What You May Not Know About Invisalign

What You May Not Know About Invisalign
Posted on 01/24/2018
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Since the airing of the first Invisalign® TV ad in 2000, the media has been abuzz with talk of the seemingly magical invisible teeth aligner they claim will render metal braces obsolete. Although the clear aligners have skyrocketed in popularity, they aren’t without their own setbacks and lifestyle changes, which may or may not affect a patient’s decision to join the Invisalign revolution. Before you walk into your dentist’s or orthodontist’s office requesting your own set, it’s prudent to familiarize yourself with both the pros and cons of Invisalign so you can achieve your ideal smile in a way that works for you.

Daily Wear

Part of the appeal of the Invisalign system is its ease and removability. Unlike metal or porcelain braces which are cemented to your teeth, Invisalign is a custom plastic cap that fits over your teeth and can be snapped into or out of place at will. However, just because it can be removed, doesn’t mean it should be. Invisalign aligners are designed to deliver results as long as they are worn, ideally at least 22 hours per day. Invisalign does need to be removed for eating, brushing and flossing, but must remain in your mouth at all other times to continue aligning your teeth. If you forget or neglect to wear your Invisalign aligner for at least 20 hours per day, the progress made on your teeth alignment could be reversed.

More Frequent Brushings

You likely grew up learning that proper oral care involved brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. Perhaps you even rinse with mouthwash. While these tips remain applicable when you wear Invisalign, the importance of oral care is significantly heightened. After eating, bacteria and sugars are usually kept at bay with the help of your saliva, but when you wear Invisalign, saliva can’t reach the nooks and crannies hiding bacteria. With Invisalign, you’ll need to increase your brushing and flossing frequency to coincide with all meal times. Brushing and flossing immediately after meals or snacks can help keep your teeth healthy and prevent your aligners from being clogged with bacteria.

Luckily, many Invisalign patients reduce their snacking and cut out harmful or staining beverages like coffee and wine entirely, resulting in some unexpected but often welcome weight loss and diet changes.

Similarly, you’ll need to clean your aligners to prevent the growth of bacteria. Use soap or detergent to do so rather than toothpaste as abrasive pastes could cause microscopic grooves in the aligners that may harbor odor-causing bacteria.

Occasional Discomfort

Like most medical treatments, Invisalign may take some getting used to. Each aligner slightly alters your tooth alignment in order to force your teeth to shift and accommodate the aligner. Once the desired alignment is achieved with one aligner, you change it out for another slightly different one. These minute changes will eventually lead to your desired results. Although Invisalign was marketed as a painless alternative to braces, patients still have some occasional discomfort. This pressure or soreness typically occurs soon after inserting a brand new aligner and may persist for a few days. As your teeth move, however, the soreness will subside.

One Size May Not Fit All

The idea of entirely invisible tooth aligners is intriguing for many, but the truth of the matter is it isn’t right for every case. Every smile is different and requires unique treatment plans to help straighten and correct teeth. For some, more severe alignment issues like extremely deep bite problems or rotated teeth, metal or porcelain braces may be a more realistic and accessible solution.

Find Out if Invisalign Is Right for You at Ballas Dental Care

Even if Invisalign isn’t quite as magical and pain-free as some patients anticipate, it is still one of the most advanced alignment correction systems available today. Invisalign users love the comfort, ease and subtlety of their clear aligners and most have enjoyed beautiful results.

St. Louis residents struggling with gaps, bite problems, crooked teeth or other minor alignment issues can turn to the experts at Ballas Dental Care for friendly, experienced service and cutting-edge treatment plans designed with patients in mind, including Invisalign. For more information about Invisalign or to schedule your appointment, contact us online or call 314-432-5544 today!