Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment system where transparent aligners are used to gradually shift the teeth into their ideal positions. Each aligner or tray is worn for one week and we recommend wearing them 24/7 day and night. The aligners are only removed in order to eat, brush, and floss the teeth. The least amount of time that aligners should be worn is 22 hours a day.
Our team at Blue Wave Orthodontics feels that there are more pros than cons to getting Invisalign and we'll share our take on each in this blog. As you will see, the cons deal more with the patient's own dedication to the process and willingness to play by the rules.
Let's start with the some of the pros for Invisalign. These are true for Invisalign Teen as well.
Invisible / Removable
One of the most obvious positives are that the Invisalign trays are virtually invisible – they won’t show up in most photographs. The trays are also removable, so they can be taken out for important events.
Office visits for Invisalign are usually every 10-12 weeks vs 4-7 weeks for traditional braces. The results often come more quickly for Invisalign wearers as they are custom made after digital scanning of your bite and both upper and lower arches are simultaneously corrected. Often, with traditional braces you have to correct one arch first.
The Invisalign trays are thin, smooth, and relatively comfortable as they move the teeth with slight pressure. There’s no tightening or adjustments as with traditional braces, and no uncomfortable metal brackets or wires to cause irritation.
Because the Invisalign trays can be removed to eat, you can maintain your normal diet with no food restrictions. No need to avoid nuts, popcorn, gum, corn chips, pretzels, cookies, sticky foods, hard rolls, hard fruit, corn on the cob, and much more. This is huge, especially if you love food. Just be sure to brush and floss.
Easy Dental Care
The Invisalign trays can be removed to brush and floss you teeth, as well as for professional dental cleanings. That is a real benefit, making the clear aligners more hygienic then traditional braces as there are no brackets or wires to get in the way.
You can continue to be active and play sports without extra worry as there are no sharp brackets that can cut your mouth during sports or physical activity.
Dr. Ernest McDowell states, "as we mentioned, the cons are pretty much lifestyle issues. A person might not be a candidate for Invisalign based on their own willingness to comply with the process. Some of the benefits such as easy dental care, having to remove them to eat, and ability to remove them at all, can allow patients to become lazy."
Invisalign requires cooperation between the patient and the Blue Wave Orthodontics team. We do suggest wearing the aligners most of the day, just taking them out to eat and to clean your teeth. Not wearing them enough or not switching to the next tray as planned can lead to less-than-perfect results.
It is very important to brush and floss after eating, so that the aligners are encasing clean teeth. It is also important to continue to maintain dental appointments and any orthodontic appointments.
Wearing a retainer after the aligners do their job is also a requirement, but that is also true of traditional braces.
Dr. Randy Feldman adds, as you can see there are a lot of pros to choosing an Invisalign smile, but you have to be up to the task of living with them. For a person that likes routine and who can begin with a clear vision of excellent results, there will be no issues."