Invisalign® straightens your teeth without wires and brackets, using a series of clear, customized, removable appliances called aligners. They’re virtually undetectable, which means hardly anyone will know that you’re straightening your teeth.
As the name implies, Invisalign clear aligners are made of almost invisible polyurethane plastic. Rather than being cemented or bonded to the teeth as traditional braces are, clear aligners are completely removable. This removable feature provides an attractive alternative to braces for important social occasions, eating, and, most importantly, for brushing and flossing. Beware - this advantage can also be a disadvantage: It means you must resist the temptation to take your aligners out more than advised. Here are some other advantages of the Invisalign system:
Improved Oral Hygiene - Because this appliance is removable, you will be able to clean your teeth much more easily than if you were wearing braces.
A Discreet Look - If you prefer that others don’t know you are undergoing orthodontic treatment or simply feel that braces don’t fit with your self-image, this virtually invisible form of treatment might be perfect for you.
More Dietary Choices - To protect wires and traditional braces, some foods are off limits. With Invisalign, you can still chew gum, bite into pizza crust and eat chewy and sticky foods.
Comfort - The soft, flexible material of the aligners will not irritate your mouth as metal wires can.
Teeth Grinding Protection - If you happen to grind or clench your teeth, clear aligners can function as a thin night guard for some patients. This can protect your teeth from excessive wear.
Invisalign clear aligners work the same way traditional braces do. They apply carefully controlled forces to teeth to move them into a better position. But they are not made of metal - instead, they are made of clear, flexible plastic.
Dr. Long uses specialized computer software to design a plan for moving your teeth from their current positions into the best possible alignment. These movements are broken down into stages. For each stage, Invisalign manufactures two “trays” or “aligners,” one to fit over your top teeth and one for the bottom. You will wear this first set of trays between one to two weeks, for a minimum of 20 hours per day. You will then move on to the next set of aligners in your series to accomplish the next stage of gradual movement. You will keep doing this until your teeth are correctly aligned.
It is important to understand that while wearing clear aligners is very different from wearing braces, the importance of retaining your treatment results is exactly the same. You’ll want to be sure to wear your retainer(s) exactly as prescribed after your treatment is completed to protect your investment in a beautiful new smile.