Do you want to straighten your teeth or correct alignment issues but don't like the look of metal braces? Invisalign offers the perfect solution for you. The dentists of Cary Implant and General Dentistry in Cary, NC explain how you can benefit from this clear brace system.
The Invisalign difference
Traditional braces use a system of wires and brackets to re-align your teeth. Once you receive your braces, they don't come off until your treatment ends. In some cases, that can be as long as two years or even longer. The Invisalign system doesn't use wires and brackets. Instead, you'll wear a series of aligner trays that gently move your teeth into position. Best of all, the aligners are clear, so it won't be obvious that you have braces. The Invisalign system is a good choice if you have an overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite, crowding or gaps between your teeth.
Invisalign offers several advantages that traditional braces don't, including:
- Flexibility: Don't want to wear your braces for a special occasion or sporting event? No problem! You can remove your braces for a few hours without affecting your progress. After the game or event is over, simply put the trays back in your mouth.
- No Food Restrictions: Gum, popcorn and hard or sticky foods are off-limits if your wear metal braces. If you cheat and eat those things, you may spend hours trying to remove a gooey mess from your wires and brackets, or worse break the wires. When you choose Invisalign, you can eat anything you want. Since you remove your aligner trays to eat, there are no food restrictions.
- Freedom to Smile: It's hard not to feel self-conscious when your teeth are covered by metal wires. In fact, some people don't feel much like smiling when they wear metal braces. Because the Invisalign aligners are virtually transparent, you'll never have to worry that you don't look your best.
How Invisalign Works
Invisalign clear aligners work the same way traditional braces do: by applying 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.
Here's how it works: Specialized computer software is used to design a plan for moving your teeth from their current positions into the best possible alignment. This movement will be broken down into perhaps several dozen stages. For each stage, the Invisalign company will manufacture two plastic mouth “trays” or “aligners,” one to fit over your top teeth and one for the bottom. You will wear this first set of trays for 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.
In the past several years, two features have been added to make Invisalign a more appropriate orthodontic treatment method for teenagers. Special “eruption tabs” hold the appropriate amount of space open for molars that have not fully grown in. Invisalign for teens also comes with “compliance indicators” built into the aligner material, which fade with wear. This allows parents, dentists, and the teens themselves, to make sure the trays are being worn as prescribed. Treatment with Invisalign can only be successful if this is the case.
Caring for Your Teeth During Invisalign Treatment
As mentioned above, one of the main advantages of the Invisalign system is that the trays can be removed for easy cleaning. So please don't neglect to do this! You'll need to brush your teeth after every meal or snack so that food and plaque do not get trapped in the aligners, which could promote tooth decay and gum disease. Your aligners, too, will have to be cleaned regularly; you can do this by brushing them and then rinsing them with lukewarm water.
Also, please keep in mind that while wearing clear aligners is very different from wearing braces, the importance of retaining your post-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.
Interested in straightening your teeth with Invisalign treatment? Call Cary Implant and General Dentistry in Cary, NC today at (919) 481-0330 to schedule an appointment.
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