How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign is a virtually invisible way to gradually move your teeth with clear aligners

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Invisalign is the brand name of a series of clear aligners that straighten teeth and are becoming a popular alternative to braces.

Invisalign is a brand-name orthodontic product that uses a series of invisible plastic aligners customized for your mouth. The purpose of Invisalign is to straighten teeth that are misaligned or to properly space crowded teeth. When you choose Invisalign, your dentist will take impressions and X-rays of your teeth. These are then used to make your set of 24 or more custom Invisalign aligners. The dentist will give you one to three aligners at a time and a schedule for changing aligners. You will likely wear the same aligner for about two weeks. Each aligner is shaped slightly differently and moves your teeth just a tiny distance closer to the correct position. About once per month, you will come in for a checkup. For most patients, Invisalign treatment takes 10 to 24 months. However, if you wore braces as a teenager and your teeth have only slightly shifted, you might only need to wear the Invisalign aligners for two to four months.[1]

Is Invisalign Right for Me?

Invisalign aligners work best for adults and teenagers with fully developed jaws and fully erupted adult teeth. Invisalign aligners are ideal if you have mild to moderate misalignment or crowding of the teeth. If you have a complex orthodontic situation, you might not qualify for the Invisalign system. For example, Invisalign may not be an effective solution for severe under-bites, over-bites and cross-bites.[2] If you don’t want the hassle of trying to floss around braces or if you don’t want people to notice your braces, Invisalign may be a good solution for you.

Benefits of Invisalign

Invisalign offers a custom solution to your unique orthodontic situation. The aligners are made specifically for you and are a subtle addition to your smile. With Invisalign, you do not have to worry about painful adjustments of braces, and the smooth surfaces of the aligners will not cut your cheeks or tongue like the sharp metal wires of traditional braces.

Because you take out the aligners when you eat, you also do not have to worry about food getting stuck in them. You can eat your usual favorite foods while using Invisalign, including hot and cold foods that would otherwise be irritating to sensitive teeth with regular braces. The aligners are easy to clean with your regular brand of toothpaste, and you don’t have to worry about bad breath due to food that is caught in the wires or tight spaces of traditional metal braces. [3]

 

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