert force that slowly moves your teeth closer to the proper alignment. When your teeth have moved as much as a particular set of aligners can move them, you’ll move on to a new set. Usually, patients get a new set of aligners about every two weeks.
How Long Does Invisalign Treatment Take?
The exact time that it takes to straighten your teeth with Invisalign varies depending on the individual. The more misaligned your teeth are, the longer it will take to straighten them out. Invisalign is usually recommended for mild to moderate cases, and on average, most patients can complete their treatment in about a year.
Following your dentist’s instructions carefully is the best way to speed your Invisalign treatment. Invisible braces are most effective when worn for at least 22 to 24 hours out of the day. Even though they’re removable, you should only remove them for eating, brushing, and flossing. Otherwise, they should be on your teeth doing their job. You’ll also need to keep a schedule of frequent dental visits — usually once every four to six weeks — and trade in your old aligners for a new set on schedule.
What Are The Benefits of Invisalign Over Traditional Braces?
The most obvious advantage Invisalign has over traditional metal braces is that Invisalign braces are hard to see while you’re wearing them. You can smile confidently without fear of how you look. This is a big benefit for both self-conscious teenagers and professional adults.
However, there are other benefits as well. Because you can remove the braces to eat, you don’t need to give up your favorite foods and snacks — you can eat popcorn when you go to the movies or corn on the cob at dinner without worrying about your braces. You also don’t have to worry about food getting caught underneath your braces that you can’t easily remove. Patients with traditional braces can sometimes find themselves dealing with tooth decay once the braces have been removed, because they had difficulty cleaning their teeth properly while the braces were in place. But with removable Invisalign braces, you can ensure that your teeth are thoroughly cleaned every time.
To find out more about Invisalign braces, including whether or not they’re right for you, contact us today to set up an appointment.