Invisalign—the clear alternative to metal braces—is a great way to straighten your teeth and give you the smile you’ve always wanted. Have you wondered if Invisalign is right for you? Let us answer some frequently asked questions about Invisalign:
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign treatment is an alternative to traditional metal braces. It is an orthodontic treatment where you wear a series of clear, removable aligners that gradually straighten your teeth. There are no metal brackets or wires, and less restrictive than metal braces.
We will scan your teeth using the iTero Intraoral Scanner, creating a digital scan of your teeth in minutes that you will be able to see on screen. We’ll be able to show you where and how your teeth could move, making a custom treatment plan for your smile. Once we obtain an image of your ideal smile, we will send this information to Invisalign. They will prepare a series of aligner trays that you will usually change every 2 weeks in a set order. These aligners will apply the right amount of force to the right place at the right time, based on your plan. We will be available throughout your treatment to monitor your progress.
Why would I choose Invisalign over traditional metal braces?
Invisalign treatment is an innovative alternative to metal braces. They are made of thin, clear flexible plastic, are FDA-approved and contain no BPA, BPS, latex, or gluten. They are virtually invisible and far less noticeable than wires and brackets.
How long will I need to wear my Invisalign aligners?
The average Invisalign case at our office is 6-8 months. Minor cases will be much less, around 3 months.
How often will you need to see the dentist when you have Invisalign?
Usually we will see you every 6 to 8 weeks to check your progress, see if your treatment is on track, and ensure your aligners are fitting correctly. We also want to be available to answer your questions and address any of your concerns with your case.
Does Invisalign cause you any pain?
When you put in a new aligner, you will typically experience pressure and discomfort on only the first day or two of the new aligner. Patients who have also worn traditional metal braces say the pain with Invisalign is much less than metal braces. You will experience less damage on your inner gums than metal braces as well.
How do you eat with Invisalign?
Simply remove your Invisalign trays when it’s time to eat. The goal is to wear Invisalign at least 22 hours a day. We provide a case to safely hold your trays when you eat. When you’re done eating, we recommend rinsing your mouth—or even brushing if realistic—and replacing your aligners.
Are there foods you need to avoid during Invisalign treatment?
A great advantage to Invisalign over traditional metal braces, is you can eat whatever you want! Unlike metal braces, you don’t need to avoid sticky foods, gum, corn on the cob, and other problematic foods.
How often do you need to wear your Invisalign aligners each day?
The goal is to wear your Invisalign trays at least 22 hours a day. If you need to remove them for a public speech or a nice meal, you can simply take them out and just place them back in when you’re done.
What happens when you’re done with Invisalign?
Finishing your case is exciting! We recommend using a retainer when you finish Invisalign treatment to prevent your teeth from moving back. There are a variety of retainer options, but we recommend Invisalign’s clear plastic retainers. You will usually only need to wear them at night as you sleep, and they are strong and comfortable.
We will be able to provide these retainers, as well as any replacements you may need down the road.
For videos and more on invisible braces, see our Invisalign page
. You can also see our next blog post to learn more about what it’s like to finish Invisalign treatment.