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Everything You Need to Know About Invisalign

First impressions are important, and how you present yourself to the world comes down to many different factors. However, your oral health is an aspect of appearance that says the most about you to others.

According to studies, when meeting someone new, a person’s smile is the number one characteristic that attracts positive attention. With the help of Invisalign, you can put your best self forward.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is the world’s leading clear aligner brand. Clear aligners are a modern solution for crooked teeth. Made without wire, the aligners are molded from plastic to provide a custom fit for your teeth. 

These molds can be made for both your top teeth and your bottom teeth. In most cases, however, the most effective treatment is to use both at the same time.

Whether you’re using a top, bottom, or both molds, Invisalign clear aligners are removable. You can take them out to do things like brush your teeth or eat and drink before putting them back. 

How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign works by slowly moving your teeth and correcting your smile over time. This is done by applying controlled force to different parts of your teeth at different times throughout your treatment. Only certain teeth are targeted with each new set of aligners. This controlled way of moving your teeth makes the process less painful.

Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign clear aligners are adjusted and replaced, on average, every two weeks. Three weeks may be required between new aligners, depending on the complexity of the adjustments.

How does Invisalign compare with regular braces?

Traditional braces

Braces have been a staple in orthodontics for almost as long as the practice has been around. Traditional “modern braces” in the form we know them have long been the standard for correcting crooked teeth. But with the introduction of Invisalign, that standard is changing.

The popularity of braces is due in part to their versatility. They can be used in a wide variety of treatments and treat multiple dental and facial issues. Typically, they use metal brackets and wires to manipulate your teeth, shifting them into more optimal positions over time. 

Whether it’s for closing a gap or aligning teeth, treatment can be finely tuned at each visit to the orthodontist. Depending on the complexity of the dental issue, treatment times vary.

On the other hand, braces have commonly drawn the ire of their wearer. Aesthetically displeasing to many, traditional braces can make you feel self-conscious and draw unwanted attention. They also make brushing and flossing, and worse — eating and drinking — much more difficult. Hard foods are typically off-limits, as they may damage brackets or wires, prolonging treatment time.

Invisalign clear aligners

As new technology and techniques have developed in orthodontics, Invisalign has become the treatment of choice for crooked teeth. Clear aligners address some shortcomings of traditional braces. Clear aligners are designed to suit the wearer instead of the other way around. Invisalign clear aligners are:

  • Invisible
  • Removable
  • Comfortable
  • Highly customized

Thanks to their unique characteristics, Invisalign clear aligners are discreet. When worn, it’s difficult for others to tell you are wearing aligners unless they are up close. Their comfort level may even cause you to forget you’re wearing them. Unlike traditional braces with brackets and wires that can irritate sensitive areas in your mouth, Invisalign molds are smooth.

Clear aligners also don’t get in the way when eating, drinking, or taking care of your oral hygiene. During meals and snack times, aligners can be removed and set aside. Brushing and flossing can also be done as you normally would, without wires getting in the way. 

When you’re not doing either of these, Invisalign can be comfortably worn for 20 to 22 hours each day. This includes the time you spend sleeping.

Another benefit of Invisalign is that the treatment requires fewer consultations than traditional braces. In the case of clear aligners, most of the work is done before you even put them in.

Prior to receiving your aligners, your teeth are 3D scanned, and the results are used to craft your aligners. Unlike braces, you don’t need to visit the orthodontist for adjustments, so visits are kept to a minimum.

How long does Invisalign take to work?

Aligning crooked teeth is not an overnight process. Whether you use braces or Invisalign to correct your smile, the duration of treatment will be a months-long process. The average time it takes Invisalign clear aligners to work is roughly 12 months. There are some things you can do to make the treatment time as short as possible.

Carefully following your orthodontist’s instructions is essential to facilitating the process. In this case, that usually means wearing your aligners for as long as possible each day. While eating and brushing your teeth requires you to remove them, you should wear them at all other times.

You should also make sure to take good care of your aligners. Invisalign is not designed to be used while chewing food. Doing so may cause them to break, prolonging the process as you wait for replacements. Regularly cleaning them will also ensure no problems with the aligners.

What are the side effects of Invisalign?

If you’re wearing Invisalign for the first time, you can expect some mild discomfort early in the process. As teeth shift, they create new pressure and sensations in your mouth. The longer you wear them, however, the more you’ll adjust to the new positioning of your teeth.

Ultimately, the main side effect is a positive one: a beautiful, straight smile.

Who can get Invisalign?

If you’re an adult with all of your mature teeth, there’s no age requirement for receiving Invisalign treatment. The sooner you consider clear aligners for your adult teeth, the sooner you can achieve a healthy-looking smile.

What happens if I stop using Invisalign?

You may not achieve your goal of a straight smile if you discontinue the use of your Invisalign clear aligners. If you have not finished treatment, your teeth may eventually return to their original position.

Sometimes this is a deliberate choice, but often it’s subconscious. For example, the aligners may come out while you’re sleeping. If you’re not experiencing progress, it may be because the aligners aren’t being worn properly.

Consult with a professional

If you’re not satisfied with your smile or want to improve your oral health, reach out to a professional. An experienced, certified orthodontist can help you determine the best course of action at The Eram Clinic.

To speak with one of our specialists, contact our clinic to book a consultation. You can also visit us in person at our clinic located in the heart of Zurich.