If you’ve been wanting to correct your smile but aren’t too thrilled with the idea of braces, Invisalign could be the perfect alternative for you. At CJM Aesthetics of Bay Village, OH, our team is excited to offer these aligners to help our patients enjoy a more confident smile. Today we’re going to go over what you can expect from this treatment and its benefits.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign is a treatment series that involves multiple sets of clear aligners. Each set, or “tray,” will be worn for about one or two weeks before you move on to your next set. Throughout your treatment, we can keep track of your progress and also predict how your smile will look by the end of your series.
How long your overall treatment will last depends on your needs. If you only need minor corrections, you could complete your series in as little as six months. That said, most patients can expect to wear their aligners for about a year. Once we evaluate your needs, we’ll be able to give you a more accurate estimate.
Many patients opt to treat their top and bottom teeth at the same time, but just like the aligners themselves are made for you, the treatment plan can be customized based on your needs. If you only want to correct either your top or bottom teeth, we can look into that for you. This would be called a single arch treatment.
The flexibility of this treatment is one of the biggest reasons it continues to grow in popularity. During your consultation, you can talk to us about your goals and share any questions or concerns you have. That will help us personalize your treatment with you.
One very important aspect of making your aligners work for you is to wear them consistently. One benefit braces have is they’re in place doing their job all the time. The removability of aligners makes them much more convenient, but it also means you have to be mindful of not taking them out for too long.
To keep your treatment on track, it’s recommended that you wear your aligners for about 20 to 22 hours each day. This leaves patients plenty of time to remove them for meals and to clean their teeth, but when you’re done eating, put the aligners back on.
Why Choose Invisalign?
If you’re wondering where Invisalign got its name, it’s a combination of the words “invisible” and “aligner.” It was designed to give patients an extremely discreet way to correct their smiles. Many adult patients in particular don’t want to feel self-conscious about braces. Clear aligners show your natural teeth, so your peers shouldn’t be able to tell you’ve got them on unless they whip out a magnifying glass.
Clear aligners are also ideal for patients who don’t want to delay their treatment but have a special event coming up. You’ll be able to smile for pictures and memorialize the day without memorializing a set of braces.
These aligners are made of a smooth plastic that’s customized for your mouth. There are no hard edges, no metal, and no wires to tighten. For patients with sensitive mouths, this can be a huge relief and can make adjusting to your dental treatment much easier. With less friction and less of an adjustment to worry about, many patients have an easier time sleeping with their aligners when compared to braces.
Putting away your favorite foods is one of the hardest parts of getting braces. Making dietary adjustments can be especially hard for patients who have food sensitivities, allergies, or restrictions. Thankfully, since you can pop clear aligners in and out at will, you won’t have to worry about changing the way you eat. You can take the aligners out, enjoy your favorite foods, then clean your teeth and pop the aligners right back in.
It can be tough to brush and floss around braces. Many people already struggle to floss consistently or brush for the recommended time. Patients with braces have to be particularly careful to clean around their brackets, as braces can become a haven for plaque and tartar if you fall behind on oral hygiene.
While it’s important to thoroughly brush and floss regardless of your dental treatment, Invisalign does make it a bit easier when compared to braces. When you take your aligners out, you can just brush and floss as usual. This may be an especially helpful perk for kids that can become impatient about cleaning their teeth.
We don’t recommend that you purposely give your aligners a hard time, but they are built to handle life. For active patients who enjoy sports, climbing, or biking, this could be a helpful benefit. Since you don’t have to worry about wires and brackets, going with clear aligners instead of braces may help you avoid a mouth injury.
Most patients look into aligners for cosmetic reasons, which is perfectly valid. However, straightening out your teeth can have health benefits as well. When teeth are misaligned, they tend to be harder to both brush and floss. Tight spaces where the teeth overlap can be almost impossible to completely clean, even with professional tools. Misaligned teeth can also be harder to fit with fillings and crowns.
When the teeth are corrected, it makes it easier to brush the entire surface of the tooth. This can help protect you from future tooth decay and gum disease.
What Can I Have Treated?
The best way to make sure this treatment can fit your needs is to visit us for an evaluation. With that in mind, these aligners do have an impressive range and can handle a wide variety of problems.
While these aligners can handle many issues on their own, sometimes braces end up being the right call. If that’s the case for you, it’s possible that you may be able to shorten the time you’ll have to wear braces by finishing your treatment with Invisalign. If that’s something that interests you, let us know and we’ll discuss your options.
Crowded teeth are one of the most common concerns patients have. When teeth don’t have enough space, they can push each other out of position. Aligners can help straighten these teeth and space them out so they’re easier to clean.
Misaligned teeth can contribute to many issues. They can throw out the balance of your jaw and contribute to headaches, jaw pain, or neck pain. They can also cause your enamel to wear more quickly or unevenly. Protecting your tooth enamel is very important, as enamel is what shields your teeth from bacteria and disease.
Some patients may want to reduce gaps between their teeth either for cosmetic reasons or to make speech or eating easier. Just like you can use this treatment to space teeth out when they’re too crowded, you can also use it to bring teeth closer together.
Overbites or Underbites
Both overbites and underbites can be corrected with clear aligners. As your teeth are gently and gradually guided into position, it will help “set” your jaw into a more correct position. With everything in balance, a well-aligned bite can be achieved.
How Do I Take Care of Them?
We recommend establishing a routine place to put your aligners when you take them out. Having a special place for them where they can be safely stored will help you always know where you left them.
You may want to have an extra retainer case that you can easily bring with you when you’re out and about. If you’re at the gym or at work and decide to grab a meal, you’ll have your extra case handy so you can discreetly slip your aligners into storage and enjoy yourself.
To keep your clear aligners clear, you’ll want to be consistent about cleaning them. Just like your teeth, aligners can harbor bacteria. The last thing you want is to brush your teeth, then expose them to more bacteria when you put your aligner back in. By keeping your aligners clean, you can help keep your smile healthy and your breath fresh.
Progress is exciting. You can mark your calendar when you hit milestones or switch to your next aligner set. By staying excited about your progress, it can help you remember to be consistent about wearing the aligners so you can stay on track.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
Whether you already know you want clear aligners, or have more questions you’d like to ask to help you decide, we would be happy to help you. Contact us at CJM Aesthetics of Bay Village, OH, today to learn more and set up your consultation!