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Invisalign: Get a Hollywood Smile Without the Mouthful of Metal

Malocclusion, or tooth misalignment, is on the rise in the United States. In 1998, about 20% of the population had significant malocclusion, enough to need braces. Today, 50-70% of American children need orthodontic intervention before adulthood.

Traditional metal braces have been used for decades, but they aren't the ideal solution. There's a lot of stigma around using metal braces, especially in the teenage years and adulthood. InvisalignⓇ provides an ideal alternative to get that Hollywood smile, without unsightly and uncomfortable metal braces.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a system of clear aligners that straighten teeth over a certain time span, usually 12-24 months. The trays are comfortable and nearly invisible, so you don’t have to worry about your appearance during treatment.

You should wear your Invisalign trays as long as possible each day to obtain the best results – at least 22 hours a day. You can remove them to eat and brush your teeth, which helps to maintain better oral hygiene. Additionally, clear aligners are gentler on the teeth than traditional braces, so there’s less pain. 

Invisalign corrects the same problems as traditional braces, including overcrowding, overbites, underbites, crossbites and abnormally large gaps between teeth.

How Invisalign works

When you come to The Dental Center of Hercules for Invisalign treatment, first we take three-dimensional X-ray images of your teeth and jaw. These images show your teeth from different angles to help Dr. Teodoro determine how best to deal with the misalignment. She then makes an initial plan to correct your bite problems and sees how the end-product will look.

Once planning is complete, the program makes unique aligners according to the state of your malocclusion. Most people use 20-29 sets of aligners in total, but the actual number differs according to your bite issues. In that time, you’ll change aligner trays every few weeks and see Dr. Teodoro every 6-8 weeks to make sure your treatment is on course.

It may be strange to have Invisalign trays in the beginning, but you’ll get used to the feeling in a few weeks. Remove the trays to eat or drink so that food isn't trapped between the tray and your teeth.

Tips to maximize the value of your Invisalign treatment

In order to ensure your success with the Invisalign program, your full compliance is necessary. As stated, keep the aligners in your mouth for at least 22 hours daily, but remove them when eating or drinking anything other than water. 

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your treatment.

1. You can delay changes

If you wear aligners for under 22 hours a day (19 hours should be your lowest limit), you should wait a little longer before changing trays. At 22 hours, you should change trays every two weeks, but you’ll take longer according to how many hours you wear your aligners each day. For example, at 19 hours, you need two extra days to get the same result.

You can also delay changing aligners if you have a big speech coming because new aligner trays take some getting used to. Be sure to notify Dr. Teodoro beforehand, however.

2. Use chewies

Chewies are small, soft, spongy cylinders made from a plastic-like material, almost like a small roll of gauze. They help to close gaps between the aligner and teeth, so the trays fit more snugly and comfortably. 

You should bite the chewie for 5-10 minutes several times a day, especially just before bedtime. This helps the aligner to stay in place while you sleep. 

3. Maintain oral hygiene

Try to brush and floss after a meal. If you can’t brush and floss to remove food particles before replacing the tray, then at least rinse your mouth with water. Brush and rinse the aligners twice a day like you do with your teeth. Use a dedicated toothbrush and nonalcoholic mouthwash or your regular toothpaste. 

Get your smile back

Getting Invisalign braces is a huge commitment, and you should be ready to do the work to get your teeth aligned properly. With metal braces, your teeth become aligned with little involvement from you. With Invisalign, you must do some of the work to keep the treatment on course. 

Invisalign clear aligners offer an ideal alternative to metal braces to achieve straighter teeth. You’ll be able to see how they change your smile over time. If you live in or around Hercules, California, and are interested in finding out more about Invisalign, contact Lovely C. Manlapaz Teodoro, DDS today to find out how our office can help you. Just call us or use the online booking tool to make an appointment.

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