These days, braces are not your only option to straighten front and side teeth or correct a misaligned bite. The Invisalign® treatment has fast become a viable option in what has long been traditional braces. It is always nice to have choices, and depending on your needs, you may be a good candidate for Invisalign.
Both systems have their benefits, and following are just a few things to consider when deciding what is right for you:
Like braces, Invisalign straightens your teeth gradually. But traditional braces are non-removable, and are glued to your teeth with metal wires and metal or ceramic brackets while Invisalign aligners are removable. These custom made aligner trays are designed to slip over your natural teeth by your dentist. Aligners consist of comfortable plastic material which you wear over your teeth. Every two weeks you switch to a new tray which gradually shifts your teeth into place according to the plan your dentist designed for you.
Aligners offer little discomfort as they do their work. When you first switch to a new tray there may be some pressure which subsides as your teeth adjust.
When you first begin wearing new aligners your speech may be affected for the first couple of days as your tongue adjusts to having them in your mouth.
Your eating habits don’t need to be changed, as aligners are removed while eating. This means you can eat your normal diet and not worry about damaging your aligners. Your brushing and flossing habits also stay the same, since you would just continue taking care of your teeth and gums as your normally would.
If you smoke or drink, please be aware that smoking may discolor the clear aligners. However, drinking alcohol isn’t a problem if you take extra care to clean your teeth soon after so that sugar does not get trapped between your teeth and the aligners (or any sugary beverage).
Clean your aligners carefully every time you take them out. There are cleaning systems made for cleaning Invisalign aligners, and you can also clean and sanitize them with water, denture cleaner, or soak them in vinegar. You will want to make sure to keep them clean and dry to kill bacteria.