7 Things To Expect From Your Invisalign Treatment

Invisalign treatment process

Orthodontic Invisalign treatment has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. In fact, according to Invisalign, over 14 million people have turned to Invisalign trays to improve their smiles. Invisalign provides an entire host of benefits vs. their traditional metal counterparts. So, if you are considering orthodontic treatment and Invisalign is an option, we’ve made it easy for you to learn what to expect from start to finish.

How does Invisalign work?

Let’s start by answering the most glaring question: how does Invisalign work? The answer is simple. Invisalign uses a series of custom-fit clear aligners that gradually move your teeth into their intended positions through gentle pressure. Patients receive new aligners every one to two weeks based on their treatment progress. Each new aligner takes over from the previous one, gradually moving teeth into their new place. You will wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day (unless directed otherwise by your dentist), removing them only to eat and brush your teeth.

1. Am I a candidate for Invisalign?

Many people need clarification on how they know if they can use Invisalign vs. traditional metal braces. Invisalign works best for patients with mild to moderate bite issues and is designed to adjust just a few teeth at a time. Traditional metal braces may be the better choice if you have a more severe malocclusion issue. During the consultation with your dentist, it will be determined whether or not Invisalign is a good fit for you.

2. Is Invisalign worth it?

Are you considering Invisalign vs. metal braces? It is only natural to ask yourself if Invisalign is worth it. From our experience working with patients to help them get straighter teeth and a happier smile, Invisalign is a far less noticeable orthodontic option than metal braces. Further, the treatment period for Invisalign is far less—about one year, vs. much longer for metal braces. Further, there are no beverage or food restrictions (except chewing gum) regarding Invisalign. So, can you chew gum with Invisalign? The answer is no. Be sure to refrain from chewing gum with Invisalign, as gum can get stuck inside the aligners.

Another tremendous benefit of Invisalign is that you can remove your trays when it is time to eat and brush your teeth. So if you are asking yourself if you can eat with Invisalign, the answer is yes! All in all, Invisalign will provide the same results but without all those noticeable side effects of metal braces.

3. How will my Invisalign be molded?

Your customized Invisalign clear aligners can be molded in one of two ways. If it is determined that Invisalign is a good fit for you, your dentist or orthodontist will use a clay-like substance to create a mold (impression) of your teeth. This mold is then sent offsite to an Invisalign specialist who creates the aligners. They can also create a digital impression of your teeth through high-definition imagery and X-rays. Either option will provide the specifics needed for a comfortable, custom, and adequate fit.

4. What will it feel like when I wear Invisalign?

Patients should expect a bit of mild discomfort the first time that they wear their Invisalign aligners. This is due to the pressure the aligners put on your teeth to help encourage them into their new positions. However, this discomfort is mild and goes away in just a few days. Patients can take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever to help take the edge off during the initial adjustment period.

5. Does Invisalign hurt?

Similar to the previous question and answer, a bit of mild discomfort should be anticipated as patients get used to their new aligners. However, this discomfort will go away after a few days as you get used to the fit and feel.

6. How expensive is Invisalign?

The answer to this question varies from patient to patient, depending on the correction necessary. In most cases, the cost for Invisalign will fall right in the middle of the costs for traditional metal braces. 

The best way to find out the cost for Invisalign is to have a consultation with one of the dentists at Berrien Dental. Many dental insurance plans will cover all or a portion of Invisalign treatment, similar to traditional metal braces. You may also pay with tax-free dollars from your FSA (flexible spending account) or HSA (healthcare spending account), or through a payment plan provided by your dentist.

7. Do Invisalign trays need to be cleaned?

Your Invisalign clear aligner trays will need to be cleaned regularly. It is also important that your trays do not come into contact with food or drinks to help avoid any build-up of bacteria. Each time you remove your trays, be sure to rinse them with lukewarm water to help wash that bacteria away and minimize the build-up of germs. You should also brush your aligners with a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle, clear liquid soap to rid the trays of food particles or debris that have built up throughout the day. 

Further, you can brush and floss your teeth like normal when the Invisalign trays are out. Be sure to brush for two minutes at a time, at least twice a day. And, floss between and behind all of your teeth at least once a day to loosen food particles. A rinse with a fluoride mouthwash after flossing can help rid your mouth of those loosened particles.

Is Invisalign on your wish list this holiday season?

The holiday season is here, and as the notion of smiling for family photos and at gatherings is front and center, it is only natural to desire straighter teeth. Now that you know how Invisalign works, you are probably eager to make a change and start your smile makeover. Thankfully, there is still time to begin the Invisalign process before the big day. 
All you need to do to get started is request an appointment with Berrien Dental, conveniently located in both Berrien Springs and St. Joseph, MI. We look forward to sharing your Invisalign journey with you.