Invisalign clear aligners are made of invisible plastic. Rather than being cemented or bonded to the teeth like metal or clear braces, the clear aligners are completely removable for things like eating, special occasions, and most importantly brushing and flossing.
There are many advantages to Invisalign:
- Improved Oral Hygiene: With an orthodontic appliance that is removable, you will be able to clean your teeth much more easily than if you were wearing metal braces.
- A Discreet Look: If you consider your orthodontic treatment to be a private matter, or simply feel that metal braces don’t fit with your self-image, a practically invisible form of orthodontic treatment might suit you.
- More Dietary Choices: To protect metal wires and braces, some diet modifications are necessary. With clear aligners, you can still bite into an apple or a crispy pizza crust.
- Comfort: The thin, flexible material of which Invisalign is made will not irritate the soft tissues of the mouth, as metal wires and braces can.
- Teeth-Grinding Protection: If you have a teeth-grinding or clenching habit, clear aligners can function as thin nightguards that will protect your teeth from excessive wear.
How It Works
Invisalign clear aligners work the same way that traditional braces do. They apply carefully controlled forces to move your teeth into a better position without using metal wires. The plastic trays are specially designed to fit your teeth, and will slowly move the teeth from their current positions to the best possible alignment. This process is broken down into a few different stages, where you will have a different set of trays for each stage. Usually each stage lasts a few weeks, and you are advised to wear your trays for a minimum for about 20 hours per day. After each stage, you will receive a new set of trays and repeat this process for gradual movement of your teeth. This will continue until your teeth are perfectly realigned.
Invisalign has even added features to the trays for teenagers like spacing for molars that have not grown in yet and compliance indicators that allows the dentist and the patient to see if the trays are being worn for the appropriate amount of time.