Not only are straight, aligned teeth cosmetically appealing, they are also better for your oral health and function. Straight teeth are easier to brush and floss, and less likely to wear down or break. When your teeth fit together properly, you avoid problems with your bite and your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Also, straight teeth allow you to chew or bite nearly anything you want without problems!
With advances in orthodontic technology like the Invisalign system, the teeth straightening process is more comfortable and discreet than ever. The clear, removable Invisalign aligners gradually shift your teeth into the desired position and alignment, with only minimal interference with your social or professional life.
Dr. Nancy Snyder is a preferred Invisalign provider serving Fort Oglethorpe, Chattanooga and all surrounding areas. If you want a straighter, healthier and more beautiful smile, she invites you to book an informational consultation to find out more about Invisalign treatment.
How Invisalign Works
Invisalign is a great solution if you want to straighten your teeth without wearing conspicuous, uncomfortable metal braces. The system uses sets of clear, removable aligners — upper and lower aligners customized for your unique mouth — to straighten and align your teeth.
After a comprehensive oral examination and consultation to determine whether Invisalign is right for you, Dr. Snyder will take a three-dimensional scan of your teeth and jaws. This information will be sent to the Invisalign lab, which then maps out how your teeth should move during treatment and customizes your series of aligners to achieve the desired outcomes.
When your first set of aligners is ready, you will be asked to wear them as much as you can, removing them only to eat, drink, brush and floss. Ideally, you should wear the invisible retainers 22 hours per day to see the quickest results. The aligners will be molded to your mouth and the plastic should not irritate your gums or the other soft tissues of your mouth. They have no metal wires or brackets that could scratch your mouth.
Every few weeks, you will receive a new set of aligners to replace the previous pair. The aligners put gentle pressure to shift your teeth into the desired position and alignment. You will check in periodically with Dr. Snyder so she can monitor your progress and answer any questions you may have.
The best part about Invisalign treatment is that you can remove the aligners for important occasions like business meetings, conferences, weddings or other social events. No one will know that you are in the midst of orthodontic treatment.
The total treatment time for Invisalign depends on the severity of your case and other factors. Most patients wear the aligners for 15 months or less. Dr. Snyder can give you a treatment time estimate once she learns more about your particular circumstances.
Candidates for Invisalign
Many people think they won’t qualify for Invisalign because their bite concerns are too severe, but these clear aligners can improve a wide range of misalignment problems for adults, teens and some children.
Invisalign can address the following:
- Open bites
- Gapped teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Protruding teeth
- Overcrowded teeth
Some Invisalign variations can focus on just one or two misaligned teeth for people with a generally straight smile. Severe cases may still require traditional orthodontics.
Kids and teens who want Invisalign orthodontic treatment must be mature enough to wear the aligners as directed and switch to the next set at the right time. Invisalign is great for adults with public speaking careers because they can remove the aligners during presentations. Sports players often find these clear aligners ideal because the discreet design allows them to use mouthguards required for specific sports, such as football. However, any adult who wants a straighter smile without the hassles and unsightly metal involved in traditional braces may qualify for Invisalign.
Benefits of Invisalign
The primary benefit of Invisalign is the fact that near-invisible clear aligners allow for inconspicuous teeth straightening. Teens and adults can improve their smiles without embarrassing wires and brackets. Oral hygiene is more manageable with Invisalign because the aligners are removed for eating and drinking, providing full access to the gums and tooth surface for flossing, brushing and rinsing.
Invisalign doesn’t limit food and drink choices; You can enjoy your favorite meals and beverages without impacting your treatment plan. The medical-grade plastic aligners are molded to your teeth and won’t cut oral tissues like metal braces with wires do. Overall, Invisalign offers a comfortable orthodontic treatment option that boosts your self-confidence throughout the process.
Many dental insurance plans now cover a portion of the Invisalign cost. (Invisalign expenses vary depending on the length of treatment and orthodontic needs.)
Complementary Dental Services
Many patients choose to follow up their Invisalign treatment with cosmetic dentistry treatments. Invisalign is often part of a smile makeover or cosmetic dental plan because it offers a straighter, more esthetically pleasing smile without unsightly metal in the mouth. Teeth whitening is an excellent choice for Invisalign patients near the end of their orthodontic treatment. Chipped, permanently stained or mildly cracked teeth may benefit from porcelain veneers or dental crowns.
Invisalign for Teens
Invisalign offers many age groups the benefit of improving their bite and tooth appearance without limiting their lifestyle and eating options. The removability of the aligners and comfortable fit provide a better orthodontic experience than metal braces. Teens with Invisalign often miss fewer hours of school because there are fewer trips to the orthodontist, and the discreet design doesn’t damage their self-confidence.
Parents who worry their teen won’t wear the aligners as directed may choose to get Invisalign Teen Compliance Indicators. These blue indicator dots start bright blue and fade when in use. If a child isn’t wearing the aligners, the blue dots will stay bright, and if they forget to switch to the next set, the dots will fade significantly. The compliance indicator series can give parents peace of mind that their teen is following their treatment plan.
Caring for Invisalign Aligners
Always rinse your aligners when you remove them from your mouth to stop dry saliva and plaque from forming on the medical-grade plastic. Clean them regularly in the morning and evening when you brush and floss your teeth. It is recommended that you brush the trays with a soft-bristled toothbrush (that is only used for this purpose) to remove plaque and soak them using Invisalign cleaning crystals or a denture cleaner once a day. After the aligners have soaked, use the toothbrush to brush away lingering food particles and bacteria, rinse and place them back over your teeth.
Floss and brush before putting the trays back in your mouth to prevent trapping bacteria and food debris in the trays and avoid cavities and other oral health concerns. Keep the aligners in their case when they’re not in your mouth, so you don’t lose them.
Invisalign aligners may turn yellowish and develop a foul smell without proper care. Remember not to eat or drink anything other than water while the trays are in your mouth, and don’t use toothpaste to clean the trays.
Book an Invisalign Consultation
For more information about Invisalign treatment and how it can help you enjoy a healthier and more attractive smile, please request an appointment with Dr. Snyder. Call or email Fort Oglethorpe Dental today to schedule your visit.