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Are You Ready for Invisalign?

Posted on November 01, 2021

As dental care has evolved, there are many options for fixing and straightening misaligned teeth. A straight smile can boost confidence and improve your overall oral health, which makes regular maintenance extremely important. Invisalign is a great option for people who want a discrete dental treatment that works quickly and requires fewer trips to the dentist.

The most important questions about how Invisalign works include what the treatment looks like and how this alternative to braces can be beneficial to your oral health. Find out how clear braces can straighten your teeth to give you a smile you are confident to flash for friends, family and in photos!

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a dental treatment that helps patients align their mildly to moderately misaligned teeth to achieve a straighter smile. Invisalign can also treat overbite, underbite or crossbite. The process is simple, requiring patients to wear clear plastic aligner trays fitted to their teeth for at least 22 hours a day. The patient will visit the orthodontist periodically for newly fitted trays to help gradually move their teeth over time. Patients can easily remove their trays on their own, allowing for daily dental cleaning and maintenance.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign originates from an American orthodontist who created customized dental appliances similar to a mouthguard. The appliances were made of rubber and available for use on the upper and lower teeth. This invention was the first easily removable tooth positioner that was not made of metal. Initially, they functioned to help speed up the healing process after a patient had braces. Later, researchers began documenting the success of these appliances. They gained popularity, and with technology improvements, the use of rubber and plastic gave way to clear silicon.

In the late 1990s, the first complete clear plastic aligners were created for adults looking for discrete orthodontic treatment. This alternative to braces was successful primarily for its convenience and discretion — clear aligners can be removed easily and are practically invisible.

Benefits of Invisalign

Many people choose Invisalign over traditional braces for a variety of reasons. Most notably, they help you fix your teeth for a straighter smile with fewer drawbacks. Invisalign’s advanced technology now allows you to feel confident in your smile without enduring a mouth full of uncomfortable, often unsightly, metal. The following are six benefits of Invisalign that traditional braces do not offer:

Benefits of Invisalign

1. Nearly Invisible Treatment

Unlike traditional braces, the Invisalign clear trays are subtle additions to your smile. You may not want people to see your dental treatment, and Invisalign offers a discrete method for fixing a crooked smile without noticing the treatment in photos.

The nearly invisible aligners are also much more comfortable than traditional braces. The smooth retainers do not have sharp edges like traditional braces that may cut into the skin on the inside of your mouth. The custom fit of Invisalign not only makes them less noticeable, but they also rest comfortably in your mouth for precise control over the tooth movement.

2. Fewer Consultations

Traditional braces require frequent visits to the orthodontist to ensure that the braces are properly adjusted for the desire tooth movement. The maintenance visits may also require the orthodontist to adjust the brackets and wiring of the braces. These visits can take hours and require you regularly carve out time for the uncomfortable adjustments.

Invisalign aligners require fewer visits to the dentist and are far less intrusive. Although you will need to schedule visits every four to six weeks, the dentist or orthodontist will give you a supply of aligners for use when you switch them out every two weeks. The aligners are planned and created in advance, which reduces the amount of extra dental work that traditional braces require.

3. Reduced Treatment Time

Full treatment for traditional braces takes much longer than Invisalign. A patient may wear braces for 16 months or more than two years because it is more difficult to precisely align the teeth like you can with the removable aligners.

Most Invisalign treatments only last about a year. Computer technology allows the aligners to be more accurate and precise, making the treatment period much more efficient. Traditional braces may move teeth too much in one direction, especially if the patient does not have frequent visits to the orthodontist. However, the small, controlled movements with Invisalign ensure that your teeth move the expected amount in a timely manner.

4. No Food Restrictions

The metal brackets on traditional braces can prevent someone from eating specific foods or opting to avoid some drinks. Sticky foods can get stuck in the brackets, and hard or crunchy foods can damage brackets. Getting food stuck in, on or between your brackets can be very painful and difficult to clean out. These restrictions may cause a patient to make lifestyle changes to accommodate the specific requirements for maintaining their braces.

Cold water is the only thing you should consume while your wear your aligners. Food can get trapped inside of them, which may lead to bacteria or plaque buildup. However, because you can easily remove these aligners, any food or drink is safe to consume. Simply store your aligners in a container while you eat to keep them clean and avoid misplacing them. After you finish your snack or meal, brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water before putting them back in.

5. Safe Materials

Invisalign trays are made of BPA-free medical-grade plastic. They do not contain harmful toxins, ensuring the continued health and safety of your mouth and teeth.

6. Better Dental Health

The food that gets caught in traditional braces can lead to bacteria growth and plaque buildup between the brackets. These risks can lead to gum disease if not properly cleaned, and it is very difficult to get in between the brackets to properly clean your teeth without professional dental tools. Additionally, children and busy adults may not be able to dedicate the required time to clean between their brackets multiple times a day.

The removable aligners you use with Invisalign allow you to maintain the same dental routine and avoid lifestyle changes. You can brush and floss your teeth easily without having to purchase special equipment. Regularly cleaning your aligners helps maintain the health of your teeth and keeps the aligners clear.

Taking Care of Your Invisalign Treatment

At the end of your treatment, you want your teeth to be healthy. In order to achieve that, take the proper steps to keep your mouth and teeth clean. Invisalign treatments are only effective if you practice great dental hygiene and use the aligners as they are intended to be used. Here are five tips for taking care of your Invisalign treatment in order to achieve the best results:

Taking Care of Your Invisalign Treatment

1. Floss Every Day

It goes without saying that you should be brushing your teeth every day, but flossing is equally important. The aligners hold onto remnants of the food and drinks you consume, encouraging plaque buildup. They also prevent saliva from breaking down those particles, which helps keep your teeth clean. Flossing every single day will ensure that you thoroughly clean between your teeth and maintain a clean and healthy smile that you can be confident in.

2. Wear Them as Directed

During the first two days of a new aligner, you should wear Invisalign as much as possible. While you should always wear the aligners as frequently as you can, the first 48 hours are the most important. During this period, you should only take them out to brush your teeth or eat, and immediately replace them when you finish.

Otherwise, commit to wearing them for at least 22 hours every day. Invisalign only works if you followed the required treatment plan as set out by your dentist or orthodontist, which entails wearing the aligners frequently to get your results quicker.

3. Maintain Dental Hygiene

As we mentioned, the aligners can be a great place for plaque and bacteria to grow. Brush and floss your teeth regularly to avoid tooth decay or cavities during your Invisalign treatment. Whitening toothpaste is also very effective because remnants of the toothpaste are held against the teeth in the aligner. Be sure to clean your aligners with warm water and antibacterial soap. Avoid using your toothbrush on your trays, as this can scratch the plastic and create a home for bacteria.

4. Change the Aligners on Time

When you receive your aligners at your dental appointment, there is a specific time period and order in which you should use them. Typically, you will replace your aligners every two weeks, but if your orthodontist recommends that you continue using it for a few extra days, follow their instruction. Switching your aligners as directed ensures that your treatment will follow the expected timeline. Chaing your aligner early will not speed up the process and waiting too long to change them slows your teeth’s movement.

5. Use your Retainer Properly

After the treatment is complete, you will be given a retainer to help maintain the progress you made with your aligners. Be sure to follow the orthodontist’s instructions, or you risk backtracking on your progress. Immediately after you finish the aligning stage, your orthodontist will recommend wearing the retainer all day for the first few months. After that, in most cases, you will be able to reduce the frequency to just at night.

Is Invisalign Right for You?

Understanding how the Invisalign treatment works is a great first step for deciding whether Invisalign is the best option for your dental health. The most important aspect of Invisalign is a patient’s commitment to the treatment. You must be disciplined to follow the doctor’s instructions regarding your treatment, from wearing the aligners for 22 hours a day to switching the trays as needed. The primary reason that Invisalign treatments fail is because of a patient’s unwillingness to follow their doctor’s orders.

Invisalign is not the best treatment for every patient. Complex orthodontic cases may require different dental treatments, like traditional braces. The best way to know whether Invisalign is right for you is to ask your orthodontist. They will advise you on the best treatment option for your specific case and help you make an informed decision about which path is right for you.

Some patients find that they dislike the Invisalign treatment because the aligners can be difficult to get used to. Any new appliance in your mouth can make it difficult to speak for a short period as you get used to how they feel in your mouth. For most, the process of getting used to Invisalign takes only a few weeks.

Some parents may also worry about kids losing their expensive aligner trays while at school, so they may not be the best option for very young children.

Because the aligners can retain more bacteria and food particles, you need to clean your teeth more frequently. Strong candidates for Invisalign prioritize the health of their teeth as well as their appearance, so you must commit to maintaining high standards for your oral health while undergoing the Invisalign treatment.

The cost of Invisalign is often similar to traditional braces, depending on the kind of treatment your oral health requires. Invisalign uses advanced 3D scanning technology, which allows it to be extremely precise and accurate in moving your teeth. However, this technology can also be expensive to use, which is why your cost can be high. Invisalign is sometimes used as a final step in dental treatments because of its precise movements.

Despite the cost of Invisalign being similar to traditional braces, it is important to remember that Invisalign treatments are typically much shorter than traditional braces. Although the price tag may be intimidating, consider that your teeth will straighten more quickly as long as you stick to the strict requirements of changing and wearing the aligners.

Choosing 209 NYC Dental

209 NYC Dental is the oldest continuing practice in New York State. Dr. Joseph Kuhn established 209 NYC Dental in 1887, and the practice has continued ever since. Our office has come a long way since the 19th century, but we maintain a high value of providing excellent service to our patients. We treat people, not just teeth. In alignment with these values, we offer free consultations for most dental care and prioritize every patient’s comfort with their treatment.

209 NYC Dental offers coordinated care with a variety of specialties that ensure patients receive the care that they need. Our highly trained doctors, friendly staff and modern, beautiful office set us apart from other care providers. We also accept most PPO Insurances and allow third-party financing, which helps patients access the health care that they need.

Invisalign is just one of the many services available at 209 NYC Dental. During a consultation for invisible braces, you will experience the latest technology that allows a non-invasive assessment of your teeth. Our doctors help you make the best decision for your specific health care needs and let you choose how you want to achieve a beautiful smile that you are confident in.

Choosing 209 NYC Dental

Learn More About Us Today

More resources are available about Invisalign and other dental treatments and best practices on our blog. Find useful information about how often you should visit your dentist, foods that can cause damage to your teeth and the best toothpaste to ensure optimal oral health.

You can find out more about 209 NYC Dental by visiting our website. We offer online scheduling for most services so you can set an appointment whenever and wherever.

About Dr. Benjamin Ahn

Meet Dr. Benjamin Ahn, a top-rated general, and cosmetic dentist and one of the best Invisalign dentist practicing at 209 NYC Dental, a multi-specialty dental practice in Midtown East Manhattan.

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