If your teeth are misaligned, you may be ready to commit to orthodontic treatment. There are essentially two options for straightening teeth: braces or clear aligners. Many patients gravitate toward aligner systems, such as Invisalign, because they do not want their smile to be marred by brackets and wires. Still, that doesn’t mean Invisalign is right for everyone. Is it right for you? Let’s talk about some of the factors that make an ideal candidate for this treatment.
Mild to Moderate Misalignment
Invisalign is usually recommended for cases of mild to moderate misalignment, although in some cases, it works for more severe issues. It is capable of correcting:
- Open bite
- Rotated teeth
A certified Invisalign provider is the best person to evaluate the positioning of your teeth to determine if Invisalign could be effective for you.
Invisalign is generally geared toward adults and mature adolescents — people whose jaw and teeth are already well-developed. Invisalign does not work for children because they are still growing; it would be impossible to design aligners for them based on a single, initial set of impressions. Moreover, children do not usually have the self-discipline required to comply with the treatment.
Your dentist will play a key role in your Invisalign journey, but ultimately, the responsibility for making the treatment succeed rests on your shoulders. You must be committed to following all of your dentist’s instructions. For example, you will have to wear the aligners for 20 – 22 hours each day, and you will need to attend periodic checkup appointments. It may take you some time to adjust to life with Invisalign, but most patients don’t have any problems once they get into a good routine.
It is strongly recommended that you do not smoke while wearing Invisalign. Cigarettes will inevitably stain the aligners, leading to unsightly discoloration. Plus, if any tobacco sneaks into the aligners, it could greatly increase your risk of tooth decay.
Excellent Oral Hygiene
Everyone, regardless of whether they are undergoing orthodontic treatment, should observe excellent oral hygiene habits. However, it is especially important for Invisalign patients. You should always rinse your aligners before you put them back in your mouth after a meal, and it would be wise for you to carry a toothbrush and floss with you to make sure your teeth stay clean. Your dentist will give you more detailed instructions on how to keep up with oral hygiene while you’re using Invisalign. Your diligence will make sure that both your aligners and your smile thrive throughout your treatment period.
Is Invisalign right for you? If you think it might be, your next step is to visit a dentist who can get you started on the path to straighter, healthier, and more attractive teeth.
About the Author
Dr. Keith Hollinger is an experienced general dentist who has undergone advanced training in a number of areas, including orthodontics. He is well-qualified to provide Invisalign. If you would like to speak to him about how you can achieve straighter teeth, contact our office today at 860-430-5687.