Your smile speaks volumes about you. If your teeth aren’t straight, it is natural to want to straighten them so you can feel more confident when you speak, smile, and laugh. However, braces aren’t right for everyone. At Ragan Orthodontics in Dallas, TX, we are proud to offer Invisalign. This subtle teeth-straightening method is more effective and comfortable than traditional braces. Here’s what you need to know.
How Many Hours Per Day Should You Wear Invisalign?
This smile-enhancing treatment involves wearing aligners regularly to straighten your teeth gradually. For the best results, you should wear these aligners between 20 and 22 hours daily. What’s great about Invisalign is the treatment guidelines are simple and easy to remember. Wear your aligners unless you are drinking, eating, or brushing your teeth.
You will be aware of your aligners at first. However, you will quickly forget you are wearing them. You can work, exercise, socialize, and enjoy your favorite book without noticing the aligners slowly shifting your teeth. With that being said, the simplicity of this treatment is just the beginning. Keep reading to discover how this treatment is so effective and how it can benefit you.
What Is Invisalign?
To reiterate, Invisalign treatment is a process of wearing clear, comfortable, subtle aligners that straighten teeth gradually. At the end of the process, your smile will look healthier and more beautiful. There are many reasons this treatment is an excellent alternative to braces, including the peace of mind that comes with this teeth-straightening method.
You don’t have to worry about ugly brackets making you feel more self-conscious as the treatment works. You don’t have to worry about painful wires digging into your gums, and you don’t have to worry about a handful of popcorn popping off your brackets. You just have to remember to come in for your follow-up appointments for your new aligners so your progress can continue.
What Are the Aligners Like?
The aligners are made out of a special plastic material called Smart Track. This patented material is FDA-approved for safety and efficacy. This thermoplastic is free from potentially harmful ingredients, such as gluten, latex, BPS, and BPA. These flexible aligners fit your teeth like a glove, so you don’t have to worry about cutting your cheeks or tongue. Additionally, they do not need to be washed thoroughly with salt every night.
Why Should I Consider This Smile-Enhancing Solution?
The clear Invisalign aligners hug your teeth closely, so they are virtually invisible. You will be able to see a faint outline of the aligners when you look for them closely in the mirror. That said, nobody else will be able to tell you are wearing them. If you or a loved one wore braces, you remember people commenting on the appearance of the braces.
There is nothing wrong with receiving professional help to enhance your appearance; however, many people feel cosmetic treatments are private. With these subtle aligners, nobody will know you are receiving help to perfect your smile, and strangers who meet you once this treatment is complete will never know. Without wires and gaudy or metal brackets filling your mouth, you can smile with confidence when you meet someone new, hang out with your friends, or take impromptu photographs.
It Is Quick
Typically, it takes a couple of years for braces to straighten your teeth. On the other hand, you can expect Invisalign to straighten your teeth in six months to a year. We can give you a better idea of how quickly you should expect to get the perfectly straight teeth you desire.
It Is Comfortable
You can feel confident that your aligners will be comfortable thanks to the flexible, innovative Smart Track material the aligners comprise. Unlike braces or wire retainers, you don’t have to worry about these aligners digging into your cheeks. Additionally, there are no wires or metal with the potential to cut your tongue.
With clear aligners, oral hygiene can be maintained. Remember, one of the only times you should remove your aligners is to brush and floss your teeth. When there are wires on your teeth, you have to buy special tools to help you floss effectively, and wires often trap food that can’t be removed without flossing or professional cleaning.
How the Perfect Fit Is Ensured
We can guarantee a perfect fit every time thanks to our award-winning i-Cat FLX 3D scanner. This innovative scanner uses less radiation than a traditional 2D scanner and the images can be manipulated to show all angles of the mouth. Another great thing about this scanner is it eliminates the need to take molds of the teeth with alginate and a plastic tray.
It Mitigates the Risk of Tooth Damage
Sometimes, when too much force is applied to a tooth, the root of the tooth shrinks. Since this treatment process is very gentle, you don’t have to worry about the roots of your teeth shrinking. These clear aligners are also great for people who grind their teeth. They double as a mouthguard, protecting your teeth while you sleep and while you are subconsciously stressed.
Why the Aligner Must Be Changed Every Other Week
Your teeth shift gradually as you wear your aligner. After 14 days, for the most part, your teeth will be settled into their new position. Therefore, a new aligner is required to provide another gentle force so more subtle progress can be made. Again, individual results vary, but you can expect a significantly improved smile within six to 12 months of gradual, very precise movements.
This treatment process is very similar to braces. People who opt for braces to enhance their smiles need to visit an orthodontist regularly to tighten the braces and maintain the pressure on their teeth. Unfortunately, this is a painful process that can continue to hurt after the orthodontist visit is over. On the other hand, clear Smart Track aligners fit on the teeth snugly and can be removed and reinserted easily. Changing the aligners as your teeth shift ensures a constantly perfect fit without the discomfort.
Why Can’t I Eat With My Aligners In?
You should avoid eating with your aligners in to prevent food from getting stuck between the aligners and your teeth. If food gets stuck between your aligners and your teeth, plaque buildup can occur. Over time, this can result in tooth decay. This is a particularly significant issue if you are eating sugary foods.
There is also a significant risk of a problem if you drink such beverages as coffee, wine, tea, and sugary fruit juices. Such liquids may stain the aligner, making it less subtle. Sometimes, beverages can even break down the Smart Track material. Furthermore, you should be aware that heat from food and beverages can warp the plastic.
Can I Drink Water With My Aligners In?
Yes, you may drink plain water with your aligners in. To be clear, you should not drink water with your aligners in if the water is flavored with a highly acidic fruit, such as a lime or lemon slice.
How Should I Care for My Aligners?
As noted above, you should not eat or drink with your aligners in, but it is okay to drink plain water. Additionally, you should not chew gum, including sugar-free gum, with your aligners in. Gum has the potential to stick to the tray, causing damage.
Furthermore, it is very important that you do not smoke or vape while your aligners are in. Just like dark liquids, tobacco products can stain your aligners. There is also the chance that the heat will warp the plastic. You should refrain from washing your aligners in hot water for the same reason. If the plastic warps, you may not be able to remove and put in your aligners comfortably, and they will become less effective.
Am I a Good Candidate for This Treatment?
This treatment may be appropriate for you if you are concerned about the way your teeth look and want to straighten your smile. That said, to be considered a good candidate for this treatment, you need to commit to wearing your aligners for at least 20 hours daily and coming in for your scheduled appointments to change your aligners.
Furthermore, you must commit to cleaning your trays thoroughly when you take them out and storing them safely when they are not in use. Ultimately, you need to come in for an initial evaluation to determine whether this treatment is right for you. However, you will probably qualify if you want to straighten your teeth and are committed to the process.
How Do I Keep My Aligners Clean?
To keep your aligners clean, use toothpaste and a toothbrush to brush them when you are not wearing them. Once you have brushed them, you should rinse them with cold or tepid water. Furthermore, it is very important to brush your teeth after every snack and meal. If there is food residue, such as tomato sauce or blueberries, in your mouth, and you don’t brush your teeth, the inside of your aligners can become stained.
Can I Eat Soft Foods While Wearing My Aligners?
No, you should not eat soft foods while wearing your aligners. You may be tempted to eat a cupcake or donut at the office because the treat will not crack or stick to your aligners like gum or jerky. All eating is off of the table while wearing your aligners.
If you want a snack and can’t brush your teeth, store your aligners in a sanitary location and rinse your mouth out with mouthwash thoroughly. Remember, sugar is particularly bad during your treatment.
What Should I Expect During My Initial Evaluation?
During your initial evaluation, we will take an impression of your teeth, examine your mouth, and talk about your goals to ensure this treatment will be right for you. This process won’t take longer than 30 minutes. If this treatment isn’t right for you, we will discuss other ways you can get the healthy, dazzling smile you desire. We offer several types of innovative braces that do not have the downsides that traditional braces have.
Book an Initial Evaluation Today
If you’re ready to straighten your teeth and feel confident about your smile, Invisalign may be the perfect solution for you. For the best results, you should wear clear aligners for 20 to 22 hours daily. In as few as six months, you can have the beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of. Drop us a line today at Ragan Orthodontics in Dallas, TX to book an initial evaluation and find out if this treatment is right for you.