Invisalign is one of the most popular, orthodontic, treatment options currently available. Typically, this customized, barely-noticeable, tooth-straightening process takes approximately six to eighteen months. However, many individuals notice a difference in their teeth within two to three months.
Because Invisalign is customized, there are things to consider and rules each patient must follow.
To ensure your individual, orthodontic needs are met, Invisalign customizes each aligner. Your orthodontist will take measurements of your teeth and send them to the Invisalign lab. Several sets of aligners will be created for you to use over the next 12 months. However, based on individual needs, this time-frame can vary.
You will change the aligners approximately every two weeks. Each new aligner is slightly different and progressively shifts your teeth to straighter positions.
The aligners are very easy to wear and relatively comfortable. However, once they start to move your teeth, you may feel some pain. You may experience some sensitivity in your teeth, or they may feel loose. There is no need to worry as this is part of the process of moving your teeth into the correct position.
One great benefit of Invisalign is that, unlike metal braces, there are no wires or brackets. As such, Invisalign will not irritate the inside of your mouth.
During your Invisalign treatment it is of utmost importance to continue to maintain the health of your teeth by continuing to brush and floss. However, it is recommended that you brush your teeth after every meal or snack. Brushing after every meal is important because food can get trapped between your teeth. Unless this food is brushed away, it could lead to tooth decay.
Additionally, it is just as important to keep your aligners clean. Maintaining clean aligners will prevent bacteria from growing on the aligners. Additionally, it will help prevent staining and odors. It is recommended that you rinse your aligners each time you remove them because plaque and dry saliva are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. It is also recommended that you soak your aligners. Retainer Brite, denture cleaner, or the cleaning crystal from Invisalign are all good options.
Please note: brushing your aligners with toothpaste is not recommended. Toothpaste is abrasive and could damage them. Using soap and lukewarm water is a preferred method. Whatever cleaning method you choose, you should make sure to rinse your aligners thoroughly.
Unlike braces, the aligners are removable. You should never eat or drink with them in your mouth. You can take them out at any point to drink, eat, or brush your teeth. In fact, there is no need to skip any snack favorites or change your diet in anyway. However, with this convenience comes responsibility.
To reap the optimal benefits of Invisalign, you must keep the aligners on for at least 22 hours per day. Any time you remove your trays beyond the recommended maximum two hours per day, you risk delaying your treatment. This added responsibility is a main reason why Invisalign is typically recommended for older teens and adults.
Once you complete your Invisalign treatment, you will need to wear a retainer to keep your teeth straight. The retainer ensures that your teeth do not shift back to their original, unwanted positions. The retainers are just as comfortable and unobtrusive in appearance as the aligners.
Typically, there is a schedule that is customized to your individual, orthodontic needs. Schedules range from 12 to 22 hours for the first three to six months. After this first phase, the schedule shifts to exclusive, night-time wearing for the next six to twelve months.