Have you had a consultation with an orthodontist and decided Invisalign was the best path for you? If so, we have some Invisalign tips that will ensure you succeed with your orthodontic treatment. Patients, who are unfamiliar with this alternative method of straightening your smile will have numerous questions:
- How long does Invisalign take?
- Is Invisalign more convenient to wear than traditional braces?
- What are the benefits of Invisalign?
- What do I need to do to get the best experience out of them?
Invisalign can be a daunting step to take in the process of acquiring your dream smile. After all, there is significantly more responsibility put on the patient with this type of treatment than there is with traditional braces. Despite this, it can be well worth the effort for the results that you can get! We will address all of your questions below.
It’s best to understand the mechanics of this alternative orthodontic method first before getting to usage tips. So, what is Invisalign? The orthodontic treatment is a series of clear, removable appliances that are used to straighten teeth without the use of brackets or wires that accompany traditional metal braces. They are removable for eating and brushing teeth and are custom-fit per patient to ensure the ideal placement of the teeth and to ensure that the right amount of pressure is being exerted in the proper areas. They are designed for a simple and efficient procedure, as Invisalign is clear, comfortable and inconspicuous.
How long does Invisalign take?
Invisalign procedures range per person as the severity of every person’s teeth differs. Additionally, how long you wear them is determined by your doctor and what he or she believes is best. On average, the typical adult wears Invisalign for about 12 months. What is the patient responsible for with Invisalign? Not only is it the responsibility of the owner to put the Invisalign on at the designated times, but it is also their responsibility to take them off before eating and brushing their teeth and put them back on afterward. It is also the responsibility of the owner to decide if an event is important enough to remove the Invisalign, in order to have as natural a look as possible, then, of course, put the Invisalign back on after the event. What are the benefits of this type of treatment? Unlike traditional braces that remain on your teeth at all times and are quite noticeable, Invisalign is virtually invisible when worn by a patient as it has a clear molding. This can be a desirable path for those who want to remain natural and professional looking while slowly gaining a beautiful smile. The added flexibility of being able to remove them for important events like a dinner out with friends or an office meeting is hugely beneficial.
These questions are just the tip of the iceberg with regards to Invisalign and if you are seriously considering them you should make sure to have a conversation with your orthodontist. But if you have been told that Invisalign might be best for your orthodontic treatment, here are some tips every patient should know.
Tip #1: Keep track of how long you wear your aligners. The average time you should spend per day wearing Invisalign is 22 hours. Anything under 19 hours in a day is too short of a time to wear them and may threaten the effectiveness of the treatment. Thus, patients are left with a 3-hour window that they can go without wearing the mold. This is why it is important to monitor what time you remove your aligners. This can best be achieved by making a schedule of when to eat and when to brush your teeth, both of which require removing them and keeping track of patterns of when you’re likely to take them off. The hardest part about using Invisalign is wearing them, so it’s best to keep track and keep yourself accountable.
Tip #2: Keep your orthodontist updated. While molds of Invisalign aligners are meant to fit your teeth best, they aren’t always perfect. It is not uncommon to have sore spots on your gums or tongue after wearing a new set. This usually results from an overhang of extra plastic that needs to be trimmed by your orthodontist. It is their job to make sure you are as comfortable as possible during your treatment, so if you have a problem they should be more than happy to help you fix it. If you feel like you haven’t been wearing them as often as you need to and your teeth are starting to shift, call your orthodontist. You don’t want to waste any time or prolong your treatment for longer than you need. The earlier you inform your doctor, the more efficiently they can handle any mishaps pertaining to your treatment.
Tip #3: Keep your teeth and your Invisalign clean. During your treatment, it is especially important to make sure that you rinse, floss, and brush your teeth often. Make sure to brush after every meal and use floss as often as you can to get rid of any food stuck in your teeth. It is also very important to brush your Invisalign, just like you would your normal teeth. You should use either toothpaste or a non-alcoholic mouthwash, and invest in a second, non-electric, toothbrush just for your Invisalign.
Following these three Invisalign tips along with all the instructions your doctor gives you will result in the smile of your dreams. Yes, Invisalign does require some maintenance and there is a lot of responsibility placed on the patient. But the benefits of getting the full orthodontic treatment, without the inconvenient looks and pains of traditional braces, is worth it if you are eligible for this alternative.