All You Need To Know About Getting A Brand New Smile With Invisalign in the New Year

By Dr. Alex Yen, DDS

If you’ve wondered about getting straighter teeth, now is the right time to act on it. With the COVID-19 vaccine now being rolled out, 2021 promises to be a year where things will slowly get back to normal. So, why not get ready for those reunions with family, friends, and colleagues with a brand new smile?

I’ve noticed that the recommended COVID-19 hygiene and social distancing norms lend the perfect conditions for getting Invisalign consultations done. We can hold remote dental consultations initially to determine if you are the right candidate for Invisalign or if any issues or queries crop up after starting your treatment.

But first, what is Invisalign, what is it used for, how is it any different, and other common queries on the topic.

There is more to Invisalign than what meets the eye. It’s true that Invisalign offers a more aesthetic alternative to traditional metal braces. But honestly, there’s much more than the mere aesthetic aspects of the Invisalign treatment.

There are many options for clear aligners in the market today. But, Invisalign stands tall among them. Let’s discuss!

What is Invisalign treatment?

Invisalign, in layperson’s language, are invisible braces to move your teeth into proper alignment with comfort and precision.

Invisalign is an orthodontic procedure involving clear aligners that works their magic of moving and straightening your teeth in a progressive sequence of trays. Each tray straightens your teeth marginally up to 0.25 mm more than the preceding tray. You need to wear the tray and leave it on for 20–22 hours daily for the treatment to be effective. Each tray set will have to be replaced every two weeks.

Remember that every Invisalign case is different. Your dentist will examine your teeth and prescribe a customized digital treatment plan for your smile transformation. For more complex cases, you may need tooth-colored attachments to be bonded to your teeth for the trays to latch onto and apply the right amount of force at correct angles. The tooth-colored attachments are barely visible and blend in well with your natural teeth. Depending on the complexity of the case, the treatment can last anywhere from 12–18 months, after which you will need to wear retainers so that the teeth don’t shift back to their previous positions. You will have to continue visiting your dentist every four to six weeks during the treatment.

Here Are the Top 5 Benefits of Invisalign

  1. Safe and Premium quality: The clear aligners are made from patented SmartTrack, a thermoplastic material exclusively made for Invisalign, which makes them different from the rest of the brands available in the market. They are FDA-approved and free from gluten, latex, BPA, and BPS.
  2. Versatile: Because of their innovative technology, Invisalign can be used to treat nearly all simple and complex dental conditions of teeth straightening and bite issues. For instance, Invisalign works well for gaps between your teeth, crowded teeth, overbites, underbites, and crossbites, and if you’re looking for generally straighter teeth. There are some dental conditions that are not suitable for Invisalign, including, if you have had bridgework done, resolve back teeth bite issues, need to rotate canines or molars or move teeth vertically. The best part of Invisalign? You will start seeing the results in a few weeks.
  3. Convenient: Metal braces are binding and restrictive, unlike Invisalign. You can remove Invisalign trays when you are brushing, flossing your teeth, while eating and drinking, and during special occasions. There are very few restrictions when it comes to eating all kinds of food and drinks (see below for precautions). It’s also very convenient to clean your aligners, unlike brushing and flossing your teeth with metal braces. Poor oral hygiene because of the inconvenience of metal braces, can lead to lesions and discolorations in the mouth and other teeth complications.
  4. Comfortable: Unlike metal braces, which have brackets and wires which can make you feel your teeth being forced, and pulled, patients using Invisalign feel less pain. They are thin, transparent, and fit snugly around your teeth. Invisalign aligners apply a gentle and consistent force on your teeth, which doesn’t interrupt your daily life. They can be comfortably worn nearly all day, including while sleeping. There is no fear of them breaking or rubbing and irritating the insides of your mouth and lips, making them sore and sometimes bleed, unlike metal braces.
  5. Aesthetic and natural-looking: Invisalign aligners are the preferred treatment for most adults and teenagers today, as few can tell if they’re wearing aligners to correct their teeth. They don’t look awkward like metal braces.

Precautions

There are certain precautions that you need to take for Invisalign treatment.

Always check with your dentist before considering an aligner treatment such as Invisalign. They have to be prescribed and administered by a board-certified and Invisalign-trained dentist. Contact our friendly, Invisalign-trained dentists in Palo Alto to discuss your Invisalign-related questions. Remember, many clear aligner brands in the market are not evaluated by orthodontists or have proper records and testing systems. It is not uncommon for me to find patients who’ve had disastrous results and visit our office to rectify the mess.

Invisalign trays need to be worn for 20–22 hours every day for them to work effectively. It takes around six hours of wear and pressure on the teeth to simply begin the movement process. Sometimes, I see patients who wear the trays only while sleeping or for an irregular amount of time. This is not healthy for your teeth and doesn’t give the teeth enough time to move to their correct position.

Oral hygiene is sacrosanct for Invisalign. You need to clean your teeth and the aligners thoroughly before putting them back in your mouth after eating, drinking, or any special occasion. You should never eat or drink anything except water with the trays in your mouth as the food particles, and acidic drinks can accumulate on your tray and feed off your mouth, leading to tooth decay. Avoid smoking as it stains your aligners and chewing gum, which can stick to them.

Final Thoughts

The new year is the perfect time for a smile makeover. Invisalign is one of the best options for teeth straightening and bite issues. It has clear benefits, as listed in this article. However, you will need to explore if it’s the right option for you with a professional dental consultation.

Contact our dentists in Palo Alto to take advantage of our Invisalign special today!

Dr. Alex is a trusted dentist who has found a home practicing general dentistry in Palo Alto.