Straightening your smile with Invisalign clear aligners is an alternative to the look of traditional braces, but how do they work? The answer might surprise you. Here our orthodontists explain.
How do Clear Aligners work?
Are you concerned about the alignment of your smile or want more even teeth but dreaded the thought of metal brackets poking at your gums? You’re not alone. Thankfully, Invisalign Clear Aligners are an option for many patients.
Invisalign clear aligners are barely noticeable when worn, custom fit to your teeth, and have no metal or wires that could irritate your mouth. You’ll be able to straighten your teeth discreetly and treat a number of dental health issues, including:
- Clicking jaws
- Widely spaced teeth
Step 1: Assessment & Planning
During your first appointment, your orthodontist will conduct an oral exam to determine if you're a good candidate for Invisalign. If you are, a treatment plan will then be created for you to gradually shift your teeth into their correct positions.
Before beginning treatment, we’ll take X-rays and use iTero scanning technology to create models of your teeth. Throughout the process, we review your progress and record the movement of your teeth as they change.
Step 2: Being Wearing Your Aligners
You will receive a series of aligners for your treatment. These will be switched out every other week or so as treatment progresses. With each new aligner, your teeth will be slightly straighter than with your previous tray (your teeth should shift up to 0.25 millimeters per tray).
The aligners are made of clear plastic and worn over your teeth. They will gently and gradually move your teeth into place, following your customized treatment plan.
Once your clear aligners are in, you’ll need to wear them for about 22 hours every day. You should remove them only to brush, floss, and eat. Once you remove your final trays, you’ll complete the process by wearing a retainer full-time for a designated period of time, then gradually cut back your use on a schedule determined by your dentist.
Step 3: Ideally, A Straighter Smile
Invisalign can leave you with a more confident smile and straighter teeth (as long as your dentist’s instructions are followed through each step of the process!). Orthodontic treatment can improve your oral health and reduce the risk of tooth decay because you'll have straighter teeth, which are easier to clean.Our dentists provide Invisalign to many of their patients. We can help you learn whether you would be a good candidate for treatment.