Get the Facts Straight: The Advantages of Invisalign

Have you ever looked at a Colgate advertisement and wondered how some people have perfectly straight teeth? Well, apparently a lot of people have because orthodontics is continuously growing to support a widening population of human-beings concerned with how straight their masticating tools are. Think about how many people your teeth are in front of each day. It’s not like your whitening and straightening those things purely for the two minutes you spend looking in the mirror. Straight white teeth demonstrate to others that you are concerned with your own health and well-being. It’s a statement that an increasing portion of the world can make as dentistry, the final bastion of world health, is becoming far more prevalent in people’s lives.

If you take a step back and look at the history of braces, you begin to appreciate the leaps in science that we’ve made in the last few decades to arrive at something as magical as Invisalign. Health professionals have theorized for centuries that mouth-guard type devices could help teeth stay in their intended position. Finally, the French discovered removing the rear wisdom teeth would help avoid crowding, a common cause of crooked teeth in adults, thus expanding a medical profession aimed at pearly white, straight mouth bones.

The term “braces” became widely used in the 1900’s, using technology first engineered a century earlier: wire cribs placed directly over each set of two teeth. Elastics were eventually added to improve jaw alignment. These innovations, in addition to the dental dam, a thin piece of latex that fits around the teeth to protect gums during dental work, have made our modern idea of braces possible.

The first modern braces required wrapping wire around each individual tooth because bonding techniques weren’t strong enough to fasten the wire to the front of teeth. These wires, made of ivory, zinc, or gold, were tightened over time… ouch! The 1970’s saw a massive leap in orthodontics. Stainless steel wire joined by dental adhesive on the teeth made the braces significantly less painful and damaging. Since then, science has continued to improve the timetable for how long braces need to be worn, as well as allowing for “invisible” braces… but these pursuits, unfortunately, failed to provide a truly invisible way to strengthen teeth.  

Enter Invisalign: the revolutionary new way to straighten teeth without the need for uncomfortable wires. Those wire have long caused controversy over toxic metal exposure, but Invisalign uses BPA-free plastic liners, free of any harmful toxins. The FDA approved material is completely safe and expunges the concern over metal allergies. This new generation of braces reduces oral pain and sores caused by wires and brackets while preventing tooth discoloration and breakage.

There are many benefits to Invisalign:

  • Invisible: Invisalign Clear Aligners are virtually invisible. You can achieve that perfect smile without embarrassment: no more picking out colors to match the season! Invisalign is more aesthetic than metal or clear braces.

  • Removable – The Easier Way to Manage Oral Health: You won’t be walking around with an entire salad stuck to your teeth. Food can easily become lodged between metal brackets, making the cleaning process much harder. Over time, trapped food can cause an unwanted buildup of plaque.  

  • Eat What You Want: Everything from popcorn to caramel and even corn on the cob, you can eat whatever you want because you’ll remove the Invisalign aligners before each meal.

  • Comfortable: There are no metal wires continuously rubbing up against the side of your mouth. Irritation, discomfort, and open sores are eliminated with Invisalign’s plastic surface.

  • Fewer Emergency Visits: There aren’t any poking wires or broken brackets that require an unscheduled visit to the orthodontist.

As with any dental procedure, it’s important to understand the limitations of Invisalign aligners:

  • Transient Lisp: Both aligners and brackets may cause a slight lisp at the beginning while you adjust.

  • New Aligner Every Two Weeks: While you don’t have to see the orthodontist every two weeks, there will be added pressure on your teeth each time you change the set of aligner trays, usually lasting a day or two.

  • Frequent Teeth Cleaning: Invisalign requires a close attention to oral hygiene. You must thoroughly brush and floss your teeth after ANY food consumption. However, this may cause the added benefit of better oral health and teeth whitening.

  • Remove Aligners Before Every Meal: Invisalign aligners must be removed before eating or drinking anything but water.

  • Requires Excellent Cooperation: Aligners must be worn an average of 22 hours each day or else intended results may not be reached. Invisalign may not be for rule-breakers.

It is important to note that metallic braces are more effective for complex issues. Invisalign is not ideal for patients with bridgework, back-tooth bite issues, the need to rotate canines or premolars, the need to move teeth vertically, or the lack of discipline to keep trays in for at least 22 hours each day. Conversely, Invisalign may be the treatment of choice for certain malocclusions, producing better results in less time. Metallic braces are not ideal for patients that play contact sports regularly.

To summarize the differences between metallic braces and Invisalign Clear Aligners:

  • Irremovable metal braces VS. Removable Invisalign trays.

  • Typically silver VS. Invisible

  • Metallic braces are 24/7 for an average of 2 years VS. Invisalign aligners are worn 20-22 hours daily for 6 to 18 months

  • Metallic braces usually cost between $1,800 and $5,500 VS. Invisalign averages $5,000

  • Metallic braces usually require a follow up every month VS. Invisalign aligner trays are changed every 2 weeks with follow-ups every 4 to 8 weeks

Now that you are well-versed with the advantages of braces and Invisalign depending on your dental needs, let’s discuss what you can expect before getting Invisalign. You will start with a consultation. A doctor will examine your teeth and explain what the Invisalign treatment can do for you. Invisalign treatment is a personalized plan that is unique to every mouth. The doctor will use a fast, precise digital scan to map your teeth and calculate the sequence of trays you require. Before you even begin your Invisalign journey, you will have an opportunity to preview your new smile. Aligners are custom made for you in the largest and most advanced mass customization process in the world. Your doctor will be there every step of the way to ensure that the aligners fit well and to answer any questions.

What should you expect from your Invisalign braces and how do you care for the aligners after placement? Invisalign allows you to live your life without interruptions. You continue eating all your favorite foods. You’ll stay active in sports and activities. You can even continue brushing and flossing as you normally do.

Take your aligners out to eat and drink, then brush your teeth before putting them back in. Wear your Invisalign Clear Aligners 20 to 22 hours each day for best results. Parents can check usage with the blue compliance indicators to ensure kids are wearing them enough.

You’ll wear each set of aligners for two weeks or as prescribed by your doctor. The progress of your alignment will be monitored through check-ups every 4 to 8 weeks. It’s important to understand that you may feel a little extra pressure or discomfort for a few days after starting a new set of aligners.

Special Instructions for Cleaning:

  • Rinse your aligners every night

  • Brush them gently with your toothbrush

  • Use the Invisalign cleaning solution to keep your aligners clear

Straight teeth are no longer unattainable. Invisalign gives you perfect alignment without forcing you to change the way you live your life. Invisalign is the world’s most advanced clear aligner system, backed by two decades of innovation.