As a leading El Dorado Hills Invisalign provider, my team and I have helped patients of all ages straighten their teeth with clear aligners. If youâ€™ve been considering transforming your smile, aligners could be a good option, depending on your case and lifestyle. To help give you a better idea, Iâ€™m sharing 8 things to know before getting Invisalign.
1. Choosing the right orthodontist for Invisalign treatment is crucial.
Invisalign is an outstanding tool. However, just as with any tool, itâ€™s only as effective as the person operating it. In this case, your Invisalign provider.
Invisalign prints a series of aligners based on your doctorâ€™s digital treatment plan. Itâ€™s the provider who determines when and where each tooth in your mouth will move, so your results are heavily dependent on that personâ€™s experience and skill.
Itâ€™s also important to note that the outcome can cause permanent changes in your teeth and face. This is why itâ€™s risky to get clear aligners online. You donâ€™t know the provider personally, and, sometimes, they donâ€™t even perform an in-person exam or take x-rays, which should be the foundation of any orthodontic diagnosis and treatment plan. Additionally, direct-to-consumer products donâ€™t take a comfortable bite into account, meaning that they will change the way your teeth fit, but wonâ€™t consider how to put things back together.
And while dentists can offer Invisalign, orthodontists are specialists. We attend two to three years of extra training after dental school, where we gain expertise in treating dental and facial irregularities with appliances like Invisalign. We know how to move teeth in a way thatâ€™s safe, efficient, and promotes optimal oral health.
2. There are no food restrictions, but you might find yourself snacking less.
There are zero Invisalign food restrictions. Since youâ€™ll take your Invisalign aligners out to eat and drink anything aside from plain water, you can continue to enjoy whatever foods and beverages you want throughout your treatment.
Keep in mind though that youâ€™ll want to wear your aligners for about 22 hours per day for the best results. Plus, after eating, youâ€™ll brush your teeth and rinse your aligners off before putting them back in. Some of our El Dorado Hills Invisalign patients find that having to take aligners in and out and stay within the 22-hour timeframe makes them snack less.
3. We can treat a wider range of cases with Invisalign these days.
Every smile is unique. Seriously, your teeth are one-of-a-kind just like your fingerprints! So it makes sense that some cases will respond better to braces vs. Invisalign, and the other way around.
That said, in the past, Invisalign was reserved for mild to moderate cases. These days, an experienced orthodontist can treat more severe orthodontic concerns with clear aligners. At Jeffrey Kwong Orthodontics, most patients are a candidate for Invisalign and Invisalign Teen.
For those who would do better with braces, donâ€™t despair, because my team and I offer aesthetic options, such as clear braces and InBraceÂ®. In fact, InBrace is bonded behind the teeth, making it even less visible than clear aligners.
4. You could need Invisalign attachments and/or rubber bands with your aligners.
One of the reasons Invisalign is able to treat more cases than it could in the past is the advent of Invisalign attachments and rubber bands. Attachments are tooth-colored buttons that are bonded to certain teeth. They give the aligners something to push off in order to achieve complex tooth movements.
Invisalign rubber bands work in the same way as braces rubber bands. The aligners straighten the teeth in each arch independently of one another. The rubber bands connect the top and bottom teeth, creating the connective force necessary to align the upper and lower jaw for a stable bite.
Some patients are surprised to hear that Invisalign requires extras, but the attachments and rubber bands are discreet. The attachments blend in with your smile, and the rubber bands are usually placed towards the back of the mouth, so theyâ€™re not too visible when you smile.
5. The first week of Invisalign treatment will be an adjustment period.
Even though Invisalign doesnâ€™t have brackets and wires, your mouth still has to acclimate to having a new appliance. Your first week of Invisalign will feel the strangest. After that, youâ€™ll probably forget youâ€™re wearing your aligners most of the time.
When you start clear aligner treatment, your teeth can feel a little tender and sensitive to biting pressure. This is a good thing and means your aligners are working. Any discomfort will go away within a few days. In the meantime, sticking with soft foods for a day or two will be helpful. You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever if needed.
You can sometimes have sensitivity again after putting in a new Invisalign tray. This will be even milder than the initial discomfort and should disappear more quickly. Try changing to your next set of aligners at night, so by the time you wake up in the morning, most of the tenderness is gone.
Invisalign aligners can also impact your speech at first. Again, once you get used to wearing your aligners, your speech will return to normal. You can speed things up by talking as much as possible. Read aloud to yourself, chat with a friend on the phone, or sing along to the radio.
6. Clear aligner treatment only works if you wear your aligners.
As I said before, getting Invisalign from an experienced orthodontist will play a big part in the success of your treatment. The other factor is you! Your aligners can only shift your teeth into place if you wear them.
I recommend wearing your Invisalign aligners for about 22 hours per day, only taking them out to eat, drink anything aside from water, brush and floss your teeth, and wear a mouthguard while playing sports.
When your aligners arenâ€™t in your mouth, store them in their case. Putting them on a napkin while you eat is a surefire way to accidentally throw them away. I can create replacement aligners for you, however, if you frequently need replacements, it can prolong your treatment.
When deciding on the best type of orthodontic treatment for you, your child, or your teen, this is something to consider. If you think youâ€™ll struggle with remembering to wear your Invisalign and keep your aligners in their case, a fixed treatment like InBrace hidden braces could be preferable.
7. The Invisalign cost varies.
The cost of Invisalign treatment depends on a variety of things, including the complexity of your case and the provider. Even your location plays a role. For example, the Invisalign cost in El Dorado Hills will be different than in New York City.
At Jeffrey Kwong Orthodontics, I try to ensure Invisalign will work for every budget. We accept most insurance plans and offer flexible financing options.
8. Keeping your teeth and aligners clean will protect your smile.
One of the benefits of Invisalign treatment is you can brush and floss normally. You wonâ€™t need to use a floss threader or any special tools like you do with braces.
This is a good thing since oral hygiene will be more important during clear aligner treatment. Your aligners can trap food and plaque under them, causing it to sit against the teeth for longer periods of time, which increases your risk of staining, tooth decay, and gum disease.
To combat this, always put your aligners in when your mouth and aligners are clean. Brush your teeth after every meal and snack, and rinse your aligners off before reinserting them. Itâ€™s good practice to rinse your mouth and your aligners after beverages too. Floss at least once daily.
When you brush your teeth in the morning and before bed, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and lukewarm water to clean your aligners as well. For a deeper clean, you can also use a mild, unscented dish soap or Invisalign cleaning crystals.
Find Out if Youâ€™re a Candidate for Invisalign in El Dorado Hills, CA
Now that weâ€™ve covered some key things to know before getting Invisalign, are you ready to find out if clear aligner treatment is right for you? Schedule a complimentary consultation for yourself or your child at Jeffrey Kwong Orthodontics today!