Anyone who has ever had braces can attest to how awkward and uncomfortable that stage in life is. Having tiny metal brackets bonded to your teeth is an unusual feeling on it’s own, not to mention the pain that comes with having your braces tightened every few weeks!
Then there were the lucky few who had Invisalign. You may remember your cool friends in middle school sporting these magic clear aligners, which were virtually undetectable from far away. You may have even begged your parents to let you get Invisalign, rather than the clunky metal device that was now stuck to your teeth for the next two years.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign are transparent orthodontic devices that replace the need for traditional dental braces. Invisalign is ideal for individuals with teeth that don’t need a drastic amount of work, but rather slight adjustments. These clear trays are molded to fit your teeth and are meant to be worn for at least 22 hours each day, however some orthodontists may recommend that you wear them for a full 24 hours. The duration of most Invisalign treatments lasts for about 12 months, so long as the wearer follows their orthodontist’s instructions and wears their trays for the correct amount of time each day.
How is Invisalign Made?
One of the coolest things about Invisalign is that they are made specifically for your teeth in order to follow your orthodontist’s custom treatment plan for you. First, your doctor will capture a 3D image of your teeth using a high-tech scanner designed to see every tooth. Next, your Invisalign trays are made to ensure a comfortable and snug fit, and the gumline is trimmed down to give you the most natural look when you’re wearing your aligners. Before you leave your orthodontist’s office, your aligners will be examined and placed in your mouth to ensure they fit perfectly and are comfortable for everyday wear.
What are the Risks/Side Effects of Invisalign?
Just like with any dental treatment or procedure, there are certain side effects and potential risks that can arise when using Invisalign. One of the most common side effects you may experience with Invisalign is bad breath, since the trays prevent saliva from washing over your mouth, interfering with the natural biological process. For this reason, it is also common to experience dryness of the mouth, so it is especially important that you keep up with your oral hygiene during this time. It is also more common for Invisalign wearers to develop cavities, so make sure to take extra good care of your teeth when wearing Invisalign. The best way to prevent these issues from arising is by regularly brushing your teeth and drinking plenty of water to keep your mouth hydrated.
Who is Invisalign Ideal For?
While many people see traditional braces as being predominantly adolescent, Invisalign is commonly used by adults who want to correct their dental issues without all of that extra metal in their mouth. Invisalign is virtually undetectable when worn properly, making it a great option for anyone who wants to correct their dental issues while still maintaining their normal appearance. Because of this, Invisalign is especially popular among adults who may feel embarrassed by traditional braces. Invisalign may also be ideal for people who have the following dental issues:
- Crowded teeth
- Gap teeth
- Open bite
Who is Invisalign NOT Ideal For?
While getting Invisalign can be a great solution for people with certain common dental issues, this method may not work for everyone. More complex issues, like severely crowded teeth, are better suited for metal braces, as these tend to be more heavy-duty and effective. Another reason braces may be the best choice for some people is that braces put pressure on the entire tooth, while Invisalign focuses only on the upper part of the teeth. One of the biggest reasons many people opt for braces is because they can be significantly more affordable than Invisalign, and choosing braces can mean a couple thousand dollars in savings. To find out whether you should choose traditional braces or Invisalign, speak with your orthodontist and go over the pros and cons of each option.