In the United States alone, about nine out of 10 people have crooked teeth. Although it’s a common problem, it’s important not to ignore misalignment. Not only can uneven teeth negatively impact self-confidence, but they may also lead to problems like jaw pain, cavities and periodontal disease.
To treat misalignment, many patients turn to metallic braces. While the wires and brackets that come with traditional braces are effective, they can be uncomfortable and obtrusive. That’s why more and more patients are relying on Invisalign, a braces alternative that’s both clear and removable. Let’s take a closer look at how Invisalign works, its benefits and where you can find this unique treatment.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic device that straightens teeth over time. It may be used to treat the following conditions:
- Overbite and underbite
- General misalignment
Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign is both clear and removable. It consists of aligners that are customized to meet the exact contours of your mouth. Every set of aligners is made of a unique, thermoplastic material known as SmartTrack, which is designed to provide comfort and flexibility. Over time, the aligners will gently reposition your teeth, resulting in a healthy, aligned smile you can be proud to show off.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Now that you know what Invisalign is, you might be wondering: how does it work? The first step is scheduling an appointment with your dentist to see if you’re an eligible candidate. During this appointment, Dr. Reshma J. Patel will take a 3D digital scan of your mouth to get a better idea of your dental needs. If you’re eligible for Invisalign, this scan will be used to create a set of custom, transparent aligners.
When you first get your aligners, Dr. Patel will perform a check-up to ensure they fit properly. She will also show you how to safely remove the aligners, which you should do whenever you need to eat or brush your teeth. As your teeth shift, you will receive new aligners to accommodate the changes. Every time you switch devices, Dr. Patel will check the fitting. The length of time you use Invisalign depends on your needs — however, most patients start to see results in just weeks.
What Are the Benefits of Invisalign?
Here are some of the unique benefits Invisalign offers.
The main element that sets Invisalign apart from other teeth straightening solutions is the discretion. Since the aligners are made of clear plastic, they blend in naturally with your teeth. This is especially helpful for teenagers and adults who may feel embarrassed about wearing metallic braces.
Compared to traditional braces, Invisalign is far more comfortable. Metallic braces have wires that can come loose and poke your gums. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it may also require repairs. Invisalign, on the other hand, has no wires or sharp edges that might prod your mouth.
A major highlight of Invisalign is its removable nature. While you should try to keep your aligners in as much as possible, you can easily pop them out when brushing and flossing. You can also remove them when eating, which means you don’t have to worry about food getting caught in them (which is a common problem with metallic braces).
Cleaning your teeth with traditional braces can be burdensome. Since food can get easily stuck in the metal brackets, you have to brush extra carefully to ensure your mouth is clean. You also have to floss around the wires, which may be difficult to get used to. Meanwhile, Invisalign is extremely easy to maintain. All you have to do is remove the aligners, then brush and floss as usual.
Better Dental Health
In addition to making cleaning easier, Invisalign can improve your overall oral health. Having an abnormal bite increases the risk of developing cavities and tooth decay. Keeping your teeth straight with removable aligners can help prevent these issues from occurring.
The removable feature of Invisalign is more than just convenient — it also improves safety. For teenagers or adults who engage in sports or play musical instruments, having metallic braces increases the risk of injury. It’s common for athletes and musicians with braces to sustain cuts to the cheeks, lips and tongue. Since Invisalign is removable, you don’t have to worry about it causing injuries.
Invisalign typically requires fewer check-ups than traditional braces. This is because metallic braces are more susceptible to problems like loose wires and broken brackets. Appointments for traditional braces also tend to be more intrusive — braces need to be tightened regularly, which can cause tooth sensitivity. On average, you should have your Invisalign checked about every six weeks or so.
A common concern among patients considering Invisalign is that it’s not as effective as standard braces. In reality, Invisalign can produce the same results as metallic braces, all while providing more comfort and flexibility. Throughout the treatment, you will notice progress as your teeth change position. By the end, you’ll have a set of healthy, even teeth.
Where Can I Find Invisalign?
Many people with crooked teeth choose to ignore the problem because they don’t want to wear braces. However, neglecting the issue increases the risk of serious problems like jaw strain and tooth decay. Fortunately, Invisalign offers a discrete, comfortable alternative to metallic braces.
From heightened safety and flexibility to easy cleaning and maintenance, there are several benefits to Invisalign. For the best results, you should always go with a reputable dentist. Dr. Reshma J. Patel has years of experience in dentistry and has helped many Orlando residents achieve straight, healthy smiles. After an initial consultation, Dr. Patel can map out a personalized treatment plan that addresses your precise needs. She will also perform regular check-ups to ensure you’re on the right track. When the treatment concludes, you can expect the smile of your dreams. Learn more by scheduling an appointment today!