Invisalign clear aligners are custom-made for you to create your brand-new, confident smile. The aligners are

Allison McClure, Practice Relations Coordinator – The Smile Lab

virtually invisible and fit snugly over your teeth. Each aligner shifts your teeth slightly, moving them horizontally and vertically, rotating them when needed. Through treatment, you change your aligners weekly, following a custom treatment plan mapped out by your orthodontist. Typically, you receive 12 clear aligners at a time (3 months supply) so visits to the orthodontist are minimum. The length of treatment varies with the average case taking about 14-16 months, versus braces that often require 18 months to 3 years.

Invisalign clear aligner treatment is made to fit your life – they don’t interrupt it. At every stage, you will be able to see your progress and enjoy your smile at it transforms. You don’t stop living your life – keep eating all your favorite foods, stay active in all the sports and activities you love, keep brushing and flossing just as you normally would, no hassle of brackets and wires as you would with traditional braces, and, most importantly for COUPLES, Invisalign clear aligners are virtually invisible, so people don’t notice you’re wearing them and your wedding festivities pictures stay braces free!

Thanks to the removable nature of the aligners, you can eat and drink whatever you want while in treatment. You are required to remove your aligners to eat and drink with the exception of clear liquids. So, unlike traditional braces, there is no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favorite foods and snacks. Treatment is most effective when aligners are worn 20-22 hours per day, removing to eat, drink, brush and floss.

Your personal Invisalign clear aligners are made by doing a 3D image of your teeth using an iTero scanner, no gross teeth molds anymore! The iTero scanner also allows your orthodontist to show you a virtual image of what your new smile will look like.

While Invisalign moves your teeth without the pain and anxiety metal braces can cause, some people do experience temporary discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. A benefit of changing aligners weekly is the process is more gradual than braces which can make the process less painful than traditional braces. Temporary discomfort is normal and typically described as a feeling of pressure. It’s also a sign that Invisalign is working, as it moves your teeth to their final destination. This discomfort usually goes away in a couple of days.

Moving teeth is a prescribed medical procedure and needs supervision by an orthodontist. Moving teeth without thorough examination of the overall health of the teeth and gums could result in the permanent loss of teeth, gum loss, changed bites and other issues which can lead to expensive and lifelong dental problems. For this reason, it is highly recommended Invisalign treatment is done by a trained orthodontist. In-person evaluation and supervision is very important because there is more to creating a healthy, beautiful smile than moving the visible portions of your teeth.

The benefits of Invisalign go far beyond a beautiful smile. The American Dental Association (ADA) has found that straightening crooked teeth can have an important impact on overall dental health by reducing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Studies by the ADA have also shown that oral infections can lead to more serious illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, pneumonia and diabetes.

Teeth that are widely spaced or crowded can put you at a higher risk of contracting diseases such as gingivitis, periodontitis and heart disease. When your teeth are positioned properly, your gums fit more firmly around your teeth, providing a stronger defense against plaque and bacteria which lead to gum infections.

Besides correcting teeth that are crooked, gapped, or crowded, Invisalign aligners can also help fix abnormal bite functions – when the upper and lower jaws are unable to come together properly. When bite problems are left untreated, they can lead to further oral health issues including cavities, tooth loss, gum infections, tooth enamel erosion, and difficulties with speech and chewing.

Other health benefits of Invisalign include self confidence, improved speech, improved ability to eat comfortably, easier oral care maintenance, reduced pain from TMJ symptoms caused by misalignment and less wear and tear of your teeth caused by crowded, crooked or misaligned teeth.