What Is Invisalign and How Does It Work?

Like all medical practices, orthodontics has seen some exciting technological advances over the years. It wasn’t that long ago that the only choice if you wanted to get a straight smile was metal braces. One of the most significant milestones in orthodontics was the introduction of the Invisalign clear aligner system, giving patients a whole new alternative to bonded braces.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign straightens teeth using a series of clear, plastic aligners rather than brackets and wires. The clear aligners are made from a 3-dimensional scan of your teeth and bite.  Using this 3D model, Dr. Briggs plans the movements of your teeth using a highly specialized software, then Invisalign fabricates a custom series of aligners according to his plan. Over the course of your treatment with Invisalign, you will visit our office to ensure the teeth are moving correctly and to get additional sets of your custom aligners, each one progressively moving your teeth until they are straight. Because the aligners are made especially for you, they fit snugly and securely right over your teeth, easily snapping into place with little to no interference with speech or other activities.

Benefits of Invisalign

Invisalign aligners are totally clear, giving you an uncluttered smile you can proudly share during any occasion while you are in treatment. The close fit also results in a very high comfort level and poses no risk of gum or lip irritation or abrasions.

In addition to being almost invisible, the two biggest additional benefits of Invisalign are:

  1. You can simply take them out any time you eat, effectively eliminating any dietary restrictions while your teeth are being straightened.
  2. You can brush and floss normally (no special cleaning tools required)

Some other awesome benefits are you can play sports without worrying about damaging any brackets or wires and can play wind instruments without having to adjust to the feeling of braces on your teeth. Just remember to store your aligners in a safe place when you remove them to play and wear proper mouth protection when playing contact sports.

Best Practices with Invisalign

You will need to keep your aligners in for at least 22 hours per day to complete your treatment on time.  Consistent wear is the KEY to Invisalign’s success.

The ability to remove your aligners during your treatment allows for life to be more convenient, but it also protects your aligners from damage. You will need to remember to remove your aligners for each meal or snack, or anytime you drink hot or dark liquids to prevent cracking, warping, or staining. Since the aligners are clear plastic, you will want to place them directly in their case when not in use. Otherwise, they can get lost or damaged.

You will be changing to a new fresh aligner each week and so keeping your mouth and aligners clean is easy.  You should clean your aligners at least twice a day when you brush your teeth, simply brush your aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush and rinse them with fresh water. We do also have a few specialized cleaning solutions you can use to soak your aligners to prevent calcium buildup if needed.

If keeping your smile looking bright and uncluttered during your treatment is important to you, schedule a free consultation to learn more about Invisalign at Austin Orthodontics.