A smile can say almost everything about a person, which is why a gorgeous and attractive smile is so desirable. But as we get older, the idea of braces can feel embarrassing or “too young”, so we might not take the steps to achieve the smile of our dreams. But now there’s Invisalign, a subtle and effective way to straighten teeth that can work even better than conventional braces. Here at Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX, we can assist with Invisalign and several other orthodontic treatments that will have you showing off your picture-perfect new grin in no time.
How Many Hours a Day Do You Need To Wear Invisalign?
This treatment involves wearing clear aligners in your mouth that gradually straighten your teeth. To achieve optimal results, we recommend wearing your Invisalign for between twenty and twenty-two hours every day. This makes wearing them nice and straightforward. You can keep them in as you go about your day, only removing them to eat, drink, and brush your teeth.
Most people find it takes no time at all to forget they’re even wearing their aligners as they work, socialize, exercise, or even just lounge around at home. But their simplicity is only the tip of the iceberg. Read on to understand exactly how this treatment works and what it can do for your smile.
What Exactly Is Invisalign?
As mentioned above, this treatment involves the patient wearing clear, subtle aligners that, over time, move their teeth into a straighter position. The result is a more aesthetic and healthy-looking smile. Unlike braces, wearers don’t have to stress about any brackets or wires that could break, dig into the gums, or just look unappealing. Several aligners are made, intended to be worn at different points in your progress. Each one will further move your teeth into a straighter position until you have your dream smile.
How Does This Treatment Work?
Designing Your Plan
During a consultation with one of our expert staff here at Central Texas Orthodontics, we’ll use a groundbreaking algorithmic system called ClinCheck to come up with a treatment plan specifically tailored to your smile. We do this by first taking a 3D mold of your teeth. We input this, as well as some of your details, into ClinCheck. It then formulates a plan, including the aligners you’ll be wearing to shape your smile.
What Are the Aligners Like?
The aligners you’ll wear are made from something called Smart Track. This FDA-approved, patented material doesn’t contain any BPS, BPA, gluten, or latex. Instead, it’s a thermoplastic that makes your aligners flexible and sits comfortably in your mouth, meaning you never have to worry about cuts on your cheeks or thoroughly washing them every night with salt. It also is so pliant that it can move each individual tooth differently, so the results of treatment are precise and focused.
All that being said, they’re still clear and unnoticeable like a conventional retainer. You’ll wear each aligner for about two weeks and then move on to your next one. The whole treatment generally lasts between twelve and eighteen months.
What Can I Expect When I Get This Treatment?
During Your Appointment
Your first step will be to come in for a consultation with a member of our licensed team here at Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX. Our expertise and conduct, combined with the groundbreaking technology of ClinCheck, will mean you’re in the best hands with optimal resources at your disposal to achieve a dazzling smile.
We’ll take an impression of your teeth, perform an examination of your mouth, and ask you a few questions to ensure this treatment is a good fit for you. If it doesn’t look like the best option, we can talk about your alternatives and come up with something more suited to your teeth. If you are a good fit, we’ll input all this gathered information and data into ClinCheck and it will design your treatment plan.
Wearing Your Aligners
Before you begin treatment, we’ll recommend you schedule a visit with your dentist so your teeth can be clean and in a healthy condition before your start wearing your aligners. Most patients wear their aligners for between twelve and eighteen months, swapping out the current aligner for a new one every two weeks. The best results come from wearing your aligner for about twenty hours a day, but some people wear theirs for as many as twenty-two. We don’t recommend going lower than twenty, as all you’ll do is slow down the process and waste your own time and money.
You’ll come in for a checkup with us every month or so so we can look at your progress. We can make any tweaks to your treatment plan if they’re needed and you can always call us with any questions or issues.
Why Is This Treatment the Best Option for Me?
The subtle aligners that this treatment provides mean you don’t have to worry about people noticing or remarking on your teeth. Those of us who wore braces may remember people asking questions about them or commenting whenever you got them changed. Treating anything cosmetic can feel private, so if you don’t want people knowing about your treatment, they now won’t have to find out.
Without brackets and wires filling up your mouth, you can also smile freely in photos and not feel self-conscious or embarrassed like braces might make you feel.
It’s been found that, on average, this treatment works faster than other methods of straightening the teeth. That means you don’t have to wait as long to enjoy the smile you’ve always wanted.
Thanks to that flexible Smart Track material, aligners sit comfortably in a patient’s mouth. There’s no risk of any digging into cheeks or cutting your tongue on wires or metal like with braces or wire retainers. Being able to take the aligner out to brush your teeth and floss also means you can still effectively clean your teeth.
Wires can catch a lot of food in them and sometimes even the most vigorous brushing can’t remove all the particles. Flossing, obviously, is nearly impossible with wires on the teeth. But with this treatment, oral hygiene can still be maintained.
It’s Less Likely To Damage Your Teeth
Did you know that excessive force on a tooth can sometimes shrink its root? This treatment is proven to have less risk of shrinking tooth roots thanks to a more gentle system. It’s also great for teeth-grinders. Like wearing a mouthguard while you sleep to protect your teeth, these aligners can ease the symptoms.
Why Do I Change the Aligner Every Two Weeks?
As you wear an aligner, your teeth will very gradually move. After two weeks, they’ll have mostly settled into this new position, so a new aligner provides a new gentle force to move them further. The movements are tiny and precise, but after about twelve months, have become significantly more straight. The process works similarly to braces. People who wear braces are required to regularly get them tightened to maintain pressure on the teeth. Unlike Invisalign, this requires a visit to the orthodontist, plus tightening can be very painful.
The Smart Track material is also super snug on the teeth so patients can enjoy a precise, subtle fit while they wear their trays and can remove and reinsert them with ease. Changing the aligners in time with your teeth moving will mean they always fit the teeth perfectly.
Does ClinCheck Really Work?
The ClinCheck system is exclusively used by Invisalign to design and maintain an accurate treatment plan for patients. It uses dozens of algorithms based on your data and tooth molds to do so and can tailor a treatment plan so specific that it can track the movements of each individual tooth. So while it is proven to work incredibly well, offering patients a 96% satisfaction rate when it comes to Invisalign, it’s best used by a professional orthodontist like one of our staff here at Central Texas Orthodontics.
We combine trailblazing technology with our years of expertise and professional opinions to ensure the entire treatment runs as smoothly and effectively as possible.
Why Can’t I Eat or Drink With My Tray In?
If you eat while wearing your aligner, it’s incredibly easy to get food stuck between it and your teeth. This can lead to plaque building up and ultimately your teeth decaying. This is a particularly prevalent issue when patients eat sugary foods. The same goes for wine, coffee, or other liquids besides water. Many of these liquids can actually discolor the clear aligner, which makes it unsightly and no longer subtle. In some cases, they can even break down the material.
Hot drinks can warp the plastic as it bends with heat. For that reason, wearers should only drink water while they’re wearing their aligner.
Taking Care of Your Aligners
When we give you your aligners, we’ll give you some guidelines to follow to best take care of them and ensure your road to a perfect smile is as easy as possible. There are a few general rules to follow:
- Avoid chewing gum while your aligner is in because it can stick to the tray and damage it.
- Don’t smoke while your aligner is in. Much like dark liquids can turn your clear aligner a darker color, plus exposing your aligner to heat risks warping the plastic.
- For the same reason, don’t wash your aligner in hot water. You don’t want anything to bend out of place!
Who Is a Good Candidate for Treatment?
If you’re unhappy with the aesthetic look of your teeth and are hoping to straighten your smile, Invisalign may be an good option for you. Potential patients should be willing to wear their aligners for at least twenty hours of the day and change aligners at the right time. They also must take care of their trays, including cleaning them and keeping them in a safe place when they’re not being worn.
It’s also worth noting that this is an excellent treatment to remedy cosmetic concerns. If you have more severe orthodontic issues, we might recommend an alternative procedure like braces, as they can be used to combat more complex problems.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you’re ready for straighter, more healthy-looking teeth that will make for a brilliant smile, Invisalign may be right for you. This clever and intuitive treatment can give you a custom smile that you’ll be thrilled to show off in as little as twelve months. And our expert orthodontists can’t wait to help you! To learn more, contact us now at Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX.