Did you know that almost two-thirds of adults in the U.S. have some form of teeth misalignment?
What’s more, around 15% have misaligned bites severe enough to hinder mouth functions!
That said, if you feel that there’s something wrong with your bite, it’s possible there really is.
But there’s still good news. Even as an adult, you can still straighten your teeth and improve your bite. Today, orthodontic treatments are as effective in adults as they are in children.
One such innovative teeth straightening procedure is the Invisalign system. It works on teens and adults alike and can correct many of the same issues that other types of braces can.
However, there are benefits specific to this advanced teeth straightening system. And that’s exactly what you’ll learn in this post, so be sure to keep reading!
What Is Invisalign?
As the name suggests, Invisalign is a way to straighten your teeth and bite that looks like retainers and is almost impossible to see. The aligners replace the metal brackets and wires of traditional braces. Instead, you get clear, removable trays that fit snugly over your teeth.
SmartTrack®, a patented thermoplastic material, makes up the clear portion of the trays. And yes, the material is quite transparent, so it’s hard to tell you have them on! This is one of the reasons many adults and teens prefer Invisalign over regular braces.
Also, the trays are custom-made based on a 3-dimensional model of your entire mouth. This ensures that the aligners can move your teeth to where you want them. However, you’d need to replace these trays every few weeks as your treatment progresses.
How the Invisible Teeth Straighteners Work
So, how does Invisalign work to correct teeth and bite alignment problems?
Invisalign, like metal braces, gradually moves your teeth with gentle pressure. Your customized aligners will help shift your teeth to a more ideal location. It’s not painful, but you may feel mild discomfort.
Don’t worry though as it’s completely normal and is a sign that your aligners work. However, you must wear the aligners for no more than 20 hours per day. Compared to traditional fixed braces though, being able to take the trays off may be a better choice for you.
Moreover, Invisalign treatment is usually shorter compared to other fixed orthodontic appliances. In fact, a study found that Invisalign treatment was six months shorter than fixed braces!
Of course, this still depends on the severity of the teeth and bite problem. However, the average treatment time for minor cases is between six and 12 months. If you have a more complex issue, your orthodontist may require you to wear the trays for up to 18 months.
Patient adherence to aligner use also influences the length of treatment time. This is why you should wear your aligners for at least 20 hours each day so that they can do their job right.
The Smile Scan: The First Step to Getting Straighter Teeth
During your Invisalign consultation, your doctor will perform a “Scan Smile.” It’s a quick and accurate digital scan of your mouth, so no need to worry about goopy putty! It’s 100% computerized, so it’s far more precise than traditional dental impressions.
Your orthodontist will review the scan to determine the best course of treatment. The scan will also reveal if Invisalign would work best for you. Don’t worry; your dentist will discuss your other teeth and bite alignment options if it’s not.
Let’s say your orthodontist confirms that you’re a good candidate for Invisalign. The doctor will then show you how the system will move your teeth throughout the treatment. You’d even be able to see how your smile will look at the end of the treatment!
Also, the Smile Scan is usually a one-time procedure. The orthodontist will model all your aligners from the initial scan. You only need to pick up your new trays every week or two.
Why These SmartTrack® Aligners May Be a Better Choice Than Metal Braces
Invisalign patients tend to have healthier gums than patients with fixed braces. They also have a lower risk of developing tooth decay and bad breath.
One reason why this happens is because the aligners are removable. Since you can take them off, you can brush and floss much better and easier.
The only thing you could do to improve your oral hygiene is to clean your invisible trays. Invisalign care takes only a few more minutes as you can brush them gently with the same toothpaste. To keep your aligners clear, it’s best to soak them in a specialized cleaning solution.
Whereas fixed braces cover a huge portion of your teeth. Food debris, which bacteria in your mouth feed on, can get trapped in the braces’ crevices. These left-over foods can then nourish the bacteria responsible for plaque and tartar.
Moreover, you don’t have to worry about food restrictions since you can remove your aligners. Of course, you’d still want to watch what you eat and avoid too many sugary or starchy foods. But at least, you can eat without having a hard time or worrying about detaching brackets or wires.
Correct Your Bite Without People Even Noticing Your Teeth Straighteners
There you have it, your ultimate guide to the Invisalign system and how it can give you a straighter smile. If you would like to correct your bite but you’re not keen on wearing metal braces, then consider Invisalign. It may also be the better choice for you if you’re worried about tooth decay or gum disease.
Plus, you’ll have more freedom to eat and drink what you want when you have removable aligners! There’s also the extra perk of not worrying about food getting stuck between your braces.
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