Here at Bennett Orthodontics, we know what a big decision orthodontic treatment is. We don’t take the trust you’ve placed in us lightly, and it’s important to us that you feel heard, respected, and understood from your first appointment to your last. It’s also important to us that you feel confident in every aspect of the treatment process!
If you’ve been considering Invisalign clear aligner therapy for yourself or your child, we want you to be fully prepared for the journey ahead. To help you get started, let’s take a look at what the Invisalign aligners system is, how it works, and how you can get the best smile out of your clear aligners.
(Are you a good fit for Invisalign? Click here to find out!)
What is Invisalign?
To understand what Invisalign is and how it works, it helps to know a bit about fixed and removable orthodontic appliances. Traditional metal or ceramic braces are fixed appliances, with brackets attached directly to the teeth. They can only be removed by an orthodontic expert. Invisalign aligners are removable orthodontic appliances. Although their underlying function is the same, they are able to achieve movement without any brackets, wires, or bands.
Invisalign aligners may look simple, but they are actually made from a special thermoplastic resin that molds to your teeth for a snug but comfortable fit. Since they’re removable and nearly invisible, patients experience a bit more freedom and flexibility than traditional braces can offer. This makes them an excellent option for patients who want a more discreet treatment that won’t interfere with their lifestyle!
Who is a good candidate for Invisalign?
Invisalign tends to work best for teens and adults with mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Cases that are more complex or severe may require the kind of precision tooth control that a removable aligner isn’t able to achieve. When you schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Bennett, he will examine your mouth and determine if Invisalign is a good fit for you.
How does the Invisalign system work?
Once you decide to go ahead with treatment, we’ll begin by creating a highly detailed 3D scan of your teeth. This will be used to custom design your aligners and map out a precise treatment plan. The plan will include the exact movements we want your teeth to make, and will give us some indication of how long we expect treatment to take.
Every patient responds to treatment in their own way, so the total number of aligners needed will vary from case to case. Some patients may need as few as 12, while others might need up to 48 (or even more!) Treatment times will also vary, although the average tends to be somewhere between 5 and 15 months.
The Invisalign system might work similarly to braces, but there is one significant difference. Because the aligners are removable and not fixed, the overall success of them depends on how compliant you are! Once you receive your first set of aligners, you’ll need to wear them for 20-22 hours every day, throughout treatment. You’ll also need to switch them out at predetermined intervals in order to keep up with the movement of your teeth. This usually happens every 1-2 weeks.
Just like a braces patient, regular check-ups will still be an essential part of your treatment process. We’ll schedule you for follow-up appointments every 6-8 weeks or so. During these visits, Dr. Bennett will ensure that everything as progressing as it should be. It’s important not to skip these appointments! If you can’t make one for any reason, be sure to reschedule with us as quickly as possible to keep treatment on track.
Oral health with Invisalign
With Invisalign’s removable aligners, it’s easy to keep your mouth healthy as you straighten your smile! Simply remove your aligner, then brush and floss just like you normally would. It is important to pay close attention to your oral health while you’re an orthodontic patient, so make sure you’re brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time, and flossing every night before bed.
Caring for your Invisalign aligners
There are several effective methods for cleaning your aligners. There are also a few that you always steer clear of! To keep your Invisalign aligners in good shape, follow these DO’s and DON’Ts.
- Rinse your aligners when you remove them, since dry saliva and plaque can breed bacteria.
- Soak your aligners using denture cleaner or Invisalign cleaning crystals to keep your trays clear and sanitized.
- Brush and floss your teeth before you put your aligner back in to keep harmful particles from getting trapped.
- Clean your aligners with a clear antibacterial soap to keep them fresh and free from bacteria.
- Brush your aligners gently and carefully. Brushing too hard can scratch your aligners and leave visible marks.
- Eat or drink anything but water while you’re wearing your aligners. Many foods and drinks can stain or discolor your aligners, and some may even cause odors.
- Use toothpaste to clean your aligners. The abrasive agents that can make your teeth sparkle will have the opposite effect on your aligner, and can also create small traps for bacteria.
- Leave your aligners unprotected when they’re not in your mouth, as this can expose them to harmful germs and bacteria. Rinse them, soak them, and then rinse them again before returning them to your mouth.
- Soak your aligners in any sort of mouthwash.
- Put them in heated liquid of any kind!
After Invisalign treatment is complete
Whether you’re using a fixed or removable orthodontic appliance, your teeth will always retain a memory of their previous place in your mouth. Over time, they will naturally begin to drift back towards those spaces. This is why retainers are so important to your long-term orthodontic success! Once your treatment is complete, our office will provide you with a retainer. You’ll need to wear it exactly as directed by Dr. Bennett in order to maintain your newly straightened smile.
Get the smile you’ve always wanted with Invisalign & Bennett Orthodontics
Just like any new experience in life, Invisalign aligners can take a bit of getting used to. But before you know it, they’ll be just one more part of your daily routine! If you have any questions about Invisalign or your treatment plan, our talented team is always happy to help. We’re committed to providing you with a rewarding, stress-free experience from start to finish!