Prior to the early 2000s, having braces meant having a mouth full of unattractive metal, wires and rubber bands. These were often uncomfortable for the wearer physically and led to a poor sense of self esteem about one’s appearance. Proper cleaning of teeth was a chore that often required a good deal of time and effort. Even with good cleaning, braces allowed for plaque build up and decay, contrary to the attractive smile and healthy mouth that brace wearers were striving for. Many foods were off limits to those who wore metal braces, such as popcorn, potato chips, nuts and certain candies. Wearing braces created a number of complications and limitations in one’s life. As of 2002, Invisalign, a clear plastic aligner, become available to the mainstream public and has changed the life of those who need braces significantly for the better.
Invisalign reduces the self conscious feeling that often came with traditional metal braces. Invisalign braces are made of a clear, thin plastic which is nearly undetectable in appearance. There are no wires or rubber bands, just a clear plastic aligner that is molded specifically to your teeth. A Dentist will take xrays, pictures and impressions of your teeth to create a custom fitted aligner that fits your teeth perfectly. A new aligner is worn every two weeks, allowing your treatment to advance without costly and painful adjustments. A quality cosmetic dentist will typically provide a patient with a set of 3 new aligners every 6 weeks. One great thing about Invisalign is you take them off when you eat and brush your teeth, which means you can eat whatever you want and maintain good dental health while your teeth are being realigned. Invisalign aligners are easy to clean with simple brushing and rinsing, or you can purchase a cleaning kit. Invisalign aligners should be worn 20-22 hours a day, but if you want to remove them for the occasional special occasion, you can!
Invisalign is effective in treating crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, and teeth that are widely spaced or overly crowded. The smooth plastic does not contribute to irritation of the cheek and gums as is common with traditional braces. Invisalign braces are a great alternative for those who play contact sports, as you don’t run the risk of cuts in your mouth as can occur with traditional braces. For those sports that require a mouth guard, you can simply remove the Invisalign aligners during sports activities.
Each patient’s treatment plan is individual, so you should ask your Dentist how long treatment will take, what it will cost, if you’ll need to wear a retainer, and what do if an aligner is broken or lost. Invisalign is suitable for kids, teens and adults. While many may be concerned that Invisalign may be significantly more costly than traditional braces, in fact, the cost is very similar and are covered under insurance the same as other orthodontic treatment. Consult your policy for specifics.