After Invisalign’s U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in 1998, it entered the market and quickly became a hit among self-conscious adults needing teeth correction. Over time, it became a solution for teens as well. It’s only gained in popularity since.
We understand, though, you may have questions before you take the plunge and book a consultation. So, we’ve devised a list of the most frequently asked questions to help.
1. How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign works similarly to traditional metal braces. However, instead of metal brackets and wires, Invisalign utilizes a series of clear, custom-made aligners to shift your teeth into their desired position gradually.
You’ll begin with our dentist evaluating your smile and using a specialized scanner to map out an approach tailored to you. The process is quick, with accuracy in mind.
At this point, your dentist will discuss your treatment approach and explain the process step-by-step. You then receive custom-made aligners that change every one to two weeks. For at least 20 to 22 hours each day, you must wear the trays for the treatment to work optimally.
They use controlled force to gradually and gently move your teeth into the proper position. Each tray shifts your teeth closer to the goal.
Invisalign places pressure on all the teeth simultaneously. Ultimately, this speeds up the process, compared to braces that move teeth individually.
2. Can you eat with Invisalign?
If you’re worried about limiting your diet because of Invisalign treatment, you’ll be pleased to know you can eat everything you love.
The only catch is you can’t wear your aligners while eating. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a piece of pizza, some watermelon, or a caramel apple.
Anything hard can break your aligners and delay your treatment as you wait for a replacement aligner.
Foods or beverages with natural or artificial coloring will dye your aligners. You’ll then have to walk around with discolored teeth until you change your tray.
The final problem with eating while wearing Invisalign is that anything sticky adheres to the tray. You’ll only try that once when you realize how difficult of a time you’ll have cleaning the tray (that is, IF you can clean it.)
So, yes, you should always remove your aligners every time you eat or drink anything other than water.
Before you place your aligners back in after taking them out, brush your teeth to remove any food particles that could become wedged between your teeth while wearing the trays.
3. How long do you have to wear Invisalign?
Every patient is different when it comes to Invisalign. Some patients receive full results in only six months, whereas others may not see results until two years. However, the typical Invisalign wear time is 12 to 18 months.
The severity of your condition influences the length of time you’ll need to wear Invisalign. More serious cases take longer than mild cases, and some people’s teeth don’t respond as well as others. Other factors that affect how long you wear Invisalign include:
- Bite complexity
- Adherence to wearing them as directed
- Bone density
In terms of age, younger patients typically respond better, making the overall treatment quicker for these individuals.
However, if you’re an older individual with generally good overall dental health, you may respond as well as younger patients and complete the treatment as fast.
Your bite describes how your teeth come together when you close your mouth. If you have a more complex bite issue, the treatment will usually take longer than if you have a minor bite problem.
Adherence to Wearing Them
As mentioned above, you must wear your aligners for a designated amount of time each day, and if you don’t, the treatment takes longer to complete than the initial time frame indicated by our dentist.
Your bone density decreases over time, especially once you reach 50. Your bones are constantly regenerating old bone cells with new ones, but this process begins to slow down once you reach this age.
Not to mention, some individuals have chronic diseases or take medications that affect bone density.
Ultimately, anyone with a lower bone density may not respond to treatment as well as someone with a higher bone density. Notably, certain teeth may not move as easily as others.
4. Can Invisalign fix a crossbite?
You’re probably aware that Invisalign fixes gaps and crooked teeth in mild to severe cases, but you might be skeptical about Invisalign crossbite correction.
Fortunately, Invisalign can usually correct most crossbites – an issue when some bottom teeth protrude farther than the top ones, either in the front or back.
You should know that before the treatment process, a dentist from our team will assess your bite carefully to ensure this could be an effective solution for you.
5. Can Invisalign fix an underbite?
If you have an underbite, meaning the top teeth fit inside the lower ones, you may wonder whether Invisalign can correct this.
Luckily, an underbite caused by teeth growing in improper positions is often correctable with Invisalign.
A dentist at Dale City Smiles will ensure you qualify by evaluating the bite issue to see if it’s from a skeletal problem or the teeth’s position before recommending Invisalign for an underbite.
You can get a smile with Invisalign that you never thought was possible without conventional braces. With Invisalign, you can retain regular eating habits; remember to remove them and follow your dentist’s recommendations.
Have you heard enough? Are you convinced about the wonders of Invisalign? Then, contact us today for your consultation.
At Dale City Smiles, we welcome patients from Woodbridge, VA, but are accessible to those in Agnewville, Dale City, Pohick, Hoadly, Dumfries, Montclair, and West Springfield, to name a few.